iDear Workforce-I What if You Have 1,000 Employees and No HR

June 21, 2000

Dear Workforce:

We have just merged with another company and now have over 1,000 employees and no human resources department. We are a retail chain located throughout the country. Each store has approximately 6 to 10 employees. Where do we begin to develop an HR department? We have one benefits analyst and the payroll department. We have one HR consultant who is part-time and answers questions related to employee relations, but that is the extent of our HR workforce. Please help!


A Dear Sherry:

Your company appears to have two of the core HR functions covered: payroll and benefits. In most organizations of 1,000 employees, you would also find an HR person dedicated to compensation (philosophy, determining salary ranges, guidelines for salary increases, etc).

A staff of maybe three to five HR generalists, covering regions of the country where your stores are located, might make sense. A generalist could lend assistance in recruiting, employee relations, training, and any other HR needs. And there should most likely be a "head" of HR located in your headquarters.

This person would supervise the generalists and payroll and benefits functions; manage HR budgets; provide expertise around HR strategy and organizational development needs; and be a member of your organization's leadership team. He or she should report to the CEO and be a critical advisor to the CEO, given the current labor market.


SOURCE: Cathy Nelson, Personnel Decisions International, Minneapolis, May 10, 2000.

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