According to the 2018 Bloomberg Law HR Benchmark Report, human resource staffing is at an all-time high with a ratio of 1.5 HR staff to every 100 employees. The logic for most companies is that an increase in employees leads to more HR needs, and the solution of choice is to bring on more HR staff. But this approach can be a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
Stop misdiagnosing the problem
The majority of HR problems aren’t rooted in people, but stem from internal issues that often go misdiagnosed or ignored. Outside of people, two of the most common issues for HR departments stem from:
- Process: if a company’s internal processes aren’t clearly defined or documented they may be dealing with inefficiencies that will only get worse if someone new comes on board.
- Technology: technology can help automate tasks and get teams connected in a virtual environment. If there’s a lack of technology adoption or a misunderstanding of how to use technology, HR departments can be stuck in the past.
Hiring isn’t a silver bullet
While it can be tempting to follow a business as usual approach by hiring new people as soon as problems arise, it’s best to address the root causes impacting your HR department. At best, hiring more HR staff eases some of the burden of these issues by bringing more hands on deck. At worst, it can compound them or cause these challenges:
- Hiring more people can add complexity to an already taxed HR department. It’s important to identify root causes of HR problems prior to hiring someone new.
- Hiring a new person can be resource and time intensive. Consider the significant investment it takes to hire, train, and onboard a new person.
- Hiring one person gives you a limited skill set. It’s hard to predict the background and experience one person will bring to the table.
- It’s hard to know when to scale up your team with another HR hire. If the average is 1.5 HR staff for every 100 employees, at what point do you hire that additional person?
Find the right solution for your HR problem
The most important question that HR teams and senior leadership should ask is whether changes to the HR department are driving high-level goals that serve the company as a whole. The right HR solution should ultimately set your team up for success in the following areas:
Risk mitigation: Compliance is key when it comes to keeping up with and maintaining federal and Department of Labor (DOL) HR standards. Is your team prepared with all of the necessary documentation? Are you in good legal standing? Who in the HR department is accountable for keeping up with compliance?
Strategic growth initiatives: Mundane payroll and benefits tasks can eat up a person’s entire day. How does your team offload or automate some of those tasks so they can focus on strategic initiatives like succession planning, talent management and organizational change?
The Outsourcing Alternative
What’s a better alternative to hiring people? Hire smarter. Human resource outsourcing (HRO) is a service-based alternative to hiring an internal HR person that offers:
- Customizable services to meet the unique needs of your team while freeing up internal resources to focus on growth.
- The power of a whole team to make sure you have deep knowledge on industry best practices and compliance standards.
- Internal audits to streamline your processes and technology setup with outside help.
If you want to have a strategic conversation that leads to a permanent solution for your HR department, we can help. Contact us today.