Inc. 5000 honorees tell us how they would tackle a common business challenge. This month: How did you know it was time to hire a human resources manager?

Susan Griffin-Black 

Co-founder and co-CEO, EO Products (consumer products and services)
No. 2,587 2017 rank  |  136% Growth  |  $33M Revenue

"We had 10 people, and part of our production staff spoke Spanish. My Spanish wasn't fluent. The woman we hired was bilingual. We have a diverse group of people, and building community, building culture, understanding all things legal, and being able to develop our company mindfully have been critical."

David Lancashire

Founder and CEO, Projekt202 (software)
No. 2,507 2017 rank  |  141% Growth  |  $32.1M Revenue

"Once we got to the point where we were scaling our organization into multiple cities, we brought in a vice president of talent management. We needed to provide services--­like recruiting--across multiple locations."

John Simpson

Co-founder and CEO, Patra (insurance)
No. 1,622 2017 rank  |  243% Growth  |  $28.3M Revenue

"Addressing a huge recruiting effort was a big part of it. Millennials don't find insurance exciting, and we needed someone who could figure out how to appeal to that generation of job seekers."

Henry Albrecht

Co-founder and CEO, Limeade (human resources)
No. 1,662 2017 Rank  |  235% Growth  |  $26.5M Revenue

"If you have growth, you end up doing a fair amount until you can't do it anymore: You're doing performance reviews for 10 people, you're dealing with benefits decisions that you have no business dealing with. That's when it's time to bring on someone to manage your day-to-day HR function."

Beth Monaghan

CEO, InkHouse (media)
No. 2,964 2017 Rank  |  113% Growth  |  $14.4M Revenue

"When you're small and you've just started, it's like you're family. Sometimes your employees won't feel comfortable coming to you with certain issues because of that. Around the time we took on our 10th employee, I saw the value of hiring someone who was not emotionally involved to deal with those concerns."

Rankings and data are taken from the 2017 Inc. 5000: Growth is calculated from 2013 to 2016; revenue is from 2016.

From the March/April 2018 issue of Inc. Magazine