Blog | 02.03.20

How to Start a Human Resources Department

The human resources department is commonplace in many large corporate businesses, but as a small organization, you may not need one when you are just starting out. Oftentimes, various leaders will share the duties of the human resources team—or delegate them to a single professional. But as your organization continues to grow, how do you scale your HR efforts to keep pace?


It may be easier when you’re in the beginning stages, however, continuous growth and success might be a sign that it’s time to start an HR department within your organization. Starting anything from the ground up can feel like a daunting task. But it’s much easier once you understand the different steps—like making an HR document checklist and developing resources for finding top HR managers. So today, let’s go through the basics of building an HR department for your business.


How Do You Start an HR Department?

When you’re thinking about creating an HR department, you need to take a step back and look at the why. When you set up your HR team in a small organization, you are acknowledging the fact that you need policies, plans, and processes to take care of short-term needs and long-term risks. However, the HR department isn’t just about policy, compliance, and procedure—it’s about creating a better employee experience, improving productivity, and boosting retention. Your HR department will be responsible for ensuring your workplace is running efficiently.


How do you know when it’s time to start an HR department? There’s no clear-cut answer as to when to start looking for your first HR manager or director. It will likely depend on your organization’s growth, industry trends, workload, and a variety of other factors. However, there are a few key indicators, such as the amount of employees you have, whether or not business roles have become specialized, or if a risk emerges in operating without an HR specialist.


The first step when starting the HR department is to create a staffing plan. What positions will need to be filled? How many employees can you afford starting out? Answering these questions is critical to understand what you can do in terms of resources—as well as the importance of not overwhelming yourself and your organization by trying to do everything at once.


One of the best things you could do to alleviate some of the stress is to use an HR staffing agency, such as HR Personnel Services. This becomes especially helpful when you’re in the beginning stages of putting together your HR department and don’t know where to start. The talented recruiters at HR Personnel Services will take your goals and vision into account and find the perfect HR employees for your organization.


Human Resources Startup Checklist

There are several items of business you’ll need to complete as you begin to form your HR department. You want to begin by having a clear organizational design. Having a basic HR department plan before you begin the hiring process will provide a basis of structure—and help keep things operating smoothly. Once you’ve put together a plan, hiring your first HR manager should be the next step. Work with your manager to establish onboarding and recruiting policies, as well as outlining regulations for safety, health, and compliance.


As you begin to form more concrete policies and procedures, you can hire more employees to be a part of the HR team. Your HR department will be in charge of employee relations, compensation and benefits, developing training programs or ongoing learning and development, and so much more. Having a team (rather than one person) running the department will help as your organization grows and develops. Below are a few aspects of HR you need to consider as you begin to create your department:

  • Staffing plan
  • Tax obligations
  • Payroll/administration systems
  • Onboarding and recruiting policies
  • Pay structure
  • Health and safety compliance and procedures
  • Employee handbook
  • Personnel files
  • Hiring procedures
  • Find Your Ideal HR Team with HR Personnel Services


Don’t let the task of building an HR department from the ground up scare you. With the help of HR Personnel Services, you can build the right team of HR professionals quickly and efficiently. Our experienced recruiters will help you find the perfect candidates to start building your new department. We’ll also take the time to understand your organization’s vision, culture, and goals to find driven candidates that align with your people and process.


Our nationwide network of HR professionals takes the stress out of endless searching for top candidates. Whether you’re looking to start your HR department or expand it over time, we’re the staffing partner to trust. As a nationwide leader specializing in the search and recruitment of human resources professionals, we’ve sourced the right candidates for businesses of every size. So if you’re ready to get started, be sure to contact us today!

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