Image from cdc.gov
Believe it or not, this is a hot topic that reoccurs in the HR world on a regular basis. Even scarier is that I’m not sure it is on anyone elses radar.
Take for example a company I recently encountered. They have a ratio of 0.25 (or 1 : 400.) Yikes.
Back when I was taking my first HR Management college course (Thank you University of Richmond and Charlyne Meinhard!) our text book stated that the ideal ratio of HR employees to total employees at the company was 1:100. That was in 2004.
There is now apparently a formula and specifications as to what type of HR employees can count in that ratio. The image, by the way, is a generic equation and not actually for this calculation. 😉 There are also different ideals as to what that ratio should be based on company size (see SHRM chart in same linked article.)
I’ll do you one better. Your industry and the level and amount of technology and/or outsourcing also is a factor. Mike outlines this nicely. Unfortunately I don’t have any handy charts on that – I bet Towers Perrin, Robert Half, the BLS, SHRM, and maybe ADP have that sort of data on hand to create one though. It’s a project I’d love to get my hands on. 🙂 Until that day comes, Ben has a shiny infographic to share.
So, quick and dirty the answer is the typical “it depends” and “you gotta do your homework.” If you want to rely on the 1:100, be prepared to back it up with the C-suite. 😉 With ever increasing technology and the decreasing number of luddites, I would be willing to place a bet that the range is between 1:75 and 1:200. That is a huge range.
By the way, I wrote a best practice for a client that not only covered this topic, but went into the diversification of the HR department (how many need to be generalist vs benefits vs etc.) The information is out there.
What are your thoughts on this hot topic? What ratio (industry/technology/outsourcing/etc) have you found works well and what are the asymptotes that you’d stay away from?
Credit: BYU Active Learning Techniques
I am currently studying for the first test in the series of tests to obtain the Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) certification. I decided to start at the beginning – T1 aka Total Rewards.
Compensation is a passion of mine. Money was always a debate growing up – who had it or didn’t, what to do with it, did we have enough, should we get more for what we paid, learning how to manage it… Two things I learned early on about myself are that I don’t think I will ever have enough income to feel secure and do what I want to do as well as I am a life long learner. These two go nicely hand in hand with continuing my education through these certifications which in turn increase my income and prepare me for advanced roles where there is even more to learn and earn.
There is the added bonus that many certifications count as experience towards recertifying other certifications already obtained. 😉
My husband is currently taking some courses to complete his associates. He’s been driving me crazy because his needs for studying and methods of studying are so different than my own. I can – and actually need – the tv on to act as something to tune out and further focus on my studies, whereas for him it is too distracting. I need repetition through reading and writing to ingrain the concepts, methods, etc into my memory. He seems to pick it up on the first read through and doesn’t even take notes.
We both have been successful. The last time I went to a university I had a GPA of 3.86/4.0.; I have passed the FPC, CPP, and PHR with more than enough wiggle room. He last test he scored 93/100.
So my take away for you is: know your quirks. Know what drives you. Know what sort of environment and method you need to succeed at your task.
These are translatable skills that can easily be applied outside the classroom and testing center. Until you know yourself, you will float and flounder. Take the time to learn and to succeed. You can achieve anything when you put your mind to it. 😉