Recruiting the recruiter

I’ve reached the point of the trickiest hire of all: a human resources manager.



I have been asking a lot of other business owners: when do you recruit an HR manager?


It is such a critical role in the development of any business. Chatting with Steve Vamos recently (before he jetted off to the US to take up his new global role for Microsoft) he attributed much of his success to having great HR managers. “Without them it is very hard to have and keep great people around you.”


Many fast-growing businesses are driven by the leader, who has The Idea and is able to attract people that also engage with the vision of where the business is going.


I know I personally have been very involved with all things to do with the people on the team, whether it be recruiting or performance reviews. But as my business now has nearly 50 people in three locations it is simply more than a full-time role.


Most of my peers have told me that when you get to 50 people an HR professional is essential, not just for the recruitment and induction area of the business but also to have an independent view of remuneration and benefits.


We have always practised what we preach and we have a great online reward and recognition program. But remuneration is something different, and such a sticky subject in any business. You want to pay well, but you have to justify the return on it; you want to attract and keep great people but what is the rest of the industry paying? Are you ahead or behind?


We have taken the plunge and are recruiting an HR manager, but for 50 people it may not be a full-time role. So I have recruited someone who was in a very senior role, who could be considered way over-qualified but – really, what I need is a true leader: someone who can take initiative but also has real experience in remuneration and packaging of salaries, recruiting, OH&S etc. The independent authority.


Now I’m looking for a hosted HRM system. We have the best hosted CRM system on the planet and I am looking for something as slick to manage the team, from leave forms to reviews. Spreadsheets just are no longer cutting it.


I’m committed to getting rid of the paper chase and getting it all online. If you know one please do tell!


Naomi Simson 
The founder and CEO (Chief Experiences Officer) of RedBalloon Days, Naomi is passionate about pleasure! Backed by enthusiasm, energy and drive and recently named one of Australia’s best bosses (Australia’s Marketing Employer of Choice), the Entrepreneurs Organisation (Sydney Chapter) President 2007 – 2008 and mother of two, Naomi also inspires others as a regular speaker, writes a blog and has recently completed her first book.


Sue Anson writes: I say hire an HR person as late as possible because otherwise you risk losing contact with your company’s greatest asset – the staff. I know, because it happened to me!


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