Many businesses do not have a person who exclusively handles human resources issues, much less a department that does so. This is more common the smaller the business is.
However, yours has grown, and now you are wondering if it is time to hire an HR person. Probably so–if you have to ask this question, chances are that you need someone to handle HR.
Do you need help with many HR-oriented tasks?
An HR person (or several) can handle tasks such as determining salary ranges, tracking pay issues, deciding on health insurance, taking reports from employees on issues such as alleged discrimination and ensuring company compliance with laws. HR can also help with recruiting and interviewing.
The reality is that there are many laws to keep track of. They govern how much time your employees are entitled to in specific situations and how much accommodation they might need for a disability, among other issues. In most situations, your business is responsible for knowing these laws and addressing employee concerns even if there is no HR person.
Do you have 50 employees?
A good rule of thumb is to have someone handling HR if your business has at least 50 employees. Not only do things get a lot more complicated then, your business becomes responsible for following even more laws.
If possible, you would have an HR person once your business reached 15 employees.
Are financial savings a priority?
Hiring an HR person can consolidate many tasks instead of you having multiple employees do a little bit each. What is your time worth?
Other signs you may need someone in HR
You need an HR person if your company is expanding rapidly, experiencing employee morale issues or unsure of its business culture.