The time is finally here - you need to add additional headcount to your business and have realized the important impact HR will have on employee engagement and people operations. It is a good feeling knowing that you have made it to this point in your business! By hiring this additional key team player, your business is really about to take off. However, now comes the challenge where you need to ensure you hire the right HR manager. With the momentum your company is seeing, you need someone that will match that and build the people side of your business. Here are some things to keep a lookout for through your interview process!
Find someone with experience building an HR department. This is when you should assess whether the individual is speaking confidently and that they have a leadership style that matches your team. To be an effective HR manager for a growing small business, they must be well rounded in the legal landscape, they must have experience in employee relations, and they must be able to manage the full recruitment cycle. In this case, someone with experience in one area of HR (example - benefits) may struggle to navigate the many other areas of HR such as payroll, employment law, and talent acquisition.
Well versed in conflict resolution. I often hear HR professionals say they went into HR because they are a “people person.” Unfortunately, here in HR being a people person can affect the decisions we make. Ultimately, we are the ones running the very tough conversations and at the end of the day, we must be able to look at things with a clear lens. In this case, you need someone that is a problem solver and has no issue taking conflict head on. That does not mean that you hire someone who has no empathy or people skills, it just means you hire someone that can use all of their skill sets and make the right and fair decision.
Ask about their full cycle recruitment experience. With your business growing, you need someone well versed in the whole recruiting cycle, not just one aspect. This is a good time about how they filled a difficult position and how they have thought outside the box to get talent in the door. You want someone with a fresh mindset that can come in and use their prior experience to analyze the current labor market and determine a plan.
Must be able to be adaptable and manage time effectively. The world of business is ever changing and HR managers must be able to be quick on their feet. Whether it is an employee quitting or a safety concern, they must be able to come in and tackle whatever it is at hand. Given that, there is never a day in HR that goes according to plan. They must be able to adjust their schedule and manage the different tasks at hand.
Hiring a human resource professional is a great next step in your business that you will not regret. However, you need to ensure that you hire the right individual to take on this function of the business. In this case, it would be important to ensure that this individual has the soft and hard skills needed to be successful.