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Dear Workforce Our HR Function Is Doubling Headcount. What Do We Need to Do to Prepare?

I am one of two human resources generalists at our 300-employee company, which expects to at least double its headcount in 2011. My boss has instructed me to draw up a plan on how the HR department should be developed to keep pace with the growth. Where do I begin this daunting task?
April 20, 2011
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Related Topics: Career Development, Corporate Culture, Candidate Sourcing, Employee Career Development, Online Recruiting, Dear Workforce
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Dear Growth Spurt:

Any company that in this challenging economy is expecting to double headcount must be doing a lot of things well. Even so, take a step back and ask if your human resources function is ready for the challenges this presents.
Assemble a cross-functional task force. To double in size, you will need all of your company's brain trust. This is not solely an HR issue. Sales, research and development, marketing, operations, administration and finance and other functions are affected, as well. Clearly, everyone has a stake in your company's ability to transition smoothly. Create a cross-functional task force to address the challenge. It should focus specifically on creating an overall action plan, complete with specific goals, objectives, time lines and responsibilities within each functional area.
Assess the current HR department. Examine the strengths and weaknesses of your HR department. It is like opening a window to your future growth. Key questions to ask include: which service offerings (training and development, recruitment and retention, performance management, payroll, benefits and so on) does HR make available now to employees? To what extent are the current HR service offerings successful? How well are you assessing your offerings?
Create university partnerships for access to research and analysis. Master's-level students often need real-world projects to complete course requirements. Students also have access to the latest research, which would also benefit toward solving the rapid growth challenge. Key questions: With which universities or colleges does your company already have collaborations in place? How could your company specifically create relationships with universities to have master's-level students analyze your rapid growth and its relationships to the HR department?
Stimulate a focus on culture and values. HR often plays a key role in making sure new employees understand and embrace the organization's culture and values. Be cognizant of the strain on culture and values caused by rapid growth. The end result will be employees that share a greater sense of commitment to the organization's mission and who will continue to add value to the company's growth.
SOURCE: Dana E. Jarvis, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh
LEARN MORE: Please read tips on how to set realistic goals for new HR metrics.
Workforce Management Online, April 2011 -- Register Now!
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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Dear Workforce Newsletter
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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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