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Is Human Resources Really Necessary?

Does your company have high turnover? Is it really necessary to pay someone to hire and fire people? Isn’t that what a good Manager is for? A good Manager can spot and hire great talent and an even better Manager knows when it’s time to cut their losses and clean house. A good Manager can do it all…

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But what if your company has more than 20 employees? What if your business operates more than 8 hours a day, five days a week? What if your company is responsible for working with a very diverse group of customers and employees? What if?

You may not believe that you need to hire a Human Resources Manager or HR professional. I mean why waste the money on someone you really don’t need? Why worry about hiring the wrong people? Why do you have to concern yourself with employee morale? Why do you have to get involved in employee issues? Just hire a good Manager and they can take care of all of that……its easy; companies have been doing it for years. And those companies are? Really? Can you tell me the name of a company that has been around longer than 20 years, that employs more than 40 employees, that does not waste money on Human Resources?

Yeah, those old school businesses have gone the way of the cavemen they set their business models with. Probably went down in fiery ball of financial flame, either associated with a EEOC lawsuit, reduced productivity associated with outdated employee practices, loss or revenue due to money wasted on turnover, low morale, excessive attendance issues, breakdown in leadership/communication, and or a combination of all of them.

BUT, before you run out and spend big bucks on hiring a Human Resources Manager, make sure you just don’t employ someone who is not going to be a great fit for your company and does not understand the basic rule of being a GREAT HR Manager.

Rule #1: Protect the company from the employees and the employees from the company. This is what every good Human Resources Manager job description should read. While it may sound impossible, it is very practical and can be done. How you might ask? Through diligent effort, uncompromising integrity, and the ability to work with and maintain a professional relationship with both management and employees.

Does this sound like something you want in your HR Management? Then why do majority of the job postings sound like they just want a paper pusher and overpaid file clerk? The companies that have an HR Manager on their staff do not realize that this person is responsible for more than hiring people and maintaining their paperwork.

Rule #2: An effective HR Manager is up to date on all the ever changing and complex employment laws, an expert in negotiations and employee relations matters, and bottom line the voice of common sense and reason. They are the person who can look a senior manager straight in the eyes and say “if you do this to your employee (s), you’re going to cost the company money.” They are also the person who will sit an employee down and explain to them that their behavior and actions are endangering the productivity of the company and the livelihoods of the entire staff.

They are not just about hiring and firing, but responsible for being able to maintain a finger on the pulse of the company. They are an advisor to Management on employee morale which affects productivity and a voice of reason to employees when they don’t quite understand a new policy or procedure.

Unfortunately, when the recession began and companies had to downsize, Human Resource Departments are sometimes first to suffer cuts. Some companies even go as far as doing away with them entirely and just keep a glorified administrative assistant to maintain employment files. Now that companies are beginning to hire again, do not make the mistake of thinking you have done fine without an HR Manager. With growth of staff, comes more opportunity to fall into the pit of mistakes. HR Managers are the people who protect your company from EEOC and Title VII violations. They help protect the company from huge unemployment and workers compensation claims. Profits that are lost, but most important, an effective and competent HR Manager will implement successful hiring and training programs that reduce turnover and disciplinary issues that cost companies thousands of dollars every year.

It’s been estimated that on average a company spends anywhere between one thousand to five thousand dollars on every new employee hired. This includes the cost of time spent recruiting, hiring, training, and waiting for that employee to reach the level of proficiency required of their position.

Finally, as your company is now beginning to recover and restructure from the recession, keep in mind what you should be looking for in your new HR Manager. You can hire a paper pusher or a profit generator.

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