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For Government Contractors, your HR Manager is a Critical Position

choosing hr managerOne of the most valuable members of your team is probably not who you think it might be. You might be thinking it is your CEO, CFO, or COO? That could be, but as much as any other individual in your organization, a superior HR manager can help make or break your organization. Here is why this position is so critical to your success.

In the government contracting space, the HR manager is a linchpin contributor to the success of your organization. Why? The HR management function has to act as an ambassador to help keep quality talent in your organization. They are also responsible for both knowing the legal aspects that govern the compensation and safety of the human capital asset. Knowing the constantly evolving and changing federal and state regulatory statutes with regard to compensation and employee safety is a key and difficult component of a human resource skill set.

Additionally, the government contractor HR manager must know the federal regulations governing allowable compensation, and must help construct creative compensation packages to compete in today’s LPTA environment. Just as a GM of a pro football team must acquire the best talent within the salary cap limits, the government contractor HR manager must retain the best talent to fulfill your government customers’ expectations.

The HR Manager’s job is  complex and critical to the success of your organization.

1. They determine the type of personnel that fit the specific requirements of your government customer.

When you need a position filled at your company, you are probably going to need to write the job description, search for candidates, screen the ones who seem to fit, and then interview them and check their references. Chances are, your HR department handles most of these duties. Matching the job description to the exacting requirements of a government customer requires a person with experience working for organizations that serve the federal government marketplace. And, on top of everything else, the person you are looking to hire to fill a billet must be evaluated from not only a professional qualification standpoint, but also from a cultural or team chemistry standpoint. Administering personality tests such as DISC are often part of the HR department’s responsibilities.

2. They are an ambassador that shows the benefits to a candidate of working for your company

Many government contractors must recruit highly educated and skilled workers such as scientists, engineers, technicians and other staff  who must pass strict security clearance standards. Many times, the Human Resources recruitment function is faced with qualified candidates that have multiple opportunities with other companies. The HR recruitment discipline must know how to sell the benefits of working for your company to the candidate. How your company’s message to the candidate is conveyed by the HR department is key to “winning” that candidate’s decision to be employed by your company.

3. They help keep the peace

In even the best-run organizations disputes are bound to come up on occasion. More often than not, it falls on the HR manager to resolve these disputes. This is a thankless job, since finding a solution often means settling on something that neither side is entirely happy with. It is the duty of the HR manager to act as sheriff, jury, judge, and occasionally, executioner. A good HR manager ensures that no matter what conflict comes up, everyone involved can leave the situation feeling like they have been dealt with fairly. This, in turn, can dramatically boost morale and decrease turnover. No one wants to be a full-time referee, but good HR managers who can smooth ruffled feathers are worth their weight in gold.

4. They can be a change agent in transforming your company from an also ran to a winner

While members of the corporate suite  argue about the corporate direction five years from now, and the project managers scramble to get yesterday's work done today, the HR manager can be a change agent. Determining the “right” employee for your company’s mission and culture is difficult. A well trained HR manager recognizes an employee’s intangibles. They are skilled at reading between the lines during an interview. There is proficiency and competency and then there is the team chemistry aspect that makes the decision to hire (or fire) more difficult.

5. They hold the keys to the castle

When a new employee is hired, it is up to the HR manager to bring him or her up to speed and give the newcomer everything needed to do the job: entry keys, passwords, and access to sensitive and proprietary information. When an employee leaves or is fired, it is again up to the HR manager to make sure that all of these things are returned. A good HR manager keeps close tabs on who has what, and makes certain that when employees walk out the door they leave behind everything that belongs to the company .

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