We asked members of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) to share their experiences when their teams first reached a critical mass.
Scope of Duties
"When we faced the decision about whether to hire an HR manager, we decided to outsource the task to a HR company that specializes in HR, employment, and health and safety matters.
"It helped us update our HR policies to meet current requirements; created customized documents such as our company handbook; and outlined policies for onboarding new employees, holiday and sick pay, redundancy, and many other HR-related procedures. They also had a 24-hour hotline we could call for guidance and support when we run into troublesome situations. By outsourcing the task, we gain the support and expertise that one lone employee could not have provided."
Julia Langkraehr, EO UK--London
Strategic Coach, Julia Langkraehr
"Unfortunately, instead of a proper human resources department, many companies end up building a psychiatric service for employees to discuss office politics. Obviously HR is much more than that and integrating its function should involve strengthening the company's culture too, because getting it wrong increases tensions and the number of policies a company needs to implement to keep people in line.
"A human resources department should act as a gatekeeper of culture and most problems related to HR can be eliminated by hiring those with the same core values in the first place. Our HR department has been able to recruit 365 days a year, which gives us a 'virtual bench' from where we can handpick candidates. This allows us to hire based on cultural fit."
Christopher Thierry, EO Montreal
Trust and Connections
"The first step to successful integration of a human resources department is to define how it would best support the organization. I quickly learned that the skill sets of human resources professionals vary. I was looking for someone who could set up the organization to grow and minimize the usual growing pains. They needed experience and vision, but most importantly, they must have the ability to build trust because growth results in organizational changes. With a professional who could build trust, changes would be easier to accept.
"Our department was able to help me better understand the personal side of employees and gave me better exposure to them and their needs. As the organization increased in size, the direct contact with employees decreased, and human resources became invaluable in bridging relationships within the organization."
Tejune Kang, EO New York
Founder and CEO, Six Dimensions