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The Evolving HR System: How Your Needs Change Between Employees #1 and #100

For small businesses and start-ups, hiring a full-time human resources manager may seem like an unnecessary cost. Even for midsize companies, paying for an HR director may feel more like overhead than a critical part of growing a business. The reality of the situation, however, is that an HR manager provides crucial support for your employees and administrative needs.

The role of HR personnel looks very different in a small company with a few dozen employees than it does for larger, more established businesses, and it is important to know when and how to invest in human resources.

As HR Insourcing reported, short-changing your human resources needs is not a good strategy for anyone looking to expand a business. CEOs of start-ups and small businesses need an HR partner that can help them with bringing on new employees, and large companies need a human resources team that can keep the business grounded and running. Despite any frustrations or need to cut costs, the HR department is too critical to overlook.

Don't outsource
According to HR Insourcing, many CEOs consider outsourcing their HR needs or hiring someone part-time. Even if the savings are considerable, this is a foolish idea.

The human resource department is vital for maintaining company culture and letting employees know their concerns and needs are well-appreciated. Outsourcing your business' HR needs would set a tough precedent for the rest of your employees. Not only does HR help to uphold the values and mission of your business, but they are the crucial liaison for vetting potential new team members.

Human resource managers also serve to make sure your company is a healthy and safe work space and can keep you protected from wrong doings or employee grievances. Even if it may seem like your business is too small to warrant an HR director, having a core member of your team that is focused on employee well-being and ready to help your company grow is important. 

Taking on new employees, expanding office capabilities and growing administrative needs can be handled with a strong HR manager, which in the long-run will serve to avoid unforeseen costs or setbacks.

Small companies
While your start-up may feel too small to hire an HR professional, finding a way to bring aboard someone dedicated to office culture and your employees is very wise. Starting a business with a solid foundation is essential for when it is time to expand operations.

For example, even something as simple as compiling a company handbook is key to setting precedent and rules, and according to Smart Recruiters, this is best handled by a human resources manager. Not only is this important for growing an internal culture at your office, but it is a beneficial tool for setting expectations should any problem arise early on.

An good HR director is also helpful at a start-up specifically for hiring new employees. The task of finding, interviewing and on-boarding even one new team member can be very time consuming, and often the BRASS of a start-up is much too busy to handle such a job. HR managers are perfect not only for meeting and selecting candidates, but also because this process comes with a considerable amount of paperwork.

For small businesses, it may seem superfluous to hire a full-time HR person just for building company culture or hiring employees, but given the litany of day-to-day tasks that arise in an office, having a person dedicated to keeping things running smoothly is immensely valuable. Smart Recruiters stated that between setting up office infrastructure like Wi-Fi or new computers and scheduling company events and accommodations, a full-time HR manager can be charged with many responsibilities long before your business is large enough to have a whole administrative team.

Hiring an HR director is worthwhile not just for maintaining daily tasks, but is crucial for the future of your company as well. As your business grows, the HR team can help by adapting your handbook and other policies, minimizing any growing pains.

Larger companies
The Wall Street Journal reported that on average, companies in the U.S. have 1.54 HR professionals for every 100 employees, and that number has been trending up since the recession. Surprisingly, even the largest brands neglect the need for an HR department, and there are examples of how costly a mistake that can be.

In 2009, Outback Steakhouse, a subsidiary of Bloomin' Brands Inc. paid $19 million to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought on by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. According to the WSJ, Outback agreed to develop an HR department, but the damage had already been done.

As companies grow, their workforce becomes much more diverse, and for that reason, a solid HR department with well-established guidelines and protocols for employee issues is necessary for avoiding internal strife.

An HR manager or team isn't just important for avoiding lawsuits and maintaining the status quo, however. According to Forbes, employees that feel well-respected and comfortable at work are more productive and engaged.

Happy employees
Businesses both large and small benefit from a well-established HR team because companies thrive when their employees are happy and engaged with their work. While you likely can't afford an on-site masseuse or other extravagant perks a la Google, your human resources manager can still help you cook up ways to show your team that they are appreciated and important. 

For example, Forbes reported that frequent perks and positive feedback is much more effective and appreciated than one big reward. For that reason, having someone who can find time to develop interesting and exciting company events and employee thank-you's  goes a long way in keeping your employees happy. 

Forbes also stated that appreciation doesn't just come in the form of office parties or bonuses. What helps employees really thrive is a sense of accomplishment and belonging. HR professionals are so effective because having a member of the team that is focused on the human side of your workforce builds the kind of inviting and supportive environment that is necessary for ensuring your business is a good place to work and an attractive destination for new talent. 

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