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5 questions to ask yourself when hiring an HR leader

Thought Leadership on HR Strategy presented by Levy Employment Law, LLC and RealHR Solutions LLC. 

CEOs often ask us to help them determine what they need in a human resources professional to lead their HR function. They also want to know how much it will cost them. This opens up a critical conversation, and the most important question we ask is always: What are your goals and objectives for HR in your organization?

According to HR thought leaders at Deloitte Consulting LLP, “Once designed primarily as a compliance function, today’s HR organization must be agile, business-integrated, data-driven, and deeply skilled in attracting, retaining and developing talent.” If you take the time initially to understand the role of HR and its value to your organization, you will be able to set the expectations and salary level that enable you to make the right hire.

Here are five questions you and your leadership team should ask in order to help you make the right decision and find the right person to lead HR in your organization:

1. Operations and efficiency

What is the current state of your HR department’s administrative processes for tracking employee information?

Invest in Technology. A human resources information system, sometimes offered through your payroll provider, can support the management of employee data and ease the workload of the HR department. In addition, an employee-self-service option frees up HR to do other things. Many organizations place this function in a shared-services environment with HR, finance and IT, with a more administrative person managing the role.

By eliminating much of the transactional and administrative work, you can leverage the human resources department’s capacity to connect with larger business goals, and hire a human resources leader with the skills and experience to be a true business partner.

2. Compliance

Are you facing any immediate compliance issues with government agencies or potential legal threats?

A capable human resources professional must have strong knowledge of HR-related laws and regulations. An HR certification, such as PHR, SPHR or SHRM, will provide competence in compliance knowledge, but there is no substitute for on-the-job experience. It is also critical for an HR professional to have confidence in applying that knowledge to real workplace situations. Your organization can further bolster compliance support by using outside counsel with expertise in employment law to answer more difficult questions, which might lead to litigation or government audits.

3. Recruitment

Are you and your managers spending a good portion of time recruiting without identifying and hiring the right employees?

Often times, managers with no training in sourcing or interviewing candidates are put in the position of hiring to fill open positions. An HR leader with strong recruiting skills knows the right networks for sourcing candidates and understands the importance of a well-structured interview process. They will also understand how to best evaluate less tangible qualities, such as team commitment and interpersonal skills.

Consider hiring an HR professional with recruiting experience in the fields where your company most needs it, who understands the marketplace (i.e. IT, high volume or executive leadership recruiting).

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