Chief Operating Officer, Orpheus Cyber, Cyber Security Awards and USA Cyber Awards Judge, industry speaker.
The way the business world thinks about HR has changed since I started working in HR. The growth of our role as business partners means that the department is no longer often seen as a “veto department” (that honor now seems to go to security). I’m excited to see this shift, but I feel businesses can still get more value out of their HR teams, which are underutilized in many places when it comes to business growth.
During periods of growth, especially after a funding round, hiring typically increases significantly. While HR is often responsible for these hiring processes, I see many times when other aspects of HR take a back seat. Increasing headcount becomes more difficult if the company has to replace employees while adding new ones. It also makes recruiting, onboarding, training and team building more difficult. In these cases, HR professionals can take on as many facets of retention goals as they do recruiting. Here are three ways HR can go beyond its basic functions to contribute to business growth.
retain business growth
There are many reasons why retention promotes growth. Replacing staff is costly, especially when onboarding and knowledge loss are factored in. Companies that are able to retain employees will find onboarding and upskilling become faster. It’s also important to take this into account during periods of significant growth, as changing employees can put additional pressure on the recruiting team.
However, new hires or periods of growth can cause some existing employees to feel uneasy. If a company doubles in size, it becomes a different company. Those who enjoyed working there when the company was small may not enjoy it as much as it did when it was growing. They may feel less valuable, such as they have less influence, or they may disagree with new decisions. These things can often be avoided with strong communication, and HR can add tremendous value by collaborating with the leadership team on this.
Retention touches many areas of human resources. Compensation is a key area; it is important to ensure that compensation for existing employees continues to be in line with market conditions, as well as for new hires. Strong communication and engagement with the business is also important – making sure employees understand their role in the company and how they can continue to develop. Leadership is perhaps the most important. It’s often said that people leave managers, not businesses, and this is a key area where HR can grow the business.
Leadership Skills for Business Growth
If HR can create and develop a strong leadership team, it will make a significant contribution to the success of the business. Supporting and developing the existing leadership team is important to retention and recruitment, and to achieving business goals. Despite the importance of the existing leadership team to the business and the ongoing personal development required of each individual, their personal development is often overlooked.
Leadership development is also important for those who have not yet become people leaders in a growing business. First, this enables businesses to hire people with potential and develop them as the business grows. This can be a key way HR can help businesses grow by developing their employees. This helps retention by demonstrating that people have a career path with the company and, importantly, that the company will support their development.
Hiring for Business Growth
Recruiting is what many growing businesses think of when they think of human resources. But not all hiring is created equal. Cost and speed are key components of a strong recruiting process, and if they are tangible, this is often what we aim for our recruiting teams.
The logic seems obvious that better hiring processes hire better people, and better people lead to better business results. However, this can be easily overlooked without getting the most out of your HR team. It’s important to make strong processes part of your recruiting strategy and get leadership support to deliver them. This can include many things from interview training to candidate preparation and even swag. But the most important thing is feedback. Ensuring comprehensive feedback is given to candidates at any stage of the process can set companies apart. If HR can ensure that all members of the business understand the importance of this, the company will reap results in terms of brand and business growth.
Each of these fields can be further developed, but they require skilled HR professionals who understand business goals. By going beyond their basic functions, HR professionals can provide significant value to the wider business and become a critical part of the business achieving its goals.
The Forbes Human Resources Council is an invitation-only organization for HR executives from all industries. Am I eligible?