How Much Money Should You Spend on HR?

How Much Money Should You Spend on HR?

I have a lot of owners and managers asking me what Human Resources support they need and what they should be spending. Well, that is only when they have the courage to ask me because many people think they don’t need HR support when they are a small organization. Click here to learn more about what the role of HR is read my previous article.

How much money you spend on Human Resources for your organization depends on the number of employees you have, your ability to pay, and the support you need.

Read below to get all the details.

Table of HR Needs by Number of Employees

Here is a simple table showing some of the information from the full table I created. To see the full table with 1-75 employees and also has USA dollars, click hereOpens in a new tab..

# of EmployeesPay Per Year Up ToPay Per Month Up ToHR Resources
1-9$9,244.61$770.38Owner with HR Support
10-13$13,353.32$1,112.78Owner/non-HR Manager with HR Support
14-24$24,652.29$2,054.36Owner/non-HR Manager HR Support/Consultant
25-47$48,277.40$4,023.12P/T HR Assistant with HR Support/Consultant
48-57$58,549.18$4,879.10F/T HR Assistant with HR Support/Consultant
58-63$64,712.26$5,392.69P/T HR Advisor or F/T Assistant with HR Support/Consultant
64-74$76,011.22$6,334.27P/T HR Advisor with HR Consultant
75+$77,038.40+$6,419.87+Full-time HR Advisor
Chart with key data from the main chart.

Number of Employees

As the table above indicates that the more employees you have the more HR support you need. Small organizations can get away with just the owner seeking cheap advice. Large organizations need more support with an in-house HR department.

The number of employees you have is a guide to help you out. The number of employees you have may not be relevant depending on what your organization does. An example would be if you operate a seasonal business where you need to hire and lay off tens or hundreds of employees twice a year. In this case, a full-time HR Advisor or Recruiter may be justifiable.

As a rule, only have 1.4 HR professional employees for every 100 other employees you have. That is where the chart above gets the top number of employees as 75. Only consider a full-time HR Advisor when you have at least 75 other employees.

Ability to Pay

HR professionals are not cheap so if your organization is not making enough revenue or there is no additional funding then you shouldn’t have a full-time HR department.

Having HR will take work and responsibility from the owner or managers helping the organization.  Although, it is a large overhead cost those small or low-profit organizations may not be able to afford it.

Luckily, below I explain many different options until your organization can afford a full-time HR Advisor.

Explaining the HR Resources from the Table

The HR Resources you will need will totally depend on your organization and the collective HR experience of the owner and managers. Below are the explanations of all the different types of HR resources or professionals you may need.

Owner with HR Support: 1 – 24 Employees

If you are a small organization then the owner may need so additional support. The HR support may be simple cheap or free if they know where to look. Consider putting an HR Advisor or HR Firm on a monthly retainer allows the owner to ask questions when needed.

I have set up a great service just for this! I have a Patreon site that allows members to ask me unlimited HR questions. As a bonus, you get to see all my previous answers to questions from other members. I do live in Canada so my experience in legislation and HR law may be limited to other countries. Click here now to join for as low as $5 per monthOpens in a new tab..

Non-HR Manager with HR Support: 10 – 24 Employees

This is a smiler situation, but the owner has given HR duties to a staff member. This staff member may be a manager in the organization, but their primary function is not HR. An example would be the Finance Manager doubling as the HR Manager.

Naturally, this manager also will need some support. My Patreon HR ServiceOpens in a new tab. above will work but they may need some additional support since the organization is larger. In this case, putting an actual HR Advisor on a retainer may be needed.

I do have this service where I answer unlimited HR questions, meet with you monthly, and even give you a direct phone number to call me. Click here to learn more about this service that starts at $99 Canadian per monthOpens in a new tab..

If your organization is in the USA you may want to consider my affiliate partner Bambee by clicking hereOpens in a new tab.. Their monthly HR service starts at $99 US per month.

HR Consultant for Projects: 14 – 74 Employees

There may be times when you have an HR project that needs to get done. Projects like creating a new policy, creating a team handbook, hiring a batch of new employees, doing an employee engagement survey, doing a senior leadership team review survey, or anything that needs more HR expertise.

This is when an HR Consultant can be hired to do the one-time project. Use a consultant to support your organization until you have a full-time HR Advisor on your team.

In Canada, you can connect with my company for your HR projects, LBH Business Services IncOpens in a new tab..

Part-time HR Assistant with HR Support: 25 – 47 Employees

An HR Assistant will take many daily tasks away from the non-HR manager you have doing the work. This will allow that manager to do more of the work they are skilled at.

A part-time HR Assistant may have some HR knowledge but not as much as an HR Advisor. They may have an HR Certificate or working on it. They could also be working to get their HR Degree.

It would be advisable to continue to have an HR consultant or firm on retainer to give you advice. My Patreon serviceOpens in a new tab. may also still be a good resource.

Full-time HR Assistant with HR Support: 48 – 63 Employees

As your organization grows moving to a full-time HR Assistant is a great option before moving to an actual HR Advisor. Although, you still need to give them access to HR support in some way as I mentioned for part-time HR Assistants.

Part-time HR Advisor: 58 – 74 Employees

Now you will have true HR experience in-house!

This can save your non-HR team members a lot of time as all HR functions can be transferred. At this point, your whole organization may be specializing as you can redefine roles as you get more employees.

You still may need additional support when doing projects as your HR Advisor is still part-time.

Earn a full-tim income blogging in 24 months.

Full-time HR Advisor: 75+ Employees

This is it, the place you want to be! Your full-time HR Advisor should have enough time to cover all daily tasks and handle all the HR projects.

Naturally, as you continue to grow your HR Department will grow as your HR Advisor needs support. Additional support roles may be an HR Assistant or Recruiter. Eventually, when you get to 5-8 people in your HR Department you will want to add an HR Manager.

Note: Avoid giving any person in your HR Department the tile of HR Manager until you really need one.

What’s Next?

Use this information to help you decide what HR resources you really need. Keep your permanent or monthly HR costs low but don’t be scared to get simple ongoing support.

Also, expect to have the occasional HR project where you will need the temporary services of an HR Consultant.

For human resources support in Canada, click here to book a free HR needs assessment now. If you’re on a budget, consider joining my Patreon to ask unlimitedOpens in a new tab. HR questions. If you need HR advice sooner, book a consultation via Fiverr here.

Ian Hopfe

Ian Hopfe is the owner of LBH Business Services Inc. in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Ian is an Indigenous Human Resources Consultant. He has over ten years experience in HR and over fifteen years experience in management. All blog articles on this website are written by Ian unless a guest writer is indicated on the post.

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