Ask the Experts: When Should Your Growing Company Establish HR?

In this second post in a three-part series, our HR roundtable turns its attention to the biggest expansion-stage pain point HR can help address.

HR roundtable

The benefits the right HR pro can bring to your organization go far beyond conducting annual reviews and handing out the employee handbook. HR can help plan and implement major initiatives, create and foster company-wide alignment, and, when necessary, take a step back and evaluate your company’s performance and direction. In short, it can play an integral part in helping your business grow.

But what is the most important thing HR can bring to expansion-stage companies?

Last week, we kicked off our HR roundtable by asking our group of experts: When should a growing company first establish an HR department and what should it look for in its first HR hire?

This time, they provide feedback on the #1 thing HR should focus on and can help with once they’re on board.

For expansion-stage companies, what is the biggest pain point HR can help address? What is the biggest benefit it can provide?

Kathy Rapp, SVP at hrQ, Fistful of Talent blogger

Biggest pain point – how to scale. Whether it’s infrastructure, talent, programs, or communication, HR can help organizations plan and implement in order to scale. The greatest benefit is having all of these elements in place or knowing how they will be put in place before there is a need.

HR can also think differently about expansion through the use of contingent labor. It’s a huge trend for small organizations who don’t need full-time staff; for growing organizations who have spurts of talent needs; and for established organizations who need a more flexible solution to workforce planning and/or need a highly skilled employee for a specific project.

The TribeHR Team

When your business is growing, recruiting, selection, and onboarding can become all-consuming pain points. When non-expert employees and managers are given responsibility for them, they can be ridiculously inefficient. A talented HR manager can guide them through these processes, so that other important projects don’t get neglected.

In terms of benefits, HR is very good at taking a step back and honestly evaluating an organization. HR managers will actually tell you when your culture has problems. As we roll into 2013, we expect more HR managers will also have real data and hard numbers to back up their gut instincts.

Kris Dunn, Chief Human Resources Officer at Kinetix, Founder of HR Capitalist and Fistful of Talent

Recruiting and performance management help. HR can help hire the best people and get goal alignment going in a way where your employees feel like they’re gaining traction in their career. They enjoy skill and knowledge development while they do great work for your company.

Tim Sackett, President at HRU Technical Resources, Fistful of Talent blogger

An HR pro working in an expansion-stage of a company has to be able to fill voids. Growing companies have an untold number of things that nobody wants to own because everyone is so overwhelmed and busy. This creates opportunity for those who are willing to step in and fill those voids. It doesn’t have to be HR-specific – let’s face it, in our organizations everything we do touches our people – so there is your connection. Now go take ownership.

This is the number one way HR can add value to a growing company. Don’t wait to be asked to do something – step up and start doing the stuff that we all see needs to be done. Is it usually dirty work? Yep. But it will get you noticed, it will be appreciated, and it will put you in a position of leadership within your organization.

Read on for the conclusion of our HR roundtable discussion, when our HR experts reveal the best HR tools and software that companies can use to stay lean.

But before you do, let us know what you think:

What is the biggest pain point HR has helped your company address? What challenges do you continue to face?

photo by: quinn.anya

Share Your Thoughts

  • Rory Trotter

    Thanks for sharing this, Diana.

    I particularly agree with Kathy’s point that HR is great with helping organizations with scaling up. Process implementation is a big part of what we do as HR pros!

    Good read.

    Keep writing!

    Best,

    Rory