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HR Representative Per Employee Ratio During Rapid Growth

Janie Dawson's Profile

looking for opinions and resources regarding the HR to employee ratio (ratio of human resources personnel to the number of employees within a company) of the average large company with 2500 or more employees and also of those of the same size experiencing a period of rapid growth. Does the ratio increase during rapid growth. SHRM offers some info but does not mention anything about a period of rapid growth. Any thoughts?

Answers

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

I am not a believer in an HR rep/employee ratio. It sets a "FALSE STANDARD". It depends on the level of automation in the processes, number of existing programs, number of initiatives, number of outsourced services, etc. I have seen companies scale up manpower wise (hockey stick) and maintain a disproportionately less number of HR people.

Aside from automating (and pushing "control" of processes to the employees themselves...again that is another discussion altogether), my gauge is what is/are the plan/goals, and what is the minimum number of people to get the plans/initiatives/programs executed and achieved. Are there available options/services that we can outsource? Do we even want it outsourced?

Having said that, I think I read in one of the threads here that somewhere 1:40 (if I can remember right) is a norm.

Janie Dawson
Title: Research Writer
Company: Self Employed
(Research Writer, Self Employed) |

Thank you Emerson, I do both agree with and appreciate your comment. While I was writing the question, I began to realize that since I was not able to find anything online within the past 10 years, it is probably not something which has effectively been measured. Consider this example: If an organization currently employs 2500 people and in a normal year grows 4% where they add 100ppl, they may add a new HR generalist every year or perhaps year and a half. If they expect to double in size in the next 3 years, they will add 800 new employees each year. Will they then stick with the same plan hiring 1 hr generalist for every 100-150 new employees or will they perhaps benefit more by adding a whole new team in advance of the expected growth?

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Janie,

I think I may not have communicated my position well enough. You are still looking at it from a NUMBERS perspective while I am looking at it from a PROCESS/GOALS perspective.

Let's just take the simple case of the On-Boarding process. Let's say 1 HR rep takes care of 50 new employees. As the company grows say another 800, will they be needing 16 more HR reps? If they automate (pdfs, videos, etc) the process, whether they hire 800 or 1600, the increase in HR manpower will not be proportionate to the increase in company manpower.

Efficiency or better way of doing things (when disruption or innovation is the name of the game) does NOT translate to proportionate numbers when growing a company.

My main point really is the FALSE STANDARD driven by the ratio. The ratio will be what it is when you have effectively found the most efficient way to achieve HR goals and what works for the company.

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

As a PS....Even in hyper-growth, there are lulls in the hockey stick. You use these "lulls" to reevaluate your staffing vis a vis goals and realign.

Janie Dawson
Title: Research Writer
Company: Self Employed
(Research Writer, Self Employed) |

No, I completely understand what you are presenting Emerson. I am assuming that an organization of that size (my example, that is) is absolutely already using software which automates everything that they possibly can to operate as efficiently as possible. I am not questioning your response at all. I am looking for any information regarding my question. Like I said, there is probably not a whole lot of data supporting my question, I am trying to find anything that I can on the subject. Thank you again.

Topic Expert
Malak Kazan
Title: VP, Special Projects
Company: ERI Economic Research Institute
(VP, Special Projects, ERI Economic Research Institute) |

Typically, support (infrastructure) functions like HR/Finance/IT/Marketing have a life cycle relative to the business stage. They may generally start as administrative function, consultative and ultimately strategic. As the function matures efficiency is achieved and their focus and impact becomes more strategic. I believe the above comments in this context may help.

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