Hiring a human resources representative can sometimes be the thing that separates a startup from a more stable business. HR professionals help takeover several aspects of the business that can be crucial to maintaining company culture – hiring processes, legal compliance, payroll and employee relations.
Not all business owners will feel the need to hire a human resources professional. But here are a few reasons why it may be necessary.
Many owners like to interview potential employees. It’s understandable, especially when the new employee will be in his or her direct hierarchy or team. What an HR representative would be able to do is filter out the candidates that will be a definite mismatch by conducting a simple prescreening. This can save owners and hiring managers an immense amount of time. Prescreening can reveal potential red flags and prevent wasteful interviews. Human resources professionals can also be put in charge of handling all the paperwork involved in the hiring process; another time saver.
Administrating healthcare plans to employees can sometimes be known as the root of all evil. It’s the headache that never seems to go away. Handing this responsibility over to someone who may know more about it than an owner or any other employee may be the best decision ever made. Beginning this year, the Affordable Care Act requires employers with 100 or more full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees to choose between offering healthcare to those employees and their dependents or paying a tax. Employers with 50 but less than 100 full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees will have until 2016 before these rules apply. The person best fit to handle to this responsibility may very well be the owner. But having an HR professional take over would certainly alleviate some of the burden.
‘I’d like to take my kids to Disney World next week. I am putting in a request to have Thursday and Friday off.’ ‘I’ve been here for six months now. I have completed all of my projects and excelled in my role. I want a 5% raise.’ Without an HR representative, these requests are generally sent straight to the owner. Even though regulations are clearly written in the employee manual, the requests for extended vacation days and pay increases seem to always flow in. Spending too much time on negotiating these requests can be damaging to the bigger focuses of the business.
It often seems that employees are never happy. Or if they are happy, it isn’t for very long. Now, more people seem to be switching from job to job and retaining employees is requiring a little more effort. It isn’t just about the amount of vacation days or the amount of money offered (although sometimes it is). It’s also about keeping a safe working environment. A place for people to enjoy being. After all, half of a person’s day is spent in the office. A human resources employee can do a lot when it comes to keeping the good talent around. They can create employee-satisfaction surveys and analyze some of the strengths and weaknesses in the company culture. They can plan activities and events for coworkers to attend after work hours to enable a more relaxed environment for employees. Of course, some owners like to join in on the office fun. That’s no problem at all. Just leave the planning up to the HR rep.
Business owners should ask themselves these four questions: ‘Am I wasting time interviewing too many potential employees?’ ‘Do I need help administrating healthcare plans?’ ‘Am I spending too much time negotiating with my employees?’ ‘Am I struggling with retaining employees?’ If ‘yes’ was the answer to any of these questions, it might be time to look into hiring an HR representative.