Best Practices in HR

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Julien Emery
  June 23, 2016

The Guide to Being a Wildly Efficient One Person HR Team

We recently shared some advice for running a lean HR team, but we recognize that not everyone is in the position to have an HR team in place. If your company employs between 5 – 200 people, you are likely relying on a multi-tasking HR generalist, someone without an HR background wearing many hats, or even just yourself. Whether HR is your trade or if you’re just doing what you can to keep the ship running, we’re here to dish out some more advice to help you save your company and yourself a lot of money and grief down the road.

Let technology do the (low-strategy) work for you

As a one person team, your time is precious; optimize for strategic decision-making and let technology do the rest. Freakonomics author Steve Levitt said, “if you can be 10 percent faster at getting the same thing done, then you’ve got 10 percent of your time to do something you’d rather do.”

In the case of HR processes, technology can help you breeze through a lot of recurring tasks so you can focus on the big picture: executing your leadership’s vision for company culture, working with advisors to design better benefits plans for your employees (more on that later), and figuring out new workflows that can help your company be more efficient.

Incentivize referrals

If you’ve already spent a lot of time posting open job recs to job boards and cold emailing potential hires, you’re probably feeling dejected. After all, finding a great candidate this way could feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.

As a one person HR team, you can’t afford to spend your time this way. According to Glassdoor, “referrals can boost the chance of a positive match by anywhere from 2.6 to 6.6%, higher than any other interview source.” Not all employees are actively thinking about recruiting, though, so sweeten the pot: offer referral bonuses to encourage everyone on the team to reach out to eligible candidates. Chances are, this approach will help you build a stronger team, faster.

Empower teammates across your organization

Getting things done is easier with the help of a team. And even if you’re a one person HR team, you can engage other employees to take on more ownership over work. The key to communicating a culture of ownership is knowing how to delegate. But good delegation isn’t just assigning projects to managers and team leaders, argues Halley Bock for The Muse — it’s about clearly communicating decision-making power, over and over again. When you entrust other teammates to make decisions on their own, you’ll find that HR becomes more of a team effort with distributed responsibilities and not just a weight on one’s shoulders.

Codify your onboarding process

Establishing a clear process for onboarding isn’t enough: write it down and share it broadly with your team. Make it available in a shared doc and upload it to a cloud service. Having a clear and concise checklist can make the onboarding experience stress-free for you and your new hires.

Be sure to create customizable options, add reminders for appropriate team members, and remember to frequently update the doc with new policies and procedures.

Lean on partners and advisors

Being a one person team can be lonely — so why not get by with a little help from your friends? Leverage relationships with your broker, accountant, and tech vendor, among others. These experts can take away from your mental load, and their expertise will serve you well. Not only will they educate you in areas you might not have familiarity with, but they can help you make better decisions by providing an external, unbiased point of view.

Offer self serve options

Think of your business like a frozen yogurt shop that lets customers choose their portions and toppings themselves. You’ll lower your overhead costs and provide a better experience to employees  — not to mention, save your inbox from constant requests that break up your day and your productivity.

Create opportunities for employees to look for and find the information that they need, when they need it. Whether it’s your company’s directory, employee handbook, or overview of your dental plan, creating a place that employees can access themselves means that you won’t be responsible for constantly searching for information on behalf of them.

Stay on top of major compliance issues

You don’t need to be expert in everything (see recommendation above) but you should spend some time familiarizing yourself with key compliance issues. Trust us and think of your future self and read up on ACA, worker misclassification, harassment, and updates to these and other laws as they apply to your state.

Having an advisor you can call up is always a great idea but you should make sure that the latest and greatest information is available at your fingertips and can be shared and acted upon swiftly.

Running your own HR team is challenging and — hopefully — rewarding, but with a few shifts, you’ll find that you’re not all alone. Try applying some of these tactics to your day-to-day work and watch yourself gain back hours of your day.

Don’t forget to download our complete guide to setting up a winning 1-person HR team.
Click Here to Download

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Source: Julien Emer