Human Resources are an all too often overlooked piece of the business puzzle. How many of us have had more jobs than we can remember without any significant onboarding process? If you’re on the cusp of starting a business or have been operating for a while now you need to be investing in your human capital. After all, what is HR if not resources for those who help facilitate the success of your business?

Outsource or Keep In House?

HR manager leading discussion at office
HR manager leading discussion at office

The easiest way to consider your HR options is to contemplate the size and scope of your business (how many people are on staff and how much money flows in and out). Typically, employers are tasked with deciding which core functions are delegated to HR professionals and what should stay in-house. Most companies simply don’t have the funds to hire a full-time human resources team, let alone, one lone HR manager. Thankfully we live in a time where HR outsourcing is plentiful. From all digital platforms to more traditional hands-on companies, outsourcing your HR needs has never been easier or more competitive.

Even if you only have 2 people on your payroll, including yourself, consider working with either an HR/Payroll provider or a PEO/ASO company. An HR/Payroll provider may be the most economical choice ($) because that often entails using in-house HR software and payroll management software as an effective way to manage your paperwork and payroll. However user friendly the software may be, it still comes down to how much time you’ll allocate to HR duties. Another downfall with an HR/Payroll provider is the lack of a professional guide at your disposal.

Utilizing a PEO

HR manger having discussion with employee
HR manger having discussion with employee

Alternatively, utilizing a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) gives you a more hands-off HR and payroll department, depending on which bundle you choose. A PEO is a co-employer of sorts, all with varying functions, but nevertheless your employees become employees of the PEO, which allows your business to (almost always) have reduced rates on insurance, workers comp, and state unemployment. Your PEO will also include outsourced HR support and payroll functions. They’ll be able to administer medical benefits and help you deal with inevitable pitfalls like unemployment claims, audits, and terminations. ASO services are typically something PEOs offer. For instance, say you can’t afford the full-scale PEO bundle; perhaps their ASO services can be just as valuable at your current pace. Remember, ASO simply means ‘administrative services only’, so maybe no payroll functions or medical benefits, but you’ll still be gaining professional support for the same pitfalls mentioned previously, either by email or phone call.

My suggestion, if you can’t afford to hire your own HR professional, is to find a local PEO company with time to hear your situation. Don’t get me wrong, digital platform HR providers are solid and plentiful with competitive pricing. But why not let your small business help another small business? Google can only carry us so far when we have a problem with a disgruntled employee. Wise up and invest in your infrastructure because personally, I’d be too afraid not to.

What thoughts do you have on managing an HR department? Let us know down in the comments.

This article was originally published on GREY Journal.