Crystal Spraggins, SPHR
It’s a common scenario. As a small company begins to grow, more and more people are hired to handle the increasing workload. (Great!). Before too long, all these new people start inquiring about benefits, so somebody decides it’s time to start getting serious about benefits (because talent expects benefits, and this company needs talent badly to help it grow intelligently), and then another somebody realizes—hey!—somebody else has to manage this stuff and by the way, more people means more conflict and who’s going to handle that?
Eventually it becomes apparent that more structure or rules or strategy or something is needed because people keep doing stuff and asking questions and nobody has any answers. And then come the feds and all their rules and requirements, and oh boy it’s getting complicated around here.
Yup, it’s time to hire an HR professional.
Do it already
If you’re a leader in one of the many small to mid-sized companies who’s been resistant to the idea that a qualified HR professional with specialized knowledge is a good investment because, well, anybody can do HR, you simply couldn’t be more wrong.
Everyone can’t do HR. In fact, one big reason the profession has such a lousy reputation is that “anyone” has been appointed/hired by those who do not recognize the specific skills and talents the job requires.
The benefits are many
I don’t want you to make that mistake, because a gifted HR professional can help your growing organization in countless ways. He or she could:
- Suggest legally compliant policies and procedures that will provide your leadership with guidance in handling common but complicated workplace issues, negating the need to spend time and money evaluating each new instance from scratch,
- Provide wise counsel in the midst of employee disputes,
- Anticipate (and suggest solutions to) problems likely to interrupt productivity or spoil relationships,
- Source and vet top talent,
- Design and implement compensation and total rewards programs that’ll attract, motivate, and retain workers,
- Suggest and implement process improvements to enhance efficiency,
… and much more.
And I know this sounds a bit like a commercial, but the point is that if HR is still being done by your assistant; or the “mother hen” administrator with the big jar of candy on her desk who everyone goes to in order to complain about everyone else (that’s right, I said it); or your finance person (who knows nothing about employment law, is blind to the basics of human psychology, and is much more comfortable crunching numbers than mediating heated conflict), then you need a real HR professional.
Don’t shoot the messenger and don’t get an attitude, just start the interview process. Your HR department needs an upgrade, and you’ve already wasted enough time pretending it’s not true.
A good HR person knows the law, and he knows people. She understands human systems as well as the differences between an HRA (health reimbursement arrangement), an HSA (health savings account), and an FSA (flexible spending account). He can oversee a retirement plan conversion or pick a payroll provider. She can avoid a lawsuit and start a wellness program.
Come on. Do you still think just anyone can do all that?
Go ahead and hire an HR professional, already. It’s time.
Want to learn more about building an HR department? Read this whitepaper: Hero or Zero? Getting the Most from HR.