For those of you not in the know, an HR department of one is just what it sounds like: an HR department where one person covers all the bases from an HR, talent, and recruiting perspective.
I have a special place in my heart for the HR department of one, because that’s where I came from. When I worked in the HR profession, I had the opportunity to wear all (and I mean ALL) the hats, and while it was challenging it was also a lot of fun. I love building a function and growing from the ground up, and it was an amazing experience. That is one reason I’ve worked on podcasts and other free resources to help a department of one to survive and thrive.
An HR department of one (or DOO) is a special kind of person. They are doers and are the kinds of people employers need to hire. And while we assume these are all tiny companies, we found that these individuals work for companies of all sizes (as our new research shows) from 5 to 750 employees!
5 Things a DOO Will Never Say
That said, there are some things that an HR DOO is simply unlikely to say. Read this and try not to smile!
- I’m done for the day so I’ll take off early.
- Sure I’d love to take on security and finance in addition to HR. Got anything else we can add to my plate?
- Since I don’t have any competing priorities I’ll go ahead and attend that “optional” meeting my coworker invited me to.
- I wonder if accounting needs help with anything?
- I love when I get to recruit for two new openings, investigate a harassment claim, run a training class, send a new baby congrats card, celebrate an employee service anniversary, review a payroll exception report, reconcile our benefits statement, onboard a new employee, and send out our engagement survey all on the same day.
At the end of the day, this is just a reminder that while you see so many companies in the news for their flashy benefits or their “cool” culture, the truth is many firms exist that are run by 1) no HR person 2) a department of one or 3) a department of one with a very small team.
Don’t get caught up in what the “cool” companies are doing. Make work great for your team. As the head of HR for the nation’s best midsize firm likes to say, you need to create the right environment for your specific workforce to perform and thrive, and that environment isn’t the same at every organization.
What else would you add to this list of things an HR department of one will never say?
What does it take to be a best place to work? Or, perhaps a Best Place to Work, in official terms?
In this episode, Ben recaps some of the key ideas and pointers shared by Juanita Philips, VP of Employee Experience at Intuitive Research in Huntsville, AL. Intuitive has won awards as the best midsize employer in the United States several times, and Juanita opens her team’s playbook so everyone can pick up ideas on how to craft amazing employee experiences.
She covers everything from the role of managers to hiring practices and more, but her warning is one that we all should take to heart. And her story about visiting a fellow “beset place to work” will make you laugh! Check out the show and let Ben know how much you enjoyed it: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about We’re Only Human: http://lhra.io/podcast
Learn more about our sponsor for this episode, PeopleStrategy: https://www.peoplestrategy.com/
Learn more about Intuitive Research: https://www.irtc-hq.com/
Reposting a piece from the blog over at Lighthouse Research because I know not all of you subscribe over there!
As someone who has worked in the HR profession, I know well the full value of stories, examples, and case studies. At the end of the day, practitioners like us wanted to know that we weren’t the only ones facing a problem and that, just maybe, some other organization had already surmounted the issue with some measure of success that we could learn from.
While much of the work we do at Lighthouse Research & Advisory focuses on quantitative research studies, we do a fair amount of qualitative research as well. We’ve collected case studies over time (and continue to) that highlight interesting approaches and examples of innovation within human capital management. The list below offers a wide variety of industries, examples, and flavors for you to learn from.
Want to see another topic or example not listed here? Comment below and and I will see what we can do to find that for you!
Wal-Mart, Automation, and Compassion Training
Walmart’s Fastest Growing Line of Business is Delivering Experiences
The Motley Fool: Blending Talent Management and Engagement
Motley Fool: The Coolest Talent Processes You’ve Never Heard Of
Chipotle: How Internal Mobility Reduced Turnover by 64%
Internal promotion-how Chipotle reduced turnover by 64%
Adtran: Using Hackathons for Employer Branding, Employee Development, and Retention
Using Hackathons for Branding and Retention
Stout Advisory: Performance Management, Peer Feedback, and Employee Engagement
How to Radically Change Your Performance Management Practice [Podcast]
H&R Block: Seasonal Hiring, Strategic Recruiting, and Hiring Manager Communications
How to Lead a Hiring Team
Patagonia: Measuring the ROI of HR Programs, HR Strategy, Employee Perks and Benefits
Measuring the ROI of HR Programs is Critical: Here’s How Patagonia Does It
Hot Chicken Takeover: Employee Benefits, Corporate Culture, Leadership, and Social Responsibility
Can a Business Grow Competitively While Doing Social Good? [Podcast]
AlliedUniversal: Talent Acquisition, Employee Referrals, and High-Volume Hiring
How Does AlliedUniversal Hire 90,000 Workers a Year? Referrals and PURPOSE [Podcast]
Duie Pyle: Remote Worker Engagement, Blue Collar Challenges, and Competitive Recruiting
Talent Lessons from the Transportation Industry [Podcast]
Ohio Living: Core Values, Company Culture, and Employee Recognition
We’re Only Human 39: Ohio Living Serves 70,000 Clients Annually with Core Values
Cox Enterprises: HR Analytics, Business Impact, and Strategy
We’re Only Human 53: How to Partner with Your Talent Analytics Team
McDonald’s: Learning Measurement, Business Impact, and ROI
Learning Measurement and Business Impact
Southwest Airlines: Corporate Culture, Employee Perks, and Employee Engagement
We’re Only Human 40: How Southwest Airlines Lives and Breathes Corporate Culture
HJF: HR Technology Selection and Implementation, HR Leadership, and Modernization
We’re Only Human 55:The HR Leader’s First Year on the Job
It’s a candidate’s market out there. Ghosting, highly competitive hiring practices… It’s all over, and it seems like no company is shielded from the brunt of this disruption.
In today’s conversation, Ben interviews Chad Roudebush, a recruitment marketer with Jobvite, to talk about how he approaches recruiting communications in a way that creates value for candidates and the company. Even if you have a small recruiting team, as Chad says, you’re always doing some degree of marketing.
Check it out to learn how Chad responds to negative Glassdoor reviews, what his team’s data points tell us about the state of recruiting today, and more.
Connect with Chad:
Check out jobvite.com for resources
Chad on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/chad-roudebush-a869bb1b
@croudebush on Twitter
This episode sponsored by PeopleStrategy.
From intuitive, hire-to-retire HR technology to comprehensive benefits consulting and HR services, PeopleStrategy offers employers a single source for the tools and services necessary to attract, manage and retain talent. A full-service broker, PeopleStrategy works with clients to identify competitive benefits packages to meet the needs of employees, their families and the company’s financial obligations. PeopleStrategy also provides clients with a technology suite that simplifies recruiting, hiring and onboarding; payroll and payroll taxes; open enrollment and benefits administration; time and attendance; compliance, reporting and more. One provider. One low price. Let PeopleStrategy help you develop your people strategy.
I sometimes forget that some of you have been reading the blog for a long time (maybe the entire 10+ years it’s been going!) while others have just found it. It’s easy to run across something I’ve written recently and think that I have it all together and always have, but that’s certainly not the case.
I started this blog when I was getting my first HR job because I wanted to share with others what I was learning and how to improve ourselves as HR pros. Fast forward all these years later, and while the content has changed somewhat my heart is still for the HR pros in the trenches, as my last post was pretty clear to demonstrate. My work today is different, but my mission is still the same: make HR better, one HR pro at a time.
That said, some of you don’t know my story. I really did start out as a kid that wanted to be in HR (I just didn’t know what it was called at the time). IBM recently did an interview where I elaborated on that story a bit and at the same time talked about the future of HR and how to play a strategic role in the business. I’d love for you to check it out and let me know your thoughts?
I have spent the last 50 or so days speaking with dozens of HR pros (more than 50 now, but the number worked for the title so I ran with it!) and the takeaways I’ve had are pretty incredible.
The gist of it: one of the research projects me and my team have been working on this summer was researching employers with 1,000 or fewer employees. Another was around compensation technology, which involved conversations with companies in the 1,000 to 10,000 range.
These all came with conversations to understand challenges, opportunities, and more, but what I really loved was getting to hear the unique stories of each professional, company, and culture. Here are the ten things I know as a result of talking to dozens of people like YOU:
- HR tech is part of your job performance. We’re all using some kind of tools for payroll, benefits administration, recruiting, etc. This stuff isn’t just something we grab off the shelf–it’s an enabler of our performance on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. It helps us get the job done, which is really cool when you think about it.
- We love and hate it :-) That said, sometimes the tech doesn’t work or function the way we want it to. It’s life. When it’s not saving our skin it’s giving us a headache.
- We love creating the right environment for our people. SO many of the HR pros I spoke with have unique and interesting ideas for how to support their teams, connect them with the mission of the firm, and build an inclusive, exciting culture. I’ll be interviewing one of these people in the next few weeks on the podcast to talk about how to engage remote teams and keep them connected, so stay tuned for more.
- We can’t create value if we are treading water with administrative busywork all the time. Our insights on the HR-employee ratio have shown us that that drives strategic activity. HR wants to be strategic but has 1,000 employees to every HR pro? Strategy won’t happen because you’re just treading water. HR wants to be strategic and you have a ratio of 75 employees to each HR pro? Now you’re in the driver’s seat for success.
- High-performing companies have a higher ratio of HR staff to employees (and more HR technology). Essentially they just put more budget towards the people side of the business. Kind of like this best place to work winner. FYI, “high-performing” companies aren’t the cool ones like Google or Facebook, they’re everyday firms like yours that have positive metrics in employee engagement, retention, and revenue.
- Most of you are very creative and looking for ways to improve the employee experience. In the last couple years the “” has become a recurring theme. These conversations showed me that you are trying to create that on a regular basis for your own teams. It’s not just about getting payroll done or running a performance process but about how to do those things in a way that differentiates us from the competition.
- I am personally thankful for each one and what they bring to the professional community. Wow. You are all doing amazing work but it’s often unsung internally. Some of the people I spoke with were getting the accolades internally but others were not. If you are, keep up the amazing work. If you’re not getting recognized, make sure you are doing the work that aligns to the business and getting the results/metrics out in front of the right stakeholders.
- We love our certifications but we also hate the struggles we have between which one is the best for recertification credits.
- We may have gotten into the job on purpose or entirely by accident but that doesn’t change our vision for what HR can be and do for the business and its people. No matter the path that led the person to the role they are currently in (or what led you to the role you are in), that should not and typically does not change your vision for a high-impact, highly relevant HR function that creates value for the people and the business.
- This is the best profession there is! All the time and effort I’ve put into helping people get into HR, whether they have education in this space or they are coming from another profession, has shown me that we attract some of the very best people from across the world of business. Yes, we occasionally get the person that’s crusty, cantankerous, and disinterested in creating the right environment for workforce success, but they are few and far between.
Should employers be onboarding their leadership talent the same way they bring on an hourly worker or an individual contributor?
No, yet so many firms have a single approach to onboarding: push everyone down the “orientation assembly line” and hope that they are ready for the job when they come out the other end.
In this discussion, Ben talks with Linda Reese, Managing Partner of LeaderOnboarding, about how employers and HR professionals can create a more strategic approach to leadership transitions, driving higher rates of success and satisfaction for all involved.
Ben and Linda also talk about critical decisions for new leaders, like why you shouldn’t pick that low-hanging fruit, critical factors for success or failure, and so much more.
Learn more about Linda and her work: