By Dianna Conover
Small businesses face quite a few obstacles in today’s demanding world. Resources are tight and you are trying to manage your budgets and cut costs wherever you can. A lot of times, HR is the first to go. Who needs it, right? You can take on the responsibility yourself or delegate it down to your managers to hire, terminate, and discipline your employees… Right?
Not really. There is a lot more to HR than hiring and firing. HR establishes fundamental building blocks for your organization, ensuring that everything you do from payroll to performance reviews is in compliance with all of those complicated state and federal laws.
I’m sure you're thinking, “Okay Dianna, I can see HR’s value, but I really can’t afford a full-time HR person.” Understandable. That is where hiring an HR consultant can really help. Not only do you benefit from the expertise and experience of a seasoned HR professional, but you can do it without the cost of paying for a full-time salary. You only pay for the time you need!
While an HR consultant can help you in many ways, here are the top 3 ways an HR consultant can help you:
Employment laws can be complicated. All it takes is one mistake, and you can get served with a costly lawsuit. HR consultants are trained in the ins and outs of employment law and how to protect your business, including compliance in hiring, firing, and general employee relations. Armed with extensive knowledge of FMLA, OSHA, USERRA, and a wide range of other regulations, a consultant can advise you on best practices, posting requirements, minimum wages, and even helping with managing the constant updates that are required.
Outside of employment law, there is a ton of other legal requirements that your business must comply with. Do you know that each of your employee files requires a minimum of 3, separately maintained files? Do you know that violations on your employees’ I-9s can lead to fines of up to $16,000? Scary, right?
Bringing in an HR consultant to audit your files, fix mistakes, and help you build a system to maintain compliance going forward, can ultimately protect your business against costly fines and penalties.
Policy and Procedure Development
Every business needs a handbook whether you have 10,000 employees or 10. Handbooks outline the rules, regulations, and expectations you have for your employees, not only ensuring their success but covering your back in employee disputes. Whether it is outlining how your employees earn and take vacation time, how they dress, or how they can take a leave of absence, developing a policy in your handbook that is inclusive and compliant can be challenging.
While a well-written policy provides guidance on how things operate and can protect you against harassment, discrimination, and other claims, a policy that is not fully developed can open you up to costly litigation and other issues.
Having an HR consultant review, revise, or develop your handbook or policy & procedure manual, will help you create a culture where there is consistency and control, where employees are protected against actions that might endanger their employment, and ensures that all relevant laws and regulations are addressed to protect your business and add accountability.
Let’s be real, hiring employees can be a pain. It takes a ton of time that, honestly, you don’t have. It is figuring out where to post job ads, screening through hundreds of resumes and applications that are not what you are looking for, and then you are tasked with screening and interviewing candidates.
Hiring an HR consultant can save you valuable time by managing your hiring needs, including managing job boards, finding passive candidates, utilizing innovate recruiting methods, shifting through resumes to identify top candidates, screen those and present you a pool of qualified, talented individuals that can make a difference in your organization. Hiring new employees is critical to ensuring the success of your business and you want to do it right, the first time. Don’t waste money, and trust your hiring needs to an HR consultant.
The bottom line is that every business, large or small, needs some kind of HR presence. Bringing in outside help can not only bring you a fresh, new perspective that is free of any biases of your organization, but can also take the burden off of your leadership team in managing a complex, critical piece of the business that they might not be fully equipped to do so.
Arts HR can give you the peace of mind that your people functions are in capable hands so you can dedicate your time to focus on your company. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about how we can help you.