When you first start up a business, you often work with the smallest team you can to keep costs down – some businesses even operate in their initial start-up period with just the owner wearing many hats. As you grow, however, it is normal to focus on hiring people in the roles that contribute to getting you more profit. Sales and marketing people, people who work on developing, designing or making your products, or people who provide the services you sell.
Hiring As Businesses Grow
At that point, you generally are still doing a lot of the admin work yourself or using third parties where you can’t, for instance, accountants and recruitment agencies. This can work well up to a certain time, but there is a point where covering administrative tasks that seem like overheads rather than work aimed at making a profit is actually a poor use of your time.
Human resources (HR) is one area where it can be hard to tell if the need is there for somebody to come in as an employee and handle it. HR is important, of course, in keeping staff feeling well supported, dealing with processes around things like staff expenses and benefits, and doing the admin around onboarding new staff, following appraisal programs, and tracking vacation allowance and time. But these can be things a business owner can do when there are not many staff and no real plan to hire more at the current time.
However, it can be best to hire an HR administrator a while before you see a major expansion in terms of workforce size. There are a few reasons for this. Preparedness is one, of course, as is having someone with HR expertise on board to help you plan your hiring strategy. An even more important reason can be that you probably don’t have the best HR processes and practices yet if they have simply been put together organically as you’ve grown. An HR professional will be able to design, implement and operate these in advance of your growth in company size, so things will run smoothly as you grow.
What Kind of Administrator Do You Need To Run Your HR?
You may decide that you don’t have a big enough need for a full-time HR person yet and could create a part-time vacancy instead. However, whether hiring full or part-time, there are some specific qualities to look for in an HR person for a small, growing business that are different from what might be needed in an HR person working in a big team in a large corporation. This article from Arizona State University Online explains the kind of things someone who is well versed in HR will be able to do for your business and is geared to their online business management degree students. The key things you have to look for from the wide skillsets in HR are the ability to start new processes and strong skills in terms of recruitment.
As you can see, you may often need an HR person a little before you actually think you do, so if this sounds like where your business is, then it could be time to hire!