Why HR shouldn’t be one of the many hats you wear
Successful entrepreneurs and small business owners are confident problem-solvers who are determined and adaptable. Yet many get caught in a trap that inhibits company growth — they choose to handle people-related issues by dispersing them among existing staff members who have other responsibilities.
I see it time and again, and I lived it early on in my first business. We muddled through employee reviews, hiring and firing, job descriptions, employee engagement, workers’ compensation claims, and more. We weren’t yet big enough to even think about more formal HR and it never occurred to me that outsourcing was an option.
In the beginning, you can handle the basic administrative human resources tasks for a fledgling business. But as your business grows, the HR function becomes more important. If you don’t handle the people things correctly, your business will suffer. Outsourcing the specific level of HR support you need can be the ideal solution. It replaces the need for hiring a full-time HR employee and introduces high-level expertise that you might not otherwise be able to afford in-house. Partnering with an outside provider can offer the following benefits.
- Communication. Open communication between management and employees is crucial to positive employee engagement/relations. An experienced HR consultant can help you implement effective communication practices. You can even increase productivity through proactive employee engagement.
- Culture. Culture-building doesn’t need to be costly; you craft culture through clear communication and simple perks. If you don’t have a sense of what your culture is, it could likely use some attention.
- Compliance. Do you have functional and legal HR policies? Are you aware of current federal and state employment laws? Do your hiring practices and company policies and practices comply? If you’re not confident you’re doing things right, consider outsourced support so you are.
- Keeping current. Human resources are dynamic. Regulations and guidance can change frequently. Having an expert keep you up to date will help keep things running smoothly.
Training. Business magnate Richard Branson expressed it best when he said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Are your training programs effective?
- Attract and retain talent. If you’re having trouble attracting and retaining the right talent, you need to change your approach. Crafting positive new-hire experiences through better onboarding can be crucial. An outsourced consultant can help you build a strategic plan that your internal staff can implement.
- Customize what you need. When you outsource, you pay only for what you need. It could be emergency support, specific training, or a particular HR project when no one in-house is available or qualified to be at the helm.
Outsourcing human resources may initially seem counterintuitive to keeping total control of your business. I also know that consistency in establishing human resources processes is essential to high-performing companies. Perhaps you need only to outsource the strategic leadership of your human resources and keep the administrative tasks in-house. Whatever your level of need, the investment in human resources is worth it. ●
Mark D’Agostino is president of ConnectedHR