The HR function is something that entrepreneurs usually postpone until they are struggling, and they feel overwhelmed with some of their key HR responsibilities in the company. This is usually the moment for them to hire an HR Manager.
When this happens, sometimes, company owners fail to hire the right person as people might not have a full understanding of the different aspects of the HR function. In the same way that you most entrepreneurs will not hire an experienced finance director to do their basic accountancy, they fail to see why not hire a recruiter to do their whole HR department or why you can not hire an HR director to do just payroll.
In this article we will go through the basics of the HR functions, how to analyze what you need, and what to look for when hiring the first HR professional at your company (spoiler alert, this might not be the same for every company)
First. Why are you hiring an HR professional?
This might sound simple to you, but in my experience, most entrepreneurs answer to that with a …” I spent too much time doing recruitment and dealing with people complain’s on the team; I need to invest my time in something else.”
HR is much more than recruitment, admin, and dealing with people moaning. Don’t get me wrong, in a small company that is 60 -70% of it, but you will probably need to get a bigger perspective of where do you want to get to know how to solve it.
Have your objectives clear
Having clear objectives on the main reason why you want to get an HR professional will help you greatly when deciding who to hire. What are you expecting when hiring an HR manager? Write down in a paper or a word document 🙂 the three main objectives you want this person to achieve in their first 12 months.
Do you need someone to deal with the day to day, someone to help with recruitment or someone to help you taking the correct decisions when it comes to the team?
Those questions could bring you to very different professionals with different budgets and needs as a future employee because HR also needs to be taken care of.
If you are not clear about this, there are many articles about the HR functions that could be useful in the future, but if you are hiring for the first time, look at your needs, not what they could do. Unless, of course, your budget is not a problem and you want to hire an HR director, an HR Manager, and an assistant. In that case, you need to know what the HR functions are, otherwise… keep reading.
Once you have listed your main objectives, think about this, which of those HR functions you could externalise?
Don’t get me wrong, I am an HR consultant, and I love companies hiring HR people, but not for the wrong reason. One of the things I hate is when some owners seem disappointed with HR. Most of the times is because not every HR person will do what your company needs, and they hired a profile they didn’t need, in the same way, that not every sales professional will be able to deliver the same results, or a finance intern will not be doing your budget for the year.
What is your real budget for this hire?
Once you have solved the questions above, answer this question: What is your real budget to build your HR department?
I don’t ask this to make you forget about the possibility of hiring an HR director, but think about your budget and look in places like Glassdoor, the salary for the type of professional that you will be looking for. It will help you to rearrange the tasks and objectives you need and how to make a better spent of that budget.
Out of the things that you really want them to do, what are the ones that will really improve your business? Again, this question will vary depending on each business situation. Strategy might not necessarily be what you need, and an HR admin person might be perfect for you. Just be honest about what you need and how you can train them if needed.
Ok, what if you need strategy and your business doesn’t have the budget for it. Bring a consultant for a retainer for a few hours a month or a year. This could help you at the beginning and give you the key tips that you need.
Please, also think about the possibility of having two people working part-time, if you need an admin and an HR manager, just do the numbers and look for people who could help you with the strategy and someone to do the admin. It will massively improve the outcome of your department if the budget is tight.