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7 ways to thrive as a one-person HR team

A day in the life of a one-person HR team can vary dramatically; from recruiting great candidates to creating training plans and checking out the latest employee benefits, it can be a pretty hectic role. On top of your day-to-day, you’re also responsible for fielding all the employee questions … suffice to say, no two days in HR are the same!

If you want to maximise your success and get the most out of your time, here are some top tips to thrive as a solo HR team.

1. Automate your recruitment process

Investing in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a life-saver for freeing up time and helping you to find the best available talent.

Taking the time to involve hiring managers with some basic training will ensure buy-in and improve their speed to review and feedback on applications. Giving wider access to the platform can even empower them to find their own candidates & review them. Not only does this lighten your load – it gives them the ability to find and interview the exact person they’d like for the position on their team.

2. Make onboarding a process

Onboarding new employees varies wildly from company to company. Sometimes it’s highly structured and well organised, other times it’s more “hands-off” and left to the new starter’s team to figure out.

When you’re managing this solo, the best approach is to create a new starter pack, including benefits information, intranet access, “meet the team” documents, etc. so its ready to go for each new employee.

Tools like Sapling help streamline the onboarding process so your employee ramps up productivity quicker, without compromising their new starter experience.

3. Intranets are your friend

Make good use of the company intranet (make sure to put everything online), to give easy access to important company information.

Not only will a dynamic intranet provide benefits to your workload, but it will be easier for employees to find all sorts of things, like: an employee handbook, company forms, links to resources, company benefits and people policies to employees. Providing these in a central location saves new starters needing to call HR to access this information.

Adding an online method for communication with an expected turnaround time of, say, 24 hours, or even a Live Chat function for HR to answer by the end of the day, will help you keep on top of messages where employees still have queries.

4.  Create an employee wellbeing team

Often organisations think that focusing on employee morale is a luxury and should be put on the back burner, especially when it’s just you running the HR show, but it’s actually key to retaining great employees.

Forming a cross-departmental ‘employee wellbeing’ team of volunteers can be is a great help to HR; they can brainstorm and implement processes to improve employee morale, such as an employee recognition programme.

It’s also important to build an employee culture with buy-in from your leadership team, so that everyone within the company is working towards a stronger and better workforce.

5. Put training & career development front and centre

Work closely with senior management and the exec team to ensure career development is central to strategy. Empower your leaders to create development opportunities for employees; these plans can form part of an annual or quarterly review process and you can provide a format to capture and track this information to provide meaningful development opportunities.

6. Outsource payroll

It’s that simple. Outsourcing payroll has become commonplace, and with good reason: you do not have time to manage your people processes and run payroll as a one-person team. You’ll still have to deal with the internal checks (although this can be automated for further ease), but it will greatly reduce your workload.

7. Delegate!

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that, if you’re working in HR, you’re going to encounter occasional performance or disciplinary issues that need to be dealt with. A lot of these issues can actually be handled by line managers with minimal supervision. Make sure you’re delegating where appropriate and empowering managers to effectively manage their teams.

Ensure you have all the tools and HR forms available for managers to initiate a process in-line with the written company process.

Outsourcing, empowering other managers, leveraging online tools and partnering HR with other departments and leaders are essential to thriving when working without a wider HR team.

Sapling’s onboarding and HRIS platform helps small and mid-sized companies automate and elevate their employee experience, with deep integrations across the applications your team already knows and loves. Speak to one of our experts to find out how we can help your company continue to grow and thrive.

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Written by Mara Swann

Mara has a passion for promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion across global workplaces and hopes to inspire learners to focus on their own careers with self-directed learning content.


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