Why should an HR function exist?
An established HR function will:
• increase your productivity
• reduce your overheads
• increase your employees commitment to your business
• improve your employee/employer relationship
• minimise risk in employment relationships
• assist in establishing your business strategy
• help put your strategy into an operational plan
• enable you to measure significant milestones in your operational plan
What can an HR function offer?
An HR function provides you with practical tools and advice like:
• an employment agreement
• a robust recruitment process and tools
• a performance management system
• tools and support for managing performance problems
• metrics regarding your people
HR will help you to create a strategy business plan, which is integrated with sound people plans.
The next step is to compile operational objectives and plans for employees, with measures to track the progress.
These objectives will give you a way of evaluating and rewarding employee behaviour.
If your company expands and needs more resources, or changes in your organisational structure, the right HR person can help you identify your business requirements and create a process. They will also guide you through the change process to ensure maximum employee participation and minimize risk. This applies to both downsizing and growth.
When should an HR function be implemented?
Human resources start when you realise that you cannot run your business alone. Then you begin to plan how to hire employees. You should hire a dedicated HR resource to manage your HR function. It is the quality of your HR function that determines whether you need one.
A rule of thumb says that if you have more than 80 full-time employees, you should consider having a full-time resource within your company. If you have more than 80 employees, you can contract out your job to qualified professionals who will accomplish the same goals on a part time or contract basis.
Where can you find skilled professionals?
You could find suitable resources from finance/management consultants who offer HR resources as part of their auditing services as do some recruitment/management consultants. Some lawyers may provide templates for employment agreements. Many business associations provide templates and have staff who can assist with employment-related matters. Non-HR specialists, especially management consultants, are often more expensive and do not have the full business approach.
Human resource specialists who own their own business can also help you with this function. They can provide HR services on an hourly basis or on a monthly basis. They also work with your business as needed. This approach is more cost-effective and holistic, as it allows you to integrate the function into your business. These people are easily found online, through your local human resource institute, or via the local business association.
Who are the best consultants to choose?
Experienced Human Resource consultants are the best. They must have both the qualifications and the experience to be able to partner with you and understand your business. You should look for someone who has experience in your industry and/or across a wide range of organizations, and who is able to understand business needs. Make sure they can speak fluently in English and have experience with customer service and finance. It is important to find someone who can think strategically, but still be operational. You should also ensure that they are trustworthy. Are they able to do the things they promise?
Your company’s greatest asset is its human resources function. Your company will begin to see positive results the quicker you establish such a function. Although it doesn’t have to cost a lot, you will need to hire the right professional to handle this function.