What criteria would help us determine if our company needs a human resources department? Currently, our accounting department handles such HR functions as filing workers’ comp and unemployment claims, as well as some personnel issues. Our individual supervisors are responsible for recruiting, hiring/firing, training, retention and other functions. We are trying to figure out whether it is time to consolidate these various duties into a single HR department. Nothing glaring is prompting our discussion, but we are trying to weigh the virtue of consolidating against the decentralized practices we have in place.
Can you suggest a standard methodology to prove financial return on the costs of adding a position, including recruiting, salary and benefits? How could a department manager make the financial case for bringing new people on?
We are reviewing our voluntary education-assistance program, which presently provides up to $2,500 to eligible employees. For courses that cost more, employees can apply for an exemption, which must be approved by the employee’s VP and our VP of human resources. I have heard of some corporations that require a "service return contract" that binds employees to the company for a specified period once a company-paid college degree is earned. What are other companies requesting, aside from these contracts, to get a better return on investment for offering this monetary education assistance? How do we make sure we don’t pay for somebody’s education only to watch them jump ship?
We are implementing a project to evaluate jobs. Naturally, people are nervous. Many think the company is trying to find out who is underpaid or overpaid. (That’s not the case; this is simply a long-overdue project.) But people remain skeptical. How can we convince them the evaluation is not being done in preparation for cutting jobs?
I have been asked to design an induction program for all new recruits across all our branches (in various states). What makes the most sense: to have all new employees go through induction at our corporate office, or to dispatch someone from our corporate office to travel to the various locations to conduct inductions? New employees frequently join our company, and on varying dates—so how could we devise a cost-effective program?
A far-reaching initiative centralizes HR operations for three dozen federal agencies, eliminating duplication of effort and strengthening recruitment and succession planning.Read More
A two-pronged approach to staffing has enabled the health provider to hire more people at a cheaper rate, paving the way for rapid growth. By streamlining its recruiting team, UnitredHealth saved about $1 million in overhead in the first year alone.Read More
The SHRM Members for Transparency, which formed last year largely over concerns about the SHRM board’s 2005 decision to pay board members, had been asking to meet with SHRM leaders since the fall of 2010.Read More
As part of an expansion, our company plans to shift the human resources and finance departments to different floors, away from the business. We're not changing our HR focus or team structure, but I'm worried we'll lose the tight interaction that HR has with business units. Another concern: If HR becomes a destination, instead of a quick Q&A in the hallway, employees and managers may feel less comfortable approaching us. How do we sustain our collaborative culture during this transition? Read More
Arianna Huffington is scheduled to speak Monday; Sir Richard Branson, founder and president of Virgin Group, Tony Hsieh, CEO of online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos.com, and actor Michael J. Fox also are set for keynote addresses.Read More