When to ask for HR help

How big does my business need to be before I think about HR matters?

We recently visited a rapidly growing company just taking on their sixth member of staff. The Managing Director had not experienced any problems to date, but he wanted peace of mind going forward.

This is a typical scenario. It’s possibly not until you’ve employed 3 or 4 people that you start to think that you should have some formal HR procedures in place.

If I’m asked ‘When do I need HR help?’ my answer would be “As soon as you employ one person”.

The reason for this is that every single employee should have a contract and terms and conditions of employment. In addition, there should be three or four basic HR policies in place. These would include disciplinary, absence, holiday and severe weather. There may be additional policies that are relevant to your industry or if for example you employ shift workers.

This may all sound overkill for one employee, but there are significant benefits for having your HR covered right from the beginning:

  • When employee two and three come along, everything is already in place
  • If for some reason there is an HR issue you are covered
  • You prevent any misunderstandings arising right from the start

In addition, if there are any awkward conversations you’d rather avoid, you have someone available to have them on your behalf.

Please do get in touch if you have been thinking that you ought to put your HR matters in order.