What does Human Resources do and when do you need them?
As a small business, you may not have, or see the need of having a dedicated Human Resources (HR) person or team. When there’s a relatively small number of employees to manage, many SMEs get by perfectly well without an employment expert.
But if you’re getting bogged down in personnel issues or are a growing company, you might want to think about hiring an HR person.
So, what does the Human Resources department do? Most people are probably aware that they handle matters such as recruitment, payroll, employment policies and benefits. They may also often act as a go-between for employees and managers, and can clarify basic company information such as maternity leave and sick pay.
What people don’t realise, however, is that they can also be a vital link to business success, working with managers to help develop long-term strategies for growth and development, and implementing training procedures.
Every company’s strategy is different, but you probably need to hire an HR manager if:
You’re expanding rapidly
A company is only as successful as the employees who work for it, so if you’re hiring new staff at an increasing rate or opening a second location, it might be difficult to ensure you recruit and retain the best staff without a dedicated HR person. They can help you create job descriptions and person specifications to ensure you attract top talent.
They can also be tasked with reviewing each of your employees’ performance on a regular basis to determine areas of strength and weakness, identifying where improvements need to be made and making recommendations based on where they’re best suited.
You can’t keep on top of changes to employment law
Employment law can change rapidly. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the introduction of pension auto enrolment, changes to childcare benefits and recently, Parental Bereavement Leave come into force, An HR manager can make sure you’re up to date with all the latest changes to employment law.
Employee disputes are on the rise
The more employees you have, the greater risk of issues such as harassment claims, pay disputes and unfair treatment cropping up. The consequences of handling these types of situation badly could end up with you being sued and/or reputational damage.
An HR manager is responsible for handling conflicts in the workplace, and should be able to avoid lawsuits through mediation. Harmonious employee relations are important for the success of any business.
You’re spending too long on personnel issues
Many SMEs are put off hiring a dedicated HR professional because of the cost, but this means that key people in their business are forced to spend time on employment issues – time that could be spent elsewhere.
So if you want to concentrate more on growing your business, an HR person could deal with all your legal requirements, policies and procedures, making sure they’re in line with current employment law.