The definition of an effective human resource employee or representative has evolved over many years. HR management functions, once just an extension of payroll, had been viewed as having little value. As business owners took a hard look at cost of employment law liability and turnover, HR transformed from “non-essential” to a valuable strategic tool that directly contributes to business growth and success.
On average, a small business is not in need of a full time HR associate until around 100 employees. But even organizations with as few as five employees needs HR services; particularly for recruitment and labor law compliance. Whether you are ready to hire full-time, delegate HR duties to an administrator or have realized the value of outsourcing, it helps to consider the characteristics discussed below when evaluating your choices.
It is the job of an HR department or function to create and maintain an environment of peak performance and maximum motivation. Any business owner that is ready to implement full or part-time HR support that adds value to the company, should ask two important questions:
- “Does this person have the ability to uphold the understood standards of our profession or industry?”
- “Is this person an asset or liability to our culture?”
Since the company’s most important goals, philosophies and policies are authored and implemented by the HR department, it is only reasonable to expect that HR staff members can effectively execute them and lead by example. The most basic of traits to look for when hiring in HR include but aren’t limited to:
Ethics and Professional Conduct
Successful business operations are built upon the principles of professional, fair and ethical conduct of employees. A professional image requires you to treat others as you would like to be treated, use appropriate language, be sensitive to cultural diversity, appreciate everyone’s contribution to the success of the business, respect others’ opinions and maintain a positive attitude. HR associates at any level should pride themselves in being an enthusiastic and personable team player.
An effective HR representative must be respected in order to be taken seriously. Those who seek assistance or guidance from HR must always feel as though the person they are dealing with has the experience and knowledge to “relate”. Employees are the HR department’s customers and should always feel they are being treated professionally and with dignity.
HR departments must be comprised of people who can always preserve confidentiality and be trusted to always exercise sound judgment as to when and how private or sensitive information is divulged. Particularly with the passing of recent HIPAA laws and regulations, companies can face serious legal consequences and costs if protected information is improperly released.
Human resource management can be a valuable tool company wide, when representatives use their skills to bridge gaps that exist between employees and supervisors. In summary, a good HR hire is someone who is trusted at all levels, regarded as an employee advocate and is viewed by executive management as a strategic resource able to generate a return on investment of the company’s most expensive asset: its employees.
Click the link to view our recent blog: The Value of Performance Reviews or check back for more on human resources, payroll, insurance and benefits.