It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or your startup just opened its doors, one of the most important people you can hire for the future and success of your company is a Human Resources (HR) Manager. The job of an HR Manager is to plan and coordinate administrative functions, oversee the hiring of new staff, and act as a link in their organization between employees and management.

While there is no ‘magic number’ of employees that dictates when the time is correct to hire an HR Manager, there are a number of considerations once a company reaches a certain size. For example, employers who have at least 15 full-time employees are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) which could subject your company to liability if it doesn’t meet certain requirements. If you have 20 employees, then both the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) come into play. Prepare and protect your company from legal recourse and do what’s best for your employees by hiring an HR Manager. Keep these tips in mind as you explore potential candidates to fill the position.

  • You want someone with strong social skills.

As the Human Resources director position itself would imply, the job requires a fair amount of people skills, so the ability to effectively communicate with others is a must-have. You also want to find someone with a fair amount of compassion and empathy which will allow them to better understand and handle issues with your employees. Although it may be emotionally draining, a good HR Manager should have an open door policy for all company employees to provide assistance when needed. Look for someone who is confident in their communications and will be able to handle the demands of the job.

  • You want someone who can be confidential.

What is said between an employee and their HR Manager should stay between that employee and the HR Manager, so hiring someone who is discreet and professional is key. This is important when it comes to matters of personal health or private information, and it’s vital when addressing matters that are outside of the “norm” of society. HR Managers cannot gossip about the privileged information provided to them by employees, so finding someone who can separate private and public matters will be incredibly beneficial.

  • Find someone who fits with the company culture.

The culture of your company has a large role to play in selecting an HR Manager; if your company is rather relaxed and casual, hiring a by-the-book manager could pose a problem to the way employees are used to working the same way that hiring a lax HR Manager for a position in a very professional company could cause a disconnect in the way things are run. Find someone whose style matches the way your company operates, and things will run much more smoothly in the future.