Human Resources Staffing - HR Programs

How Human Resources Staffing Is Shaped Within A Company

The process of staffing an organization and/or department is a fairly easy one, as long as there are plenty of qualified candidates to fill the needed positions. With so many people currently unemployed, the pool of candidates is larger than it has been in a long time.

However, what if the positions that your company needed to fill were in the human resources department? How would human resources staffing be handled differently from the staffing process in other departments? First, HR is not a production-oriented, revenue generating department.

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New products are not created in the HR department. Their sole function is to manage people, develop policies and procedures, and maintain the company's benefit program. The hiring manager will need to decide how many people are needed in order to have an effective human resources department.

Human Resources Staffing Ratio

A general rule of thumb for determining the right number of staff is to have one HR person for every 100 employees. This is an industry standard, but one that will vary between industries. This is because some companies require more hands-on involvement of the human resources department in the daily activities and needs of employees. This ratio is used to estimate the minimum staffing requirements needed to fulfill the basic HR needs of an organization.

This also shows that in some cases, human resources departments are either under-staffed, or over-staffed. Another assumption is that the organization has fully qualified and trained HR professionals to address all of the needs of the organization.

This guideline for human resources staffing is also affected by a number of other factors, including:
  • The number of locations
  • Geographic distribution of employees served
  • Outsourced functions
  • Complexity of the strategic mission and objectives for the HR function
  • The sophistication of the employees
Additionally, there are industry considerations when determining human resources staffing needs. Some industries require a higher level of HR support because of regulatory oversight, and the extent of record keeping and reporting.

Expectations of Human Resources

An almost silent variable in the decision about human resources staffing is the expected level of service from management and employees. These levels of service can be grouped as either maintenance or full-range. At the maintenance level, the HR department's primary concern is with maintenance, compliance and administrative tasks.

The department is reactive to the legal changes and the management of employee needs. The full range level broadens the HR activities to include development and implementation of programs that will support the overall growth of the organization, affecting productivity and employee relations. The HR department is proactive to minimize any risks to the organization, while it drives performance improvement activities.

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