Planning your 2021 Budget – Is this the year you add a (virtual) HR position?

COVID and the demand for racial justice have placed tremendous pressure on employers as they focus on the employee experience.  In larger organizations, Human Resources experts have been on the front line to address these emerging issues.  As COVID appeared in March, employer polices and practices were challenged daily, from working at home programs, evaluating staffing needs and reductions in force, ensuring PPE was available and safety programs were modified.  New laws were enacted requiring a rapid response and communication plan to employees, while traditional tools and resources were ineffective due to the new dynamics at work.  After the murder of George Floyd, people demanded a look at diversity and inclusion programs and expected racial equity to be top of mind.  Even the most seasoned HR professionals were taxed, having never navigated such a tidal wave of change.

These community issues have caused small employers, that traditionally do not have a dedicated HR function, to tap other employees to navigate the change taking them away from their “day job.”  As organizations look forward to 2021 and begin working on the budget for next year, it may be a great time to consider a virtual Human Resource position.   Many organizations that don’t have the need for a full-time HR employee because of their size have elected to engage a virtual HR position that is part-time or on an “as needed basis” to fill the gap.  Who is currently filling your HR role?  Is it an accounting clerk?  A receptionist?  An administrative assistant? As you plan for 2021, you might be thinking it is a great time to get someone in the HR role that has the HR skills, knowledge and experience needed to navigate these uncertain times.

Questions to ask during the budgeting process for 2021:

  • RECRUITMENT: What are the human capital needs for 2021?  What does the recruiting and hiring look like for next year?
  • COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: Will employee compensation and benefits packages be changing in 2021?
  • EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT: What plans are in place to retain current talent?  At what cost?  Is it time for a culture survey to assess the current work environment?  What training options are there for current employees?
  • EMPLOYEE AND LABOR RELATIONS: employee recognition, awards, birthday celebrations, etc. are included in this category – what does 2021 look like?

In answering these questions, it may be apparent that additional resources are needed to manage the HR function for the organization.  Perhaps its time for the administrative assistant or the accounts payable employee to focus on their own job and quit trying to wear the HR hat.

A Virtual HR support system can assist with everything from handling emerging issues such as COVID, diversity and inclusion programming and audits, HRIS implementation and enhancements, recruitment and hiring, onboarding new employees, training, and employee performance management.   Virtual Human Resources practices provide executive level Human Resources expertise for less than it costs to hire a full-time HR Generalist.  For more information on our Virtual Chief People Officer Program, please click here.

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