Human Resources is often considered a low priority area for new start-ups, and there’s a tendency to give more attention to other aspects of the business that bring more immediate benefits. However, the list of tasks that an HR manager can complete is surprisingly long and, as a business grows, you might begin to understand just how important a dedicated member of HR staff can be.
From hiring and firing to paying salaries and organising holidays, HR managers can take all this off your hands. After all, you didn’t get into your industry to be wading through mountains of regulatory paperwork or updating health & safety policies. Additionally, aside from the administrative side of your business, a dedicated HR manager can help stimulate your company’s growth through staff training, boost morale, and stimulate productivity.
With this in mind, perhaps it’s time that you seriously consider looking for someone to help you out with human resources. Here are 10 signs that you need a dedicated HR manager for your start-up.
You spend more time on admin than your own work
You’re an expert on your product or service, you know the ins-and-outs of your industry like no other, and you have great ideas to help your company grow into the future. However, all of this is academic if you do not have the time to actually use your knowledge and implement your ideas. If the time you are spending on HR administration is impacting the reason you created a company in the first place, then it’s time to throw in the towel and get an HR manager.
You are growing fast
The good news is your company is growing faster than you could possibly imagine, the bad news is you and your team simply cannot handle the workload. If you are growing fast and you need to bring in multiple members of staff, then it pays to get an HR manager in to do the hard work for you. This means streamlining the hiring process itself and then making sure new employees have everything they need to do the job properly from day one.
You cannot communicate effectively
In companies of any size, good communication is the key to a well-oiled team. If you find that you cannot communicate effectively with your employees within your small start-up, then it might be a sign that you need some kind of intermediary. Particularly where sensitive issues need to be discussed, an HR manager will help you approach staff members in the correct manner and help you solve any recurring issues that may have seemed insurmountable before.
Your employee turnover is really high
If you are regularly seeing employees join your start-up full of smiles but leaving stony-faced, then alarm bells should be ringing. This could be for one of a thousand reasons, and an HR manager will not only help you identify those reasons but also implement effective solutions through training and morale boosting to help you hold on to staff for longer periods.
You lose track of where your employees are
It’s 11 am on a Monday morning and you are wondering where your sales team can possibly be. You’ve received no phone calls, emails, or other communications and your mood is swinging wildly between indignation and concern. Then suddenly, you remember the training away-day you organised months ago and that you obviously forgot to include on your calendar. It might sound funny to you now but it happens, and it is a sure sign that you need a dedicated HR professional.
You don’t know how much to pay employees
Always a sensitive subject, financial issues can cause deep rifts within any company. Remember, people talk; and nowhere is this truer than within a small company. If then, you are paying one member of staff significantly more than another for essentially the same job, it’s time to review your payment structure. A dedicated HR manager can help you do this and optimise the payment process at the same time.
Your relationships with your employees are breaking down
An employee should join your company in a culture of trust, openness, and mutual respect. However, as time goes by and start-ups grow, the beginnings of any professional relationship can break down. If you are noticing this is a regular occurrence, then an HR manager can help you maintain these relationships and smooth out smaller issues before they become irreparable.
You cannot answer employee questions
If you find your employees are asking questions that you cannot answer, then an HR manager might be the solution. Particularly when there are queries regarding employment law, health & safety regulations, or anything related to employee benefits, an HR manager will either know the answer or have the time and resources to find out.
You cannot offer feedback or give employee evaluations
Feedback and evaluations of employee performance are important both for you and the employee. They help everyone understand what went into the successes and failures of the past year, and help to set concrete targets for the future. If you find you don’t have time to implement these important developmental appraisals then it’s time to hire a dedicated HR manager.
You are building an exit strategy
If you are preparing an exit strategy well in advance of selling your business as is advised, then an HR manager can help you in myriad ways. Perhaps most importantly, if you plan to grow your start-up, then an HR manager will be an asset to prospective buyers. With this crucial role filled, a prospective buyer will not need to worry about staffing issues, HR policies, or the transition of your team into their tutelage.