How do you know when to hire an HR manager? If your organization finds itself asking this question, congratulations—it likely means your company’s scaling and that it’s recognized the crucial need for an experienced team of human resource professionals. The less-good news: if you’re asking this question, it’s also likely you’ve already outgrown your current HR department.

Deciding whether or not you need to hire an HR manager depends on a variety of interplaying factors. For example, organizations that are operating in a highly-regulated industry are likely going to need more HR manpower (and a seasoned HR leader to guide them) to navigate compliance concerns. Industry, growth rate, organizational culture considerations—all of these variables play into whether or not it’s time to hire a human resources leader.

Despite this, there are still several key indicators that signal when an organization needs experienced human resources management. If your company recognizes itself in these signs, it may be time to bring a qualified HR manager aboard.

Size Requirements

While there’s no tried-and-true formula for determining the size of a company’s human resource team, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has determined some useful benchmarks. According to SHRM, an organization with at least 500 employees would need, at the minimum, five entirely dedicated HR personnel workers (roughly 1 per 100 full-time employees). An HR team of this size or larger would need strong leadership to operate at its full potential.

It’s also important to note that this metric only accounts for an HR team’s base responsibilities like payroll, benefits, compliance, and recruitment. Organizations that are committing to proactively using their HR department to cultivate a strong company culture and develop a human capital strategy are going to need more HR muscle to achieve those goals.

Difficulty Attracting Talent

If your company’s experiencing challenges identifying, recruiting and retaining talent, it could be due to an absence of reliable HR leadership. Of course, with this comes a classic chicken-and-egg problem: you need to attract high-level talent with an experienced HR manager, but to land the right candidate for the job you need to be able to attract high-level talent. For companies stuck in this particular catch-22, the next step is usually to tap an HR staffing agency to provide an HR professional with the experience needed to set up a robust recruitment plan. The return of investment on these plans is significant— a recent Glassdoor study found that organization’s that invested in a strong candidate experience improved the quality of their hires by over 70%.

Poor Employee Engagement and Retention

Poor employee engagement and retention can spell disaster for even organizations that are experiencing steady growth. They’re also signs of a company that needs leadership in the human resource department. Qualified HR managers can not only mitigate employee exits through improved benefits programs and boosted office morale, but they can also identify the root cause of these departures in the first place. Being able to locate those pain points is invaluable for companies that are looking to expand their HR departments capabilities and take their organizational culture to the next level.

The Next Steps

If this sounds like your organization, the next step is to look into HR consulting services or staffing agencies that specialize in human resources. Even if you’re unsure if an HR manager is the right fit for your company, leading HR staffing agencies will offer temp-to-perm services, so organizations can see if a candidate or position is the right fit for their company before committing.

If you’re still unsure if an HR manager is right for your organization, reach out to Interim—we’ll help you determine the right solution to take your HR department to new heights.

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