If you’re reading this article, chances are that you are wondering whether or not your company needs support in human resources (HR) and recruiting. Properly managed people operations are imperative to a company’s success. When teams are well-balanced and company cultures healthy, productivity and revenue take a positive bump, too.

Managing people operations and navigating the many regulations of HR and people operations are both time-consuming and difficult tasks. Hiring new employees, managing payrolls, fielding complaints and ensuring legal compliance at every step are all critical responsibilities for companies with employees.

While small businesses may be able to handle HR and recruiting tasks on their own, especially during the earlier days, growing companies often need to hire internal HR staff members or outsource HR functions by partnering with recruiting and people operations firms. Business owners should be focused on growing their businesses and running day-to-day operations, and while HR certainly remains a part of their level of interest, there are some key signs that it might be time to hire help.

What is HR, anyway?

Human resources, or HR, is the process of overseeing and shaping employee matters. The term “human resources” can describe the work itself or the company’s entire workforce.

HR can also go by other names, such as Culture and People Management, People Management, and so on.

HR professionals carry out the functions associated with overseeing and shaping employee matters. These can include important functions including:

  • Staffing: Recruiting prospective employees and assembling a workforce of employees in various capacities (full-time, part-time, freelance). The administration of benefits is often included in this function.
  • Employee Development: Onboarding and developing employees is an important part of any well-oiled HR machine. Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs), employee milestones, development plans, and even disciplinary guidelines are all a part of this function.
  • Compensation: HR departments typically administer payroll and often play a role in shaping the pay scale and salary ranges offered.
  • Health and safety: In many HR departments, health and safety education are top-of-mind and highly important functions of the role. This includes administering training and ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all employees.
  • Employee and labor relations: When disputes arise, HR teams manage the solutions-finding process. HR can also represent an employer in instances where employees unionize, strike, or otherwise seek changes to working conditions. When employee discipline is required – including termination of employment – HR plays an important role in ensuring that all labor laws are observed.
  • Cost management: HR is a key part of your overall business strategy. This function provides data and analytics to inform issues like succession planning and helps you understand employee burn rate and more.

6 signs your company needs HR and recruitment support

1. You don’t know who is supposed to be managing hiring and people ops

Many small companies spread their HR functions across team members, often headed by the owner of the company or an office manager. In some cases, companies may delegate HR functions to department heads (ex. sales or marketing leaders) as opposed to having a singular person or team responsible for the many tasks and functions that fall under the umbrella of HR.

As a business owner, you probably wish to be involved in the hiring process to some degree. Hiring managers – that is, the individuals to whom a new hire will report – often take the lead on recruitment efforts when their team has a new vacancy within companies where no HR function is present. When this happens, it can easily and quickly become confusing to understand who, precisely, is responsible for what as it relates to hiring and people ops. What’s more, redundancies can occur which then impact the overall productivity and the efficiency of your teams!

It’s worth considering hiring HR and recruiting support when you find yourself trying to figure out exactly who is responsible for these activities. Without a dedicated recruitment point person, you risk:

  • delivering a poor candidate experience
  • missing out on applications because they’re falling through the cracks
  • redundancies in efforts (more than one person contacting the same candidates, listing jobs, etc.)
  • loss of productivity
  • a game of “passing the buck” on recruitment and people ops activities

2. HR duties are seeping into the rest of your team’s time

Human resources duties are time-consuming and often challenging, especially if the person responsible for these duties is not an expert in this field. As such, handling such duties can take your team(s) away from the duties for which they were hired.

Consider the following scenario: Your Marketing Manager is seeking a new digital marketing coordinator to join the team. In order to hire for this position, the manager must:

  • Define the role and its responsibilities, determine a salary range or pay-scale, and create a job advertisement;
  • Post the job advertisement to job boards and promote the vacancy. This can include social media promotion, paying for placements, and more;
  • Screen applicants and determine which applicants to invite to interview. This may also include planning for, administering, and “marking” tests such as personality/fit assessments, or skills-based assignments;
  • Interview job candidates, including determining the questions to ask and then figure which candidate(s) to invite to another interview or offer employment to;
  • Write and send an offer of employment, handle any negotiation, and complete the hiring process;
  • Plan for, execute, and manage the employee onboarding process, including training, obtaining required hardware/software and administration of training, preparation of new hire paperwork (ex. tax forms, insurance paperwork, etc) and more.

If you think that sounds like a full-time job in and of itself, you’re not wrong. But that’s not all.

According to GetHired.com, the average cost associated with a new employee is almost $19,000. This figure includes both the recruitment costs and the hiring process costs… and that’s just the average! This cost is increased exponentially when you consider the productivity loss of having your existing team pulled away from their duties to concentrate on activities associated with hiring.

By partnering with an HR or recruitment service, you can increase the ROI on hiring and reduce the likelihood of lost productivity associated with hiring new team members.

3. You’re having a hard time recruiting top talent

Every company wants to hire the best possible talent, which means that every employer has competition when it comes to attracting candidates. If you’re struggling to attract top talent, it could come down to a number of things.

For starters, recruiting is a time-consuming (and can be an expensive) business. Without a dedicated recruiter or team dedicated to recruitment, it can be challenging devoting time from your busy day-to-day to concentrate on the activities associated with recruiting.

In addition, there’s more that goes into writing job advertisements that attract great candidates. Professional recruiters and HR professionals know what’s required and how to make the most attractive job descriptions, where to post, and even how best to market your company as an employer of choice.

HR pros can also expertly manage the recruitment process from beginning to end, which increases the likelihood that you seal the deal with the candidates who apply for roles with your company. They know what it takes to create next-level candidate experiences from interview to onboarding and increase the likelihood of both signing the top talent and retaining them.

4. You’re experiencing high rates of employee attrition or turnover

In addition to difficulty finding top talent, a common sign that your HR and recruiting needs help is when you’re experiencing difficulty retaining top talent.

Organizations should aim for a 10% attrition rate but according to an SHRM Human Capital Benchmarking Report, most organizations have rates of 12-20%. While it’s true that turnover occurs for a vast number of reasons, if you’re seeing higher than normal levels of turnover, it could be a sign that you need some help.

If your company culture stinks, employees simply won’t want to stick around. Having HR support to address cultural complaints and assist in building a more positive and healthy corporate culture can make a big difference.

Sometimes, cultural issues arise because bad hires have taken place – a problem that can occur because the person or persons responsible for hiring don’t have the expertise required to assess what is and isn’t a good hiring decision.

Speaking of bad hires… sometimes poor fit leads to turnover in and of itself. This can occur when an employee has joined your company only to realize that they’re not well-suited for the role for which they were hired. Sometimes, this happens as a result of inexperienced hiring teams who haven’t adequately or accurately described the role or company culture. Sometimes, it happens regardless.

A poor onboarding experience can also cause high rates of turnover as it gets new employees starting their jobs on the wrong foot, thus staining their view of the company.

While having help with your HR and recruiting won’t magically eliminate these issues, these issues can most definitely be better mitigated with the expertise and experience that HR and recruitment companies bring to the table.

5. Your onboarding process is failing new hires

When small companies are onboarding new employees, it’s probable that each new hire will have relatively easy access to the majority of the existing team. Onboarding sessions can be informally held, with opportunities for new hires to meet with and learn from other team members. In larger or fast-growing companies, however, this becomes far more challenging – especially if many new hires are beginning their work in a short period of time.

One in 10 employees say they’ve left a job because of a poor onboarding experience. Onboarding serves to set your new hires up for success, acclimating them to your company and its culture, and setting the tone for their experience as a part of your business.

When you do not have an onboarding process outlined, these activities are often left to the hiring managers to handle individually. This means that employees may have vastly different experiences in their onboarding, which can create dissent and lead to higher rates of voluntary turnover, poor corporate cultures, and even lost revenue. On the flip side, a good onboarding experience can lead to increased productivity and more positive outcomes.

6. Your company is growing fast

When your company is on a significant growth trajectory, the last thing you want to do is be pulled away from growth activities like building revenue and levelling your marketing up. Plus, have you ever tried to hire a lot of people in a short period of time? It’s a lot of work!

When your company is growing fast – especially when your hiring needs are growing at the same exponential rate – it’s probably time to seek help with your HR and recruiting needs. Here’s why.

Hiring for multiple positions at once is a huge undertaking. From job description creation to setting salary and compensation ranges, posting job advertisements, reviewing applicants, interviewing and negotiating offers, the activities associated with hiring can pile up quickly even when you’re hiring for a single position. Further, if you’re currently asking various managers to handle these activities there’s a significant degree of likelihood that applicants are having disparate experiences as they meet with different managers who choose to handle these activities in their own ways.

By having a dedicated HR team or recruiter handling all of these activities, you can offer a unified and highly personalized experience to each candidate – regardless of what role they’ve applied for.

Wrapping up – Don’t skimp on HR and recruiting

Every company has unique needs when it comes to HR and recruiting. What works for one may not work for another, and what works today may need to be tweaked tomorrow. This is why bringing in external help to support your HR and recruiting needs can make all the difference to your efforts and your overall business success. When you work with an organization such as Profiles Asia Pacific or other HR and recruiting companies, you’ll gain access to a wealth of experience and expertise to create a strategy that’s customized to your unique needs.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick