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?

I tell my employees, Bill is objective, here for you, a go-to resource. He’s my intermediary.

– owner, national bakery

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 communication skills, high emotional IQ, problem-solving and leadership ability.

HR Manager Functions

HR managers do a wide variety of jobs, including sourcing and hiring new employees, onboarding/off-boarding, performance management, handling employee issues with sensitivity and confidentially, legal compliance, handling legal claims and doing investigations, writing policies, and payroll and benefit services. It is said that a good HR Manager is a combination of lawyer and psychiatrist!

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?

Unlike large companies, small businesses do not have an HR department to intermediate when difficulties arise between the employer and employee. “I’ve seen situations where an employee has sued after being terminated, claiming that behavior most people would find innocuous was offensive to the employee’s cultural sensibilities… a smart HR professional would ensure this type of behavior did not occur at the workplace before it became a problem.”

– partner, New York based business management company

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 fraction of the cost of a full time manager.  We think that you will indeed be happier with an HR Manager.  Please contact us directly to discuss your needs.

Top 5 Benefits of HR Outsourcing

While there are many benefits of outsourcing HR, here’s what our clients love most:

1 – having an experienced HR partner to talk to in confidence

2 – handing over day-to-day administrative duties for which they have no time.

3 – getting more structure and order in hiring, onboarding, and policy development.

4 – having peace of mind that they are in compliance with state and federal employment laws.

5 – having an experienced HR pro to help them recruit, interview and hire better employees.

Bonus – having an intermediary that can talk to their employees and resolve problems, act as a resource, and communicate policies.