Why Never is the Right Time to Hire a HR Manager
Your business is big enough now to need HR support but hiring an HR manager is absolutely the wrong decision.
A Familiar Scenario
Your business is growing fast and you have ambitious plans for the future. To facilitate this and effectively deal with the increasing pressures placed on you and your management team, you need to scale up various aspects of the business.
This potentially includes everything from the physical space you have available to your core business departments whether that is sales, service delivery, manufacturing, etc.
You also need to scale up your capacity in business support functions like accounting, marketing, and, yes, HR.
Does this sound familiar?
The problem with HR is its complexity.
The HR Specialists Your Business Needs
As a fast-growing and ambitious business, you need specialists in multiple HR areas. This includes:
- Onboarding new staff, contracts, new employee support, etc
- Performance management and performance issues
- Handling grievances
- Handling claims of harassment, bullying or discrimination
- Disciplinary issues
- Staff retention strategies
- Employee wellbeing programmes
- Benefits packages
These are all individual skills that need specific expertise. Plus, the list above isn’t even definitive.
The HR Reality
There is no single individual with all the necessary skills who is capable of delivering on all the requirements outlined above.
This is why large companies have HR departments staffed by multiple people. These teams are required to handle the HR workload of the business, but the individuals on those teams don’t all do the same thing. Instead, each will specialise in specific aspects of the HR function.
The requirements don’t stop there either. This is because the HR function in your business needs to deal with situations that exist today while also resolving issues that occurred in the past. It also needs to plan for the future to ensure your HR strategy aligns with the goals of your business.
Your HR function should support your managers. It should give them confidence so they can make better decisions and help deliver better business results.
You need the same solution in your business, i.e. specialists that can support your business in every aspect of HR. However, the size of your company can’t justify the expense of hiring the team you really need.
Many fast-growing businesses in the same position as yours often compromise when faced with this situation.
In most cases, this is an unconscious compromise. Most business owners don’t realise that HR has so many elements and specialisms. Unlike, say, accountancy, where they know they need a bookkeeper and a financial controller. As they grow, they know they will need to appoint a financial director or CFO too.
Yep, it sounds counter-intuitive, but in the vast majority of growth-driven SMEs, hiring a HR manager is a compromise – a compromise you don’t need to make.
In terms of HR, business owners know they need help, and the default position is to hire a HR Manager.
However the business owner comes to this decision, the solution typically involves finding the best-darned HR professional they can and then paying them well to attract and hopefully retain them for the long-term.
However, this story often then follows a similar script.
This starts with the workload on the HR manager becoming too much. The array of HR challenges is too broad and many are outside the HR manager’s competence. Also, the pace of progress is often not as fast as the owners of the business want.
A decision is then often made to recruit a support person for the HR manager, usually in a junior position. Or maybe to employ external consultants to resolve more serious issues.
As a result, the business owner now has a HR team and high HR costs but is still in a compromise situation in relation to the skills and capacity available to the business.
This is why not compromising is a better business decision. You need an alternative solution instead.
The Alternative to Hiring a HR Manager
The alternative is to hire your own HR department. One that is there when you need it, on demand, and with the specialists that are required. A department to take care of all the day-to-day HR activities your business needs in addition to the more challenging issues that crop up from time to time.
Recording holidays, storing key information securely and in compliance with GDPR, keeping an eye on probation dates, issuing contracts to new employees, and everything else – just pass it to your HR department.
Hang on though – we’ve already mentioned above that the size of your business doesn’t justify hiring a HR team.
The answer is to hire a HR department as a service (hint: HR Duo can help here).
With a HR as a service, you get all the specialists you need without having to directly appoint anyone, plus you can scale up and down according to the requirements of your business. It’s the holistic and effective HR solution your business needs.
March 11, 2020
By Jerome Forde