When your business is small, it’s not uncommon to wear a lot of hats. Why hire someone to do a job you can do yourself, right? While this makes sense at the start of a business venture, it’s inevitable that you won’t be able to wear all those hats with without looking silly. Maybe this metaphor is spreading a little thin…
Eventually, you won’t be able to do every job to the level it requires. Paperwork mounts up, deadlines pass you by and you put off requests from employees until you have a spare minute. But as you grow, those spare minutes become few and very far between.
Here are five signs that you need to hire an HR person to bear some of the load.
1. You’re growing
When you’re taking on new hires, it’s ideal to have at least one other person around to take the lead. Why? Because hiring can be a long, hard process. Having someone else to file through applications, conduct interviews and provide an unbiased opinion is essential.
2. You’re clambering for culture
Culture is like a sense of humour – everyone thinks they have one but very few actually do. In a lot of cases, many companies think culture means having a pool table in the office. If this is you – it’s okay, you can admit it – or if you’re really not sure how to nurture a culture in your business, then it’s time to hire an HR person.
Everyone in a company should work towards building culture and an HR person can dedicate time you don’t have towards facilitating this process.
3. The legalities kick in
When your business consists of more than just yourself, there are a number of laws you have to keep track of. For example, did you know you can’t dock the pay of an exempt employee for missing work to attend an appointment? There are a few laws like this – quite a few – and keeping on top of them all can take more time than you’re able to give.
4. You need a people manager
Not all business owners are good people managers. Even if you are, rallying the team, responding to requests/complaints/suggestions and doing everything else a boss has to do can wear you thin. A decent HR person will take that responsibility off your shoulders and ensure that your employees get the attention they need, when they need it.
5. Your office has become a paperwork fort
Expense requests, time off requests, purchase orders, project notes, performance reviews, application forms – a boss can have a lot of paperwork on her desk.
Of course, HR isn’t all about pushing paper, but when the paperwork towers do get too high you can, and should, unload certain tasks to someone with the time and experience to deal with them.
Deciding to hire an HR person
Ultimately, you should hire an HR person when your workload becomes overwhelming. A lot of business owners take on more than they can handle, but hiring someone to ease the load is not a sign of weakness – it’s actually a smart move. You owe it to your business, your employees and yourself to ensure a job is done well.
And, let’s be honest, you’re not going to be able to do everything in your business wearing all those hats now, are you?