Imagine you are considering firing an employee because his criminal history surfaced unexpectedly. You're struggling to understand OSHA regulations so that your small business's safety policies comply with government standards. Choosing a new health plan for the staff is giving you fits, and managing payroll is a constant headache.
And these aren't even the responsibilities you were hired for!
HR often seen as low priority
Many small companies, and even some larger ones, relegate human resources to the back burner. Company leaders might assign an employee hired to oversee finance to take on HR duties as well, not recognizing all of its complexities. But it's a mistake to overlook the expertise required to manage HR issues.
Human resources form the skeleton that supports a firm's inner workings. Companies need an HR backbone to:
- Direct employee recruitment, hiring, retention, and firing;
- Ensure compliance with employment and safety laws; and
- Handle the administration of payroll, benefits, and taxes.
In addition, HR managers often have responsibility for property maintenance, employee training and professional development, performance evaluation, company social and morale-boosting events, and wellness programs. In short, HR helps shape organizational culture.
Signs that your company may need professional HR help
Your business might need the services of an HR professional if human resource functions are:
- Taking up too much of your time.
- Shortchanging employees by not providing them with a structured orientation program, detailed job descriptions, an employee handbook, and the best possible benefit plans.
- Imperiling workers and the business through noncompliance with federal and state regulations.
- Getting in the way of running the business.
Other warning signs can include:
- High employee turnover.
- Low workforce morale.
- Inconsistent or improper documentation of labor processes.
- Uncorrected/unaddressed performance issues.
- Inability to attract and retain quality employees.
HR management is generally best suited to skilled professionals.
Help is out there
Your company leaders may conclude that the business needs an HR specialist. However, if budget and the firm's staffing structure don't support another employee, outsourcing may be the way to go.
Contracting with an HR administrator — to the extent that your company's needs and budget allow — can benefit your company in many ways. Among them, an HR expert can:
- Help to improve the quality of your workforce by offering skilled recruiting, screening, and interviewing.
- Develop orientation programs, an employee handbook, management guides, performance evaluation forms, and schedules.
- Help to ensure your firm's compliance with employment and safety laws.
- Design benefit programs that best meet the needs of staff and executives.
- Establish efficient payroll processes with current technology.
- Help you maintain a secure, organized database of employee information.
If you decide to seek outside HR help, a variety of versatile, affordable solutions exist. A contractor that also works as a business partner can fill a key niche in your company's performance.