Whether your cosmetic surgery practice is well established or brand new, the need for an in-house Human Resources manager is an important one to consider. While you might think that it’s a role that can be covered by your receptionist or office manager, HR is more than just onboarding new employees and processing payroll. Having a dedicated specialist just might save you from losing your practice.
The HR manager is an employee, not a consultant. If your practice suffers, her job suffers, as opposed to a consultant, who probably has multiple clients and can get more because it’s the nature of her job as a consultant to do so. An in-house HR manager has more to win (and lose) depending on how well she performs her job because she is invested as an employee.
Verbal and Physical Emergencies
Inter-staff disagreements, staff quitting, and on-the-job injuries are just a few of the unexpected events that need HR intervention to protect your practice and your employees. For example, if name-calling escalates into threats or racist-charged exchanges, it could quickly escalate into a physical attack or eventually a lawsuit. An in-house HR manager who’s well versed in her profession is the proper executive to handle these events, not the practice provider.
OSHA and HIPAA Compliance
These are complex topics and ones that need an expert to keep on top of any changes in the law and convey them to the staff. When you’re dealing with office safety, patient privacy, practice exposure, and employees at various levels of knowledge and training, it’s not sufficient-or wise in terms of practice liability-to simply have an informational poster hanging in the break room.
Hiring and Firing
Recruiting and onboarding new employees as well as managing the dismissal process are legal issues, not just paperwork. A specialist who’s familiar with all the legal steps needed to process these staffing events can stave off legal problems later. For example, employees who are fired are owed their final paychecks either on the spot or by mail within 72 business hours, and that includes any severance/vacation/sick time payouts.
A part-time staff member or receptionist who’s fulfilling double duty as HR might not know this and the employee could sue your practice.
Not only is payroll a complicated task – even with payroll software applications-it’s extremely sensitive information that should be controlled by a person who’s sworn to maintain the privacy of your staff’s compensation, bonuses, garnishments and conditions of employment. Sensitive employee information should be kept completely private, and that’s an assumed part of HR stewardship, where it might not be with a non-HR staff member assigned to the role.
Not every practice can afford a full-time HR manager, and if yours is one of them, at least consider hiring one instead of an office manager and see if you can overlap some of the duties or spread the office manager’s duties amongst senior staff. The legal and management know-how that an HR manager brings to the table is worth tightening your belt now if it saves legal liability later.