My maternity leave is around the corner. As Human Resource Director, I’m in the process of shuffling around job responsibilities.
Between the various companies we manage, I’m responsible for 5 different payrolls each month and around 90 employees and independent contractors.
I landed in the human resource role by accident. It just kind of happened and I’ve managed to cobble together a system that works even though I’ve never received any formal training in human resources.
I’ll be honest, HR isn’t my first love. I’ve wanted to get the HR component of my job off my plate for a while. Getting pregnant has provided the perfect excuse to do it.
Of course, it also means that I need to find a good human resource director. I’ve worked for my boss for over 13 years and I’m not about to just leave this critical role to anyone.
We started our search three months ago. I don’t know how many human resource director resumes I’ve read, but even finding a good resume can be difficult at times.
I thought we had found the perfect person. She was currently working as an independent contractor for the company. She was very familiar with many of our employees and had a strong background in hospital management and credentialing.
It was a perfect fit.
We offered her the position and she accepted with a start date in early February. Two weeks before she was scheduled to start she contacted us to let us know she had accepted another job.
I have no issues with someone choosing another job if it is a better fit – in fact, I highly encourage it.
What I have are issues with the timing.
She knew our situation and had to be out interviewing to get the position she got. She could have easily let us know it just wasn’t going to be the right fit and it wouldn’t be an issue. However, because of the way she handled the situation she lost a rather lucrative side gig as an independent contractor for our company.
I’ll be honest, I was really frustrated. I had based a big chunk of my training schedule on her existing knowledge of our field and our company itself. Having someone take a position when they are already familiar with the company makes an enormous difference in training. Because of the timing, we would have had 2 1/2 months of training time before my due date.
Fortunately for me, an employee of another company we contract with heard about our dilemma and contacted us to see if she would be a good fit.
I got lucky, the new applicant has worked out even better than the first one and has a stronger background in human resource and business development which is perfect for our needs.
Matching the right employee to the right position:
As I’ve gone through this experience I’ve realized how important matching employees to the right position is.
As I’ve trained with our new employee, who actually has human resource training, I’ve come to realize how many ways our HR systems can be improved.
Did my system work, yes, but it wasn’t scalable.
Based on our current projections our company is going to explode in growth this year. The policies and procedures I had put in place were designed for a small company atmosphere.
Was I doing a good job in the position – yes, but sometimes a good job isn’t enough.
It is a very common problem to face when going through a growth spurt. People who could handle a position at a lower level are suddenly thrust into a situation that is beyond their skill level to handle.
A smart employer will notice these potential growth issues and start planning for them in advance.
The problem is always time.
Avoiding Future Problems:
I’ve known for a while that I wasn’t the right person to be handling our human resource department functions long term. I had spoken with my boss about it many times, but the system was working and none of us really had time to make the needed changes. Which for us was either extra training for me or the hiring of someone with extensive human resource experience.
My getting pregnant forced us to face the issue and I firmly believe that in the long run, the company will be better because of the changes.
Don’t make the mistakes we did. Be proactive with your employee management and the structure of your various departments (especially HR). There are critical roles in every company, that need the best of the best in these position.
Take the time to do an in-depth analysis of your company structure. You already know your weak links. As a business owner, your job is to run your company effectively. This means hiring right and as your company grows to learn to transition your team.
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