As companies reach the 25 – 45 employee mark most start to wonder if they should consider bringing an HR person on staff. Being that my sweet spot is helping companies of this size create the HR infrastructure they need to sustain growth, my answer is YES.
But it’s not, “Yes, go find any old HR person and hand them the reigns to your future”. If you’re going to bring an HR person on staff think carefully about what type of person you want because s/he will truly alter the way your business is run from an employee standpoint.
There are two different types of HR people:
1 – The traditional, compliance-focused, mandate educated, buttoned-up Human Resources Professional who will always be looking out for the company. This person will ensure the policies are secure, the infrastructure is consistent, and the company is following all the rules. This person will typically nod their head in agreement with the statements, ‘All employees should be treated equal and consistency is the key.’
2 – The culture focused, risk-taking, less rigid HR Pro who will push senior leadership to consider new ways of approaching employment issues. This person will be helpful in thinking through the creation of infrastructure and company policy but will make every move with a clear focus on the employees. She is okay walking in the grey area between the rules and what it will take to build a great culture full of engaged employees and is most likely to nod her head to the statement, “Every employee is different and has different circumstances so lets treat them differently”.
Either of those HR people can be great for your organization depending on what your end goal is. If you’re working in a high-risk industry where rules and structure matter a whole lot then go with the first one. I promise, that’s what you need to make sure your employees are safe and your legal butt is covered. But if you’re in the type of industry where you have a little more flexibility, don’t need to be as rigid, and really want to create a great culture for your employees (think Google, or Zappo’s) then go with option two.
“…to what extent will you look at your HR director to establish your company’s culture? If you really want a person to build upon the culture you have established, you may go into the hiring process with the expectation that you should hire two people: one to work on culture and one to assist in handling more mundane tasks such as the paperwork involved with sponsoring employee visas or benefits administration.”
Either way, I know making a decision about hiring your first HR person can be a tough one. I have tons to say on the topic so if you ever want to know more, hit me up.