Will You Be Happier With an HR Manager?

Most small businesses do not have an in-house HR Manager on the payroll.   It can be a large financial decision, and many do not think that they need one given the size of the business.  Yet, a good HR Manager can play a pivotal role in your management team and provide important input to fuel growth.  Let’s explore what to look for in an HR Manager, what they actually do, and your options for hiring one.

What is an HR Manager and What Do They Do?

In the past, HR Managers were considered “administrators,” completing paperwork and maintaining employee files.  That time has long since passed.

In today’s world, the HR role is more complex thanks to expanded regulations, reporting requirements, risk management, and the need to handle many sensitive employee issues.

In many organizations, the HR Manager is now seen as a trusted advisor who provides strategic advice to the CEO and other senior managers.

What Skills Should an HR Manager Have?

HR Managers oversee all the employee related operations of a company.  It is a diverse role, and requires a mix of the following skills:

  • Communication Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Technical Skills
  • High Emotional IQ 
  • Risk Management Skills
  • Problem-Solving Skills
  • Strategy and Innovation Skills

HR Manager Functions

HR encompasses all of these functions:

  • Creating a robust hiring process
  • Onboarding new employees in a consistent way
  • Training management in compliance and leadership and training for all staff as needed 
  • Sourcing and managing benefits and retirement plans
  • Payroll and benefits administration
  • Performance management strategies 
  • Appropriately handling employee complaints and issues
  • Updating employee handbook and policies
  • Complying with legal obligations
  • Employee discipline and termination
  • Reducing turnover and improving retention
  • Handling lawsuits, unemployment claims, workers’ compensation

How does the HR Manager Differ from Other “HR Providers”?

A number of industries touch on the HR world.  Recruiters search for suitable employees, payroll processors handle payroll and taxes, benefit agencies provide medical and retirement plan options, employment lawyers handle employee lawsuits.  

Yet, the HR Manager is fundamentally different in that it is their job to understand all of these functions, while at the same time rise above specific roles and take a big picture view.  At times the HR Manager will do these tasks themselves, and at other time they will manage them.  At all times they communicate with and advise the CEO.

The Point When You Realize You Really Do Need an HR Manager

Small businesses may not need a full-time HR Manager for some time.  Depending on your staffing, a bookkeeper or office manager may be sufficient to handle basic tasks.  But when you begin to ask questions these resources can’t answer, it might be time to seek executive-level advice.  Questions like:

  • Do I have the right employees in place to grow the business?  
  • If not, what do I need to do to find them?
  • Do I have the right systems and processes in place to support my growth plans?
  • How can I protect myself in case of employee lawsuits?
  • How do I best incentivize, communicate with and manage my employees?

How Much Does an HR Manager Make?

Another reason why you may have put off the decision to hire an HR Manager is the expense.  HR Managers typically command salaries over $100,000 per year.

However, there is another option.  Businesses that aren’t quite ready or who can’t afford a full-time HR Manager can work with a fractional-time, outsourced HR Manager.  The outsourced HR Manager can work with you to manage your HR process, solve your HR problems and provide long-term strategic advice.

Final Thoughts on What to Look for in an HR Manager

The HR Manager will serve as a trusted advisor to the CEO and others on the management team, so it’s important to take your time seeking out the right person and to choose a financial arrangement that works for you.   If you are not ready to hire a full-time HR Manager, then an attractive option is to hire a fractional-time outsourced HR Manager.

At Aspire HR Consulting, we provide a full range of HR services, including acting as your outsourced but “in-house” HR Manager, providing professional HR for a reasonable fee.  We think that you will indeed be happier with an HR Manager.  Please contact us directly to discuss your needs.