No HR Budget? No problem. Create efficiency without the cost.

In over fifteen years in HR, thousands of HR publications read, and hundreds of conferences attended, almost the same case studies are presented as “new ideas” again and again. Topics such as talent development or ways for HR to lift its strategic game are brought up time and time again. Now, finally, we are seeing changes and some new ideas, but not as a result of game changing HR professionals.

It’s a new world, a new game, and there are some really interesting things going on; applicant tracking systems, transparent goal setting, 360 performance reviews, automatic organizational chart creators from Excel data (my favorite at the moment), and better team communication platforms. These software providers are rewriting how HR works, and the processes HR people used to set.

Data and publications indicate that there has been a recent and strong investment in team building, effectiveness, and communication software. Given that information, we should expect to see some true game-changing ways of working and team interaction in the next 3-12 months.  

Before I say any more, I first wanted to mention some budget solution ideas that will get you on this bandwagon, even without a budget. The secret is to be open minded.  Here are some ways in which your existing budget can be redistributed to allow you to invest into getting yourself out of the detail (and most likely reduce your budget even more):

Let one idea lead to the other…

  • 5 to 4 days! It’s unbelievable how many times I’ve seen this work successfully. The idea of a 40-hour work week and scoping roles to be 40 hours is a bit traditionalized and corporatized. I haven’t seen a role yet that couldn’t be streamlined or reconfigured to achieve the same results on four days instead of five. Analyze the figure, and you will have some substantial savings to play with.

  • The contingent worker is a REAL THING and becoming more and more common. Often the brightest and the best are willing to take a cut in salary for more flexibility or part time work. Buy more with less… and get more is the takeaway.

  • Changing the way payroll happens. My success rate is about 7/10 when it comes to looking at payroll processes and finding ways to streamline it, in term saving a ridiculous amount of spend. From switching providers or the software utilized, for example, bringing it in-house, outsourcing it, changing pay runs from fortnightly to monthly…there is some big money here to be uncovered.

  • Looking at your recruitment agency spend across your ENTIRE business. Many times, I have seen HR leaders push for this type of spend to be charged to each business unit, instead of centralizing the spend in an HR Budget - WRONG approach! Why? Because you lose the visibility of how much money is actually being spent and your opportunity to reduce this (by using that exact number) and reallocating it somewhere else. If you take a closer look, you will more than likely find agency spend for roles that could without a doubt have been recruited in-house. In addition, centralizing will also give you greater opportunity to negotiate rates. 

Disappointed, confused, and overwhelmed with the many choices and options out there? Most are, and knowing the right questions to ask will be your key to success. I use an HR blueprint to map the ins and outs to help ensure my desired outcome is met and that I make the right choices along the way.

Be cautious, as HR Software providers are also becoming great marketers. I hear far too often from HR people that what they got was not what they were sold.

Brian DeGregoryComment