By Emily Pietras
Photo by Amy Randall Photography
Jennifer Floyd has seen the human resources profession undergo significant change since she began her career more than two decades ago. What was once a “back-office support function” that helped hire, onboard, and manage employees has evolved into an integral department that, when leveraged properly, can positively impact company outcomes.
“[Human resources] will absolutely contribute to the bottom line and more revenue for an organization when it’s used to its best capacity,” Floyd says. “As companies grow, they realize the importance—or should realize the importance—of having that HR leader right beside them as they’re working on their strategy of their business.”
Floyd is the president and founder of HR Experts on Demand, which provides “outsourced HR support and consulting services” to businesses in industries ranging from health care to financial services to manufacturing.
Headquartered in Taylors, HR Experts on Demand assists companies in various capacities, including employee development and training, talent sourcing, compliance, and compensation management, among others. The company’s seven consultants each have more than a decade of experience in the human resources field, and all must undergo 60 hours of continuing education every three years.
Since launching HR Experts on Demand, Floyd has observed a pattern of practices that prevent human resource departments across businesses of all sizes from fulfilling their highest potential.
Small businesses, for example, often fall into the trap of delegating human resource tasks to owners, executives, controllers, or office managers. That strategy stems from a misunderstanding of the specialized duties involved in human resources, Floyd says.
“I think it’s because everyone feels like they can do people-related work. [They] feel like, ‘Well, it’s just people. I’m sure I can figure out how to handle the people part,’” she says. “But what they don’t realize is that there’s really a specific skill set in dealing with people and people-related issues. … And if you don’t have that training or that understanding, you can get yourself in trouble. Not only can you not do well in dealing with people and have some fallout from that, but you can also get yourself into some real trouble compliance-wise if you don’t know the rules.”
And larger human resources departments can become so bogged down in their day-to-day tasks that crucial long-term projects—whether it’s updating employee handbooks and company policies or reevaluating the company’s total rewards program—remain unaddressed.
Combine those limitations with the general daily unpredictability of the profession, and it’s clear why many human resources departments could benefit from external assistance.
“Anybody who works in human resources knows that you can never plan your day,” Floyd says. “You just never know what’s going to walk through the door that’s going to take your daily plan off track. And that happens more often than not, so typically HR people are so stretched, so for them to sit and think of the future and what they need to do strategically to align the people operation and the business operation—it’s just something that a lot of HR professionals feel like, ‘That’s a nice-to-have opportunity that I just can’t get to right now.’ And bringing in a consulting company to get to those projects head on and kind of get that off their list can be super helpful.”
As Greenville and the Upstate continue to draw new businesses, HR Experts on Demand has seen a rise in companies that need assistance with “compensation work of various kinds,” Floyd says.
“[We’ve seen a lot of] market pricing to make sure that compensation is competitive but also incentive plan design as well,” she says. “We also have a very tight labor market that we’re in, so competing for new talent is important. That turns your eyes toward your compensation structure when you’re trying to recruit.”
As the market continues to expand, Floyd knows HR Expert on Demand’s services will be needed to fill the gaps within human resources departments.
“With so much growth that we see, with so many businesses coming into the Greenville community … we see a large shortage of HR talent to be able to get into these organizations that need them as quickly as they do,” she says.
And her team is ready to help.
“We see cranes in the sky everywhere and construction everywhere, and I just know every time I see a new building go up, they’re going to need people, and that’s what we’re here for—to help them find and keep the people that they need to run their business and support the overall community and the growth that we have here,” Floyd says.