You’re an entrepreneur about to launch your first start-up operation. Even before your small business is ready to hire employees, you’ll want to think about the human resources responsibilities you must undertake alone--unless you make an HR director one of your first hires. (And that’s not a bad idea.)
An HR department is a critical element of any company as its employee base grows. As CEO of your operation, you’ll need to devote the bulk of your time and attention to the business at hand. You’ll have little time for finding new people besides key management personnel, screening and interviewing candidates and getting them to fill out tax forms. No time for listening to pitches from health insurance salespeople. And definitely no time for injecting yourself into the middle of power struggles or lunchtime arguments about the guy who brought fish and garlic to the break room again.
The point is, you’ll need a company gatekeeper who is incredibly detail-oriented and who genuinely likes most people most of the time--but can be firm when firmness is needed.
Here’s a rundown of leading tasks and responsibilities your HR director and his or her department will have to undertake (or you will).
Recruitment and hiring: While you’ll probably want to be involved in decision-making regarding the recruitment and hiring of your management team, your business will hopefully grow beyond the personal attention you can give this responsibility. Recruitment involves everything from writing job descriptions and placing ads to conducting interviews, screening candidates by contacting previous employers and selecting the best possible candidate for each and every position that opens up at your company.
Onboarding and training: Once your company has hired a new employee, that worker must now learn everything from the locations of restrooms, break rooms and office supplies to rules and expectations. Then they must learn how to perform their jobs in the company workflow. Your human resources person will take on this role at least in part, or stay in the loop while the new employee’s supervisor assumes most responsibilities here.
Taxes, benefits and other boring paperwork: From your new employee’s perspective, this might be the most critical element of their first days. There are federal, state and local tax forms to get filled out and to submit. There’s healthcare coverage to explain (after your HR pros first attempt to understand the complicated issue themselves). And there’s setting up the new employee’s pay details. The hire will definitely not want to get this duty wrong.
Refereeing employee disputes: It’s inevitable that not everyone at a company relates to everyone else. Whether it’s disagreements between co-workers or disputes involving managers and their reports, solutions must be found. Tempers must be cooled. That’s something that you definitely don’t want to be involved with on a regular basis if you can avoid it. So it’s one more job for your heroic, overworked human resource director.
Attending HR seminars, workshops and networking events: Things change quickly in the HR world. Federal regulations get set or changed, and ways of marketing for talent come and go. Your HR professional has to stay on top of all the ways the department’s responsibilities will change.
Exemplifying company culture: Someone in HR is typically a new employee’s introduction to the company. This person personifies the company in the eyes of the new person, from the first meeting to hiring, orientation and beyond. Even those who ultimately aren’t hired by your team will say something to others about the culture, as they experienced it. You want them to tell others that those who work at your company are attentive, gracious, understanding and open. It’s likely that only one person can give this impression of your culture—or make just the opposite impression.
Separation of Responsibilities
You’ve just read some of the main ways that your HR department can help keep your company running smoothly, present a positive image to the outside world and otherwise let you maintain focus on other responsibilities.
Growth is your job, personnel decisions belong to HR. You might have to hold both job titles at first, but it’s hopeful that you won’t have to take on both responsibilities simultaneously for long. Reach out to our team today to see how our expert HR solutions can best suit your needs.