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It’s not at all unusual for small to mid-sized companies to share HR responsibilities among senior leadership. Perhaps your finance officer handles payroll, your office manager deals with benefits and tracking time off, and your president meets with every job candidate.

This type of system can work for a long time if you remain small, stay on top of compliance regulations and the workers you employ are satisfied with their jobs and your company.

As you continue to grow, however, at some point you will need to hire an HR professional to manage the increasingly complicated HR functions that grow alongside your employee population.

Waiting until a valued employee quits, someone files a complaint, or an auditor shows up at your doorstep isn’t wise. Instead, take a proactive approach and be on the lookout for these five signs that the time to hire an HR pro is now.

1. HR Functions Are Interfering with Other Duties

Leaders in small companies often have HR functions layered on top of their regular duties. Which means it’s possible to be involved in a strategic planning meeting one moment and showing a new employee where the break room is the next.

Many of these leaders lack the tools, technology, skills or desire to oversee the complex requirements of HR and can feel uncomfortably pulled in multiple directions.

Unfortunately, multiple business areas can end up suffering when people are stretched too thin. Consider how your team’s time is being allocated and determine if HR duties are the best use of their time and talents.

2. Employees Needs Aren’t Being Met in a Timely Manner

Making sure payroll and tax statements are completed on time is a given when it comes to HR. But there are many other duties that an HR professional needs to handle, especially when it comes to employee relations.

Have you had an employee request help with a sensitive issue or compliance concern only to get distracted by other critical duties in the middle of addressing it? Meanwhile, a couple weeks have gone by and the employee is feeling ignored and increasingly frustrated.

If there isn’t a person dedicated to handle HR issues, employee morale will diminish, and word will likely spread among your workforce about how unresponsive the company is to employee concerns.

Employees increasingly want to manage their own information through a portal that allows them to electronically see how many vacation days they have remaining, to change 401(k) contributions, retrieve payroll documents and more. Modern HRSI software integrates payroll, compliance, employee records and the ability for employees to securely access their records at any time without having to knock on HR’s door.

3. Rules (and Enforcement) Are More Like the Wild West

Is one employee repeatedly reprimanded for being late while another’s tardiness is never addressed? Do you require women to wear high-heals and dresses, but the men can come to work in khakis and polos? Do certain workers get away with roughhousing or crude language because “that’s just how they are,” but others would face disciplinary action?

There are many labor laws enforced by the Department of Labor (DOL) that are easy to inadvertently overlook, but your ignorance of compliance responsibilities isn’t going to get you out of paying fines. It’s HR’s job to understand applicable regulations, establish standards and treat employees equally.

4. You Are Experiencing Higher-Than-Average Turnover

Retaining quality employees is paramount to growing a business and keeping costs in check. It’s normal to have some turnover of staff, but if you’ve recently begun to notice a mass exodus, it’s time to investigate why.

Poor management of HR functions can lead to frustrated workers, complaints and high turnover. Constantly recruiting and hiring is not only expensive in the short-term, it also hurts you in the long-term when you lose institutional knowledge and need to start from scratch.

5. You Aren’t Prepared for Crisis

A proactive approach in business is always better than reacting when the unexpected happens. Do you have an emergency preparedness plan in place in the event of a natural disaster? What is your evacuation plan? What is your business continuity plan?

If 2020 taught us nothing else, it’s that the world is an unpredictable place where one year can see record-braking storm damage, civil unrest and even a world-wide pandemic. COVID-19 employment issues have shown many employers that they need a more structured and dedicated approach to handling HR functions in their company.

Need an HR Pro, But Aren’t Quite Ready to Hire One?

Every business needs the knowledge and experience of HR professionals to run smoothly, but not every business has the resources, or necessity, to hire a dedicated HR pro.

Many leaders, instead, turn to outsourced HR services to handle HR functions like payroll as well as provide guidance and ensure regulatory compliance.

As your business changes, make sure your HR approach changes with it. Check out the infographic below for a helpful comparison between In-House and Outsourced HR or reach out to our team to learn more about the benefits of partnering with McCloneHR.

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A collection of articles from the McClone team with the helpful knowledge and insights to ensure your organization is well protected.