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As a small business owner, I’ve been grappling with a number of human resource issues recently. With plans to expand in the very near future, should I hire a full time HR professional?
Although a small business doesn’t necessarily need to employ a dedicated HR manager, it’s important that someone in your organization be responsible for HR needs. The fact is that if you have employees, you need to be thinking about human resources. It’s that simple. Regardless of the size of your company, certain employees can be a liability and with someone managing your HR, this liability can be mitigated.
Compiling an employee handbook of your company’s policies and practices is a good first step. HR includes understanding all of the laws and regulations so you know how to handle everything from benefits and hiring practices to managing difficult employee issues. With training, an office manager could handle the daily oversight.
However, if your immediate plans are to expand and you’re already dealing with employee problems, you may want to consider hiring a full time HR person. Until then, HR consultants can fill the gap to support your business and provide training to your staff.
Whatever approach you decide on, HR needs to be an integral part of your strategic plan. This will not only ensure compliance with respective labor laws, but it also will provide a solid tool to communicate and implement best workplace practices.
hr manager qualities
There are a number of qualities you should look for when hiring an HR manager in order for them to provide effective oversight for your business. It is essential that you look for someone who not only has the skills but who also knows how to effectively encourage staff to be their best.
Those skill sets should include possessing knowledge and expertise in HR as well as having engaging presentation skills and the ability to multitask. There may be times when an HR manager must deal with one employee’s personal complaint one minute and then answer a family leave question the next and then develop a recruitment strategy for a difficult-to-fill position.
They also need to know how to deal with “gray” areas such as how to make decisions with “best available” information and have the wisdom to know when to get advice from a lawyer or other HR experts. In addition, and most importantly, they need to display a strong sense of ethics, leadership skills, the ability to motivate others, strong conflict resolution skills and a sympathetic attitude.
A human resources manager who possesses these skill sets and qualities can ultimately be a major ingredient to pave the way for your organization’s success.
Joan Lee Berkman is a marketing and public relations consultant. if you have a question for Joan, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.