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If you’re a business owner or startup founder, when you made your first hire you started handling HR. With the growth of any organization, often business owners find that it takes a surprising amount of time to handle the HR function in their organization. And in addition to HR, you’re also probably handling technology, marketing, finances, and so much more!

No matter the size of the business, owners wear a lot of hats. You’ll reach a point when you need to hand some of those tasks off to someone else. Before you delegate the increasing list of HR tasks, make sure you take time to carefully consider the options.

1. Assign HR tasks to a member of your team

Generally, the first step a founder or owner will take is to assign HR tasks to someone on the team. But that can be problematic. According to ADP research reported by SHRM, in that situation, “81% of [delegates] aren’t confident in their HR skills, and 82% have no formal HR training.”

If you’re going to delegate HR tasks to an employee on your team, you want to ensure they’re prepared. Allocate a budget for skill and knowledge development and find them quality training. It’s critical the person in that role clearly understands the employment laws that affect your business at its current size and next stage. They should also learn proven practices that maintain and improve productivity at your workplace including hiring and onboarding, employee relations, manager development and reward strategies. If you go this route, be prepared to incur legal costs as the individual is learning, and commit your time to ensure the work follows local, state and federal law and aligns with your risk tolerance.

2. Hire an in-house HR professional

If you’re ready to delegate HR another option is to hire an in-house professional onto your team. This will ensure you have someone with HR knowledge supporting the people side of your business. Having someone with the necessary skills often comes as a relief for CEOs.

“It seems to me that, especially in a small company, your HR person really has to be your people development person, so they have to have some skills and chops,” the CEO of a sales and marketing training company with five employees told SHRM.

“Especially in a small company, your HR person really has to be your people development person, so they have to have some skills and chops.”

Those skills come with a salary, benefits, and other costs associated with hiring a full-time employee. Anticipated costs for an HR Manager include a salary of at least $60K plus the cost of benefits. If you’re going to invest in hiring an experienced HR professional, make sure you hire someone who has worked within your industry, in organizations of similar size, and has the knowledge to effectively take on your HR initiatives.

3. Partner with an outsourced HR provider

If you want to work with an HR expert but don’t want to make the investment in hiring a full-time employee, outsourcing your HR function is a great option. Often founders and business owners decide to outsource HR when they can no longer juggle the many competing priorities on their plate and don’t want to risk delegating the tasks to someone who doesn’t have the necessary HR knowledge.

Our HR Services team works with clients in a variety of ways to take the weight off their shoulders. In some cases, clients choose to have our consultants train and support an internal employee to help set up the function. In other cases, our consultants create, implement and manage the day-to-day details of the HR strategy.

Making the decision to outsource your HR function helps keep the costs manageable with the right support level for your business, while allowing you to scale the function and increase the support as your organization grows.

Making the choice to delegate your HR function shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is critical that all the key areas of the function are attended to and your business isn’t taking unnecessary risks. If you’d like to talk through your options, questions or concerns, please reach out. We enjoy helping organizations assess their HR needs and determine an appropriate next step when it comes to managing human resources.