Why Your Organization Needs a Dedicated HR Staff Member
It's easy to underestimate the importance of human resources, as it's one of those behind-the-scene functions that often go unnoticed. Yet, without HR, your organization is unlikely to flourish.
Why? Because HR isn't just about headhunting and running the payroll. HR also takes care of things like employee welfare and workplace culture. That’s why your organization needs a dedicated HR manager.
Why Human Resources Matters in Public Sector Organizations (PBOs)
When done right, human resources management in the public sector will cultivate a workplace where employees are motivated to serve the public. Sure, you could outsource some HR functions, but an in-house HR manager can be more valuable to your organization.
Here are five ways hiring an HR manager can benefit public sector organizations:
- Streamline HR processes. By centralizing your HR system, you can serve your employees more efficiently. Implementing automated HR systems can help you cut through red tape faster.
- Recruit and retain top talent. PBOs face the challenge of competing against private companies on salaries, incentives, and career opportunities. An HR specialist can develop an HR strategy to position your organization as an attractive employer.
- Foster a positive workplace culture. Recruiting employees is one thing; retaining them is another. The organization's culture can influence employee happiness and job performance. An HR professional has the skills needed to transform your workplace culture into one that's positive, inclusive and reflects diversity.
- Support employee onboarding and training. Busy line managers can neglect new employees, leaving them to "find their feet." An HR manager can manage employees’ induction and develop an individualized career plan to support their growth in the organization.
- Improve communication within the organization. Government organizations have historically followed a top-down communication approach that inhibits open dialogue between employees and management. HR can facilitate two-way communication that encourages employees to express their opinions.
How the Absence of an HR Manager Can Harm Your Organization
As you can see, the role of HR professionals is complex. Trying to manage all the facets of HR yourself can result in oversights that can have serious consequences for your organization.
Here's how the absence of a dedicated HR Manager could harm your organization:
- Failing to comply with labor laws can attract penalties. Your organization could be penalized if you do not adhere correctly to labor laws. HR practitioners understand all laws related to fair wages, employment conditions, workplace safety and taxation. They will ensure your organization is compliant.
- Your performance management may be inconsistent. With no HR-approved performance management policy to follow, each line manager may manage employee performance differently. This can lead to inconsistencies in how employees are rewarded and cause resentment to fester among employees.
- You may fail to uphold employee rights. Every employee has a right to work in a safe environment. With no HR department to defend their rights, employees may feel they have no recourse against acts of bullying, aggression, discrimination or sexual harassment.
- Unresolved conflicts could create tension in the workplace. Conflict in the workplace doesn't only impact the parties involved. The tension it creates can affect all employees. HR professionals are trained in conflict resolution and can mediate between parties to resolve problems faster.
- You could be at risk for lawsuits. Without an HR manager to address unfair labor practices and acts of discrimination or harassment, employees could initiate legal action against your organization.
When is the Right Time to Hire an HR Manager?
If you’re leading a small organization, you may decide to assign HR tasks to other departments instead of hiring an HR staff member. For example, your accountant may handle payroll, and your department heads may manage their own recruitment.
At some point, you'll have to assess whether it is viable to continue doing so or if the time has come to hire an HR manager. But how do you determine when to hire an HR manager? Here are four clues.
- Your employee headcount has increased. You could probably get by without an HR manager with 50 employees, but once you reach 100 employees, the need for a dedicated HR staff member becomes more apparent.
- Your management team spends too much time on HR matters. Your managers should focus on tasks that support the organization's goals. If HR tasks take up much of their time, you should consider hiring an HR manager.
- You're adding or expanding business units. Are you setting up a public relations department or adding a data science division to your IT department? You are likely to need an HR person to manage a growing organization.
- Your employees are disengaged. With no one to nurture your employees, their engagement levels will likely drop. Disengaged employees are more inclined to seek greener pastures. If you're experiencing a high staff turnover, it's a sign that your employees could benefit from a dedicated HR staff member.
Where to Find Human Resources Personnel
If you're ready to hire an HR staff member, where can you find the best HR candidates? Here are a few channels to pursue in your recruitment strategy:
- Hire internally. For example, promote an office manager to the position of HR manager.
- Headhunt in other public service organizations. Let's say you are recruiting for a public hospital; put your feelers out to other hospitals in your district.
- List your position on government job portals. USAJobs.gov and Governmentjobs.com are two popular government job boards.
- Use the services of a recruitment consultant specializing in human resources, like CPS HR Consulting.
Like every other vertical in your organization, human resources requires specialized skills. That's why you shouldn't delegate HR tasks to unqualified employees. You could outsource HR functions, but hiring a dedicated HR professional will likely be more beneficial to your organization.
CPS HR Consulting provides recruitment services and training courses for public sector organizations. If you need help recruiting HR staff, we can help. Fill in this short online form and we’ll be in touch.