When your business was more in the planning stages than in the real world of leases and production deadlines, it was easy to think of human resources as a topic reserved for later. As you’ve begun to realize your vision, though, dealing with the growing number of people in your organization has probably become more challenging.

When You Need a Human Resources Expert

It isn’t just all the forms and legalities involved in maintaining a staff, either. Your business will eventually reach a point where grabbing a couple of pizzas for lunch and inviting everyone into the conference room or warehouse for a powwow won’t work anymore. Your human resources management style may be loose, but it still needs structure and stability. Let’s explore some situations you may encounter that’ll tell you your small business needs some expert help:

You interview too many (or too few) people for every opening – Choosing a new hire for your business from three qualified applicants may be just the right amount of research and face time to locate the perfect employee. If you are interviewing six or eight candidates and still not finding a good fit, you probably need some help deciphering resumes or conducting initial phone interviews.

You delegate HR tasks to the wrong people – You wouldn’t hire the beverage guy from your neighborhood fast food restaurant to head up your sales department, so don’t expect a novice at human resources to excel at handling employee matters. If you cringe at the thought of a phone interviewer asking how old a candidate is, then pay attention to what’s going on when your help staff starts talking to potential candidates or dealing with your employees about policy matters. Whether they’re accidental or not, some slips can get you into big trouble.

You make guesses and keep your fingers crossed – If you have your part-time accountant or admin performing human resources duties and questions about legal procedures don’t ever come up, someone is probably doing something wrong. Human resource management is a complicated specialty, and there are legal issues involved that can be confusing — even for the pros. If you’re guessing about policy or doing what someone’s last boss did, then you definitely need help.

If the HR component of your business needs a little work but you can’t afford a dedicated human resources manager, third party HR consultants, or human resources outsourcing organizations (PEOs), can provide you with the expertise you need to make a start in the right direction. Workforce professionals specialize in helping companies establish policies that conform to current federal and state employment laws. They also help businesses institute best practice policies and procedures that are fair and consistent as well as legal. The first step is to recognize your company needs expert help.