Hiring our first HR professional (Toughest HR Question)

Knowing when to establish an HR function at your organization
By Brian Kreissl
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/10/2012

Question: We’re a relatively small but growing organization. Up until now, all of our HR tasks have been handled by our financial controller. But she is starting to feel a bit overwhelmed and, frankly, a little out of her depth. How do we know when it’s time to hire our first real HR professional? What kind of skills should we look for in such a person?

Answer: The short answer is if there is enough work to keep a qualified HR professional busy on a full-time basis, then it’s probably time to consider hiring at least one HR generalist (sometimes referred to as an “HR soloist” when there is only one HR person at an organization).

However, if money is tight and the organization can still make do with a controller or office manager handling most HR-related tasks — with other work such as recruitment and basic recordkeeping being handled by line managers — then the organization might be able to make do without hiring an HR professional just yet.