By: Ron Guest, Senior Partner, TwoGreySuits
As 2022 comes to a close, I thought it appropriate to share with you a trend I am seeing which is gaining momentum going forward – and the smart smaller companies are already seeing the benefits.
TwoGreySuits, for 18 years now, in addition to providing full unlimited downloads from our state of the art do-it-yourself informative HR website, and 24/7 HR Hotline, is being asked more and more by member companies to help them (small companies) hire their very first HR professional. We do this by guiding companies through the proper hiring procedures all on the website, but in most cases now after initial discussion, we are being asked to do it all ourselves – and we have had increased and great success in 2022 hiring these HR professionals for a small business first HR hire. Several recent excellent hires come to mind.
Managing the people aspect of business does not come easy for most managers, in my experience. There are exceptions, but these are rare indeed.
In fact the #1 reason by a wide margin according to literally all surveys of why people leave their company is because of the poor direct relationship with their manager. In most cases this translates to their manager not knowing how to manage people very well. Of course you won’t hear this in exit interviews, people want to protect their reputation and don’t want to rock the boat by slamming their manager or leaving on bad terms. They may want to call on this manager for a reference employment reference.
So where does an HR professional fit into the picture here? Let’s start with the premise that in most businesses people are considered your most competitive strategic advantage. In other words if you have engaged competent staff who always go the extra mile to help customers, other employees, even vendors, this sets you apart/above from those companies who see employees as simply tools of production. This unfortunately is still alive and well in 2022.
Let’s look at a typical example of a 20-30 person company without a HR professional on staff. Hiring is usually done by a manager who needs staff ‘urgently’. These managers in 99% of the cases have never had any training or education on best practices to hire the best people, period, fact. Then the new hire comes onboard and this same manager uses what they think are good people management practices because they again have never been trained how to properly manage people. Often this is a double whammy, the best person is not hired and then they are also not managed properly. The employment relationship is strained from day 1. Productivity suffers, morale is affected, other higher performing employees see this and themselves become demotivated. Ok, what about when a new manager is hired under these same circumstances with people management responsibilities, the problem is now 10 fold. See the picture…
Trained, certified HR professionals can spot these problems immediately. More importantly they can immediately intervene and take over the hiring process while at the same time training managers on things such as where to be looking for people in the first place, behavioral interviewing skills, evaluating candidates properly, professional reference checks, helping the company develop their employee value proposition, ensuring you are paying competitively, helping managers properly manage new staff, having a proper orientation plan and setting the new employees up for success as opposed to letting them totally fend for themselves.
Looking at the larger picture, this initial value add is only a fraction of the value a small company will realize from hiring a HR professional. Other things include higher engaged employees, lower turnover, significant savings in recruitment fees (usually pays for the HR professional salary fully and then some) becoming legally compliant, treating employment situations professionally in terms of performance management issues, harassment investigations, improving health & safety, ensuring your pay and benefits are competitive, training managers on all aspects of hiring and managing people. The list goes on and on. The important thing is to let this professional in to your company to advise you want needs to be done and then letting them do it vs. the company wanting to tell them what to do.
As another example of value add; HR professionals now are the savviest when it comes to remote, hybrid and contract work arrangements in terms of job or employee eligibility, helping managers to manage remote and hybrid workers and in understanding actions required to retain employee cohesion, trust and teamwork.
Bottom line here is… adding a HR professional in a small company makes sense at every possible level – saves money (a lot of it), significantly better quality hires, less management time on employee issues, professionalizing how people are treated and managed, higher engaged employees (which research has definitively shown now improves profitability)
What size company should consider hiring a HR professional? Around 20 employees are when the absence of a HR professional can start becoming a problem in companies with poor hires affecting other good employees, managers continuing in antiquated ways with larger staffs compounding the problems and managers and owners spending very considerable valuable time on people issues and not knowing how to deal with them in many cases.
If you are managing in a small company or own one, it’s time to start thinking about you first HR professional.
The TGS System is a one-of-a-kind product that includes:
The HR Power Centre for implementing professional people management practices, and helping you deal with the day-to-day people management issues that inevitably arise
24/7 HR Hot Line answered within 24 hours (but usually within 1 hour!)
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TwoGreySuits is a leading-edge provider of on-line human resource management information, processes, tools and forms servicing the global market. We have integrated the HR practices associated with the key drivers of Employee Engagement within the well-organized information on the website.
Our website is built on the premise that if you truly see the value and want to manage people professionally, using our tools and information, you will see increased employee engagement levels over time, a win for everyone!