Without doubt, human resources are a company’s greatest asset. Among many other factors that surely play a big role in company’s development (know-how, investors, market research…) the key to success are the people who put their talent and effort into their work every single day. You can have great tools and cutting-edge technology, but without a team of the best people it will be hard to make a proper use of it. People that are aware of the importance of human capital tend to say that it is fundamental to have an HR department that will take care of operations such as recruiting, payroll, employee benefits, staff training and motivation, supervision, assessment and all the other tasks associated with personnel administration.
However, is another approach possible? Maybe the HR departments aren’t essential, even in not-so-small enterprises? Let’s try to find some reasons why companies without HR can actually tackle the human resources management better.
1. Why you shouldn’t delegate the responsibility for the quality of your team to “the ladies in HR”?
Usually, companies without HR get to know their employees better because they don’t delegate the recruitment process. Interviews with candidates are such a precious time that are too often wasted by the recruiters who ask generic questions like “where do you see yourself in 5 years”. They normally have a list of topics that they ask during every interview, instead of involving themselves in a real conversation with a potential employee in order to discover his or her personality, ambitions and values. Now imagine that a person without an HR experience conducts the interview – they don’t have these cliches in mind. They ask honest and straightforward questions that create a much healthier atmosphere for an authentic talk. Let directors, managers and team leaders conduct interviews with their potential colleagues and you’ll see they’ll find real diamonds to join your company.
2. Asking the question about recent books candidate actually read tells more about them than typical stupid recruitment questions
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3. 15 minutes interview is better than two-month-long recruitment process. Love at first sight or nothing
HR departments stick too strictly to official requirements and often don’t pay attention to other concerns such as a chemistry between employees and the employer. They forget that intuition also matters and the candidate may have a big potential despite the lack of some specific requirements. Let’s say for example that you’re a fresh graduate without any relevant experience, but you’re a highly motivated quick learner. Bad news: many “serious” corporations won’t even want to look at your application. They’ll say they require at least one year experience in a similar position or will give other reasons for not hiring inexperienced graduates. But… Why? Candidates without an extensive experience can also be valuable employees. Believe in their capability. They can start working in an entry-level position, but watch them closely – if they demonstrate a shining talent or specific skills, don’t hesitate to promote them! If you have a beginner Customer Service Advisor in your company and you overhear that he has a knack for graphic design and spends nights over his own projects – transfer him to another position that will unlock his potential. Surely he will be extremely grateful and eager to show his best.
4. Real time employee assessment by business controlling is much better than annual reviews run by HR people
Companies without HR tend to abandon the strict periodic evaluation and place more importance on assessing the workers performance in real time. This approach allows to detect any change in employee efficiency as soon as it occurs, and thus react quickly. This way you can be more helpful and advise the employees when they are struggling with some problems. A human capital weak points are also company’s weaknesses, so don’t risk leaving the evaluation in the HR team hands and control the KPIs in real time. More and more Fortune 500 companies get rid of traditional rankings, such as Accenture, following studies that found that staggering 95% of managers are not satisfied with the performance reviews in their organizations.
5. Properly selected people do not need HR to integrate between each other. They actually LIKE each other
Dr. Maynard Brusman, a consulting psychologist specializing in workplace issues, emphasizes the importance of socializing in the office: “The modern workplace has become a community center, or a ‘home away from home’ where people get many of their social needs met (source).” A statement that was confirmed by a Google research study called Project Aristotle. The research conducted among the employees of the Silicon Valley giant found that the most effective teams have some traits in common: empathy, interpersonal trust, psychological safety and compassion between their members. How to achieve this ambience in your company? Simply pick your team wisely and that will do the job. If your office is full of like-minded people, they’ll love to spend time together at and after work and therefore, the team will be much more productive.