What does HR do anyway?

screenshot-2016-11-05-15-47-32Having been in the field of HR a very long time, there is one thing I know. Most people don’t understand what Human Resources does. Hiring or recruiting is actually only a minor part of the job. Here is a list of what is included under the umbrella of HR:

  • Oversees job recruits, selection, review, and promotion.
  • Creates a compelling orientation program for new hires.
  • Evaluates and oversees employee benefits and wellness programs.
  • Facilitates meetings to ensure balanced participation.
  • Provides guidance regarding disciplinary actions.
  • Assists in creating and monitoring employee morale and company culture.
  • Develops and provides employee development opportunities and plans. This includes developing and conducting training programs.
  • Develops and enforces company policies in order to ensure compliance with regulatory entities (IRS, EDD, DOL, Dept. Homeland Security, etc) and maintain consistency and morale.
  • Serves as a primary contact for work-site injuries / accidents and investigations.

During the rapid company growth of the 1980s and 1990s with the dotcom boom, many startups were led by people who had no business knowledge and when they finally decided they needed HR, they promoted the lowest level person in the organization often a receptionist or assistant to the position to oversee payroll and make sure that they were compliant with basic laws. Some of these people rose to the occasion and learned the real role of HR. Others simply became the bureaucratic police of paperwork. Unfortunately, this has become the reputation of HR.

As a start-up, you don’t need a real HR person until you have scaled to at least 25 people.

Here is what you need when you are starting:

  1. Outsource payroll with a good company. Read our blog on payroll. You will need to have someone submit payroll, but that is a simple process.
  2. Think about and consciously create and document your company culture. At ProfHire, we present our values on our website. We also have an internal set of values that are important to building our personal culture.

As you start to think about adding HR to your staff, keep in mind, HR is not a person, but a department. Look at the list of competencies above and decide exactly what you need before hiring someone.