8 Signs It's Time for an HR Assessment

Aligning Your Portfolio Company for Growth

In the fast-changing world of venture capital and private equity, financial metrics often take center stage. After a merger or acquisition, it's often the balance sheets, cash flow statements and revenue forecasts that receive the lion's share of attention. But what about the human element – the very people who will drive that growth? All too often, Human Resources (HR) gets left on the backburner.

HR is the backbone of any organization. It's the department responsible for attracting, hiring, and retaining the talent that will drive your company forward. Unfortunately, in the rush to scrutinize financials, the strategic importance of HR gets overlooked. To combat this problem, an HR assessment provides the necessary framework to elevate your HR department and ensure it’s driving company growth in collaboration with your finance team.

Why HR Matters

At Growth Operators, we've seen firsthand the impact that HR has on an organization's trajectory. Across a multitude of functions, HR's responsibilities are closely intertwined with both daily operations and long-term planning and growth. Most significant among these is HR’s strategic role in aligning company culture, compensation packages and retention strategies to the larger business goals. As a 2023 article in Forbes points out, “ HR is a key driver of growth and competitiveness.”

HR and Finance: Two Sides of the Same Growth Coin

Imagine a company with ambitious growth goals. The finance department meticulously crafts a budget and optimistically projects increased revenue and market share. But without a strong HR strategy in place, those projections could falter.

Here's why:

  • Talent Acquisition: Can HR attract and hire the skilled individuals needed to execute the growth plan and fill any talent gaps? A competitive compensation package and a strong employer brand are key.

  • Engagement and Performance: Are employees motivated and empowered to achieve their full potential? HR initiatives like training programs, coaching and employee performance management systems directly impact productivity and innovation.

  • Retention: Losing key employees disrupts momentum and creates unnecessary costs. HR retention strategies that foster a healthy work environment and illuminate the value of TRS Total Rewards Statements, along with competitive benefits all play a crucial role.

Do I Need an HR Assessment?

So, how do you determine if your HR department is fully aligned with your business objectives? Or if your HR strategies are poised to support your growth ambitions? The truth is, without a reliable analysis, it's difficult to know.

This is where an assessment of your HR function by an objective, third-party is invaluable. An external HR expert with the right framework brings a fresh perspective that is free from internal biases or preconceptions. The right individual can thoroughly examine every facet of your HR operations so that your organization is positioned to attract and retain top talent.

8 Signs Your Business Might Need an HR Assessment:

  1. High Employee Turnover: A higher than average turnover rate could indicate underlying issues in several areas, including compensation, workplace culture or career development opportunities.

  2. Low Employee Engagement: If employee surveys indicate low levels of engagement or job satisfaction, it might be time to reassess your HR strategies.

  3. Rapid Growth or Scaling: Companies experiencing rapid growth or scaling challenges need HR functions that evolve accordingly to support the business.

  4. Compliance Changes: If you're unsure whether your HR policies comply with the latest laws and regulations, an assessment can identify gaps and areas of risk.

  5. Performance Management Issues: Difficulty in managing or improving employee performance might indicate the need for a more effective performance management system.

  6. Mergers or Acquisitions: Integrating another company’s workforce requires a careful evaluation of HR policies and practices to ensure a smooth transition.

  7. Lack of Clear HR Strategy: If your HR operations seem reactive rather than strategic, an assessment can provide a roadmap for alignment with business goals.

  8. Changes in Leadership: New leadership often brings new strategic directions, necessitating an evaluation to determine if HR is aligned with these changes.

How Does an Assessment Work?

Contrary to what you might think, an HR evaluation doesn't have to be a lengthy or disruptive process. Depending on the depth of analysis required, it can range from a concise, focused review with a couple week's turnaround for the report, to an intensive month-long deep dive into your HR functions.

The key lies in partnering with the right experts. Our Growth Pros not only have the technical knowledge but they also understand the strategic importance of HR in driving business success. Our team has developed a comprehensive nextLevel assessment tool that is comprised of 73 HR-focused questions, covering these major HR operations:

  • Compliance and Legal: Ensures that HR policies and practices are up-to-date with local, state and federal laws.

  • Recruitment and Onboarding: Evaluates how effectively the company sources, hires and integrates new employees.

  • Training and Development: Assesses the availability and effectiveness of professional development opportunities for employees.

  • Performance Management Systems: Analyzes how the company monitors, assesses and manages performance.

  • Employee Relations and Engagement: Reviews how well the company maintains engagement, manages employee feedback and resolves conflict.

  • Compensation and Benefits: Examines the competitiveness and fairness of the company’s compensation packages. Are Total Rewards Statements (TRS) in place?

  • Retention Strategies: Evaluates how well the company retains top talent by studying turnover rates and underlying causes.

  • Succession Planning: Identifies the company's readiness for employee transitions so that critical roles can be filled.

  • Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives: Reviews policies and practices aimed at creating an inclusive workplace.

  • HR Metrics and Analytics: Assesses the use of data in HR decision-making processes.

  • Workforce Planning and Strategy: Looks at how HR’s strategic planning aligns with the company’s business objectives.

  • HR System Integration: A Human Resources Information System (HRIS) integration involves connecting different HR systems, such as payroll, time and attendance, benefits, and performance management, so that they can work together and share employee information.

By identifying areas of strength and opportunities for improvement in each of these areas, an HR assessment can pave the way for transformative changes that foster a more engaged, motivated and high-performing workforce.

From Assessment to Action

Following the assessment, our experts don't just leave you with a list of findings. We work hand-in-hand with your leaders to develop a value creation plan that prioritizes gaps and identifies actionable steps. Our objective is not just to highlight areas for improvement but to create a roadmap for you to implement these changes effectively. We roll up our sleeves and work with you.

You’ll also have access to the professionals who can transform your HR operations. Deploy scalable, fractional experts from Growth Operators where you need them to boost your HR capabilities. Our HR assessment tools do more than just optimize HR functions, they’re designed to enhance your company's ability to grow, adapt and excel in a competitive landscape.

Align Your HR Team Today

Growth Operators’ commitment to providing a clear, detailed and objective value creation plan is unparalleled. By offering not just analysis but strategic guidance, we help portfolio companies and Private Equity sponsors elevate their HR departments and align them with their business goals to create greater value. Partner with a Growth Operators HR expert today and unlock the full potential of your HR functions.