Shared HR Services Guide
Better Together: A Shared HR Services Guide for Non-profit Organizations is a comprehensive framework developed by the HR Council to assist organizations in the development and implementation of a shared HR services model.
Understanding the context
In many organizations, HR management is just one part of one person’s (usually the executive director’s) job description. Considering the range of competing priorities (think funding, volunteer management or program delivery to start), HR management and its related activities are often relegated to the bottom of the proverbial To Do List. While other activities often take priority, the fact remains that HR issues are significant, sobering and stressing leaders to the point where programs and services are being impacted. Some of these issues include:
- Unsuccessful recruitment and retention practices
- Lack of, or out-dated HR policies and procedures
- Confusing and ineffective performance management systems
- Problems with legal compliance including costly terminations
- A lack of concentrated HR capacity building among leaders
Understanding that this is the reality for many organizations, the HR Council explored the development of a shared service guide that would help nonprofit leaders address these issues while building their own capacity to effectively manage HR and workplace issues. Specifically, the guide outlines the potential value and benefit derived when a group of committed executive directors comes together as an ensemble, pools their resources and collectively hires an HR professional – allowing them to access a level of expertise that they might otherwise not be able to afford individually.
The guide, available in a downloadable PDF, provides nonprofit leaders and their boards with background information on the shared HR service concept and outlines the steps and considerations required to collectively hire and benefit from the experience of an HR professional. The content of the guide is largely based on experiences gleaned from the Muttart Foundation’s HR Cluster Pilot Project in Alberta and another current shared HR model serving a group of organizations in Toronto.
The guide is divided into 5 sections:
The introduction presents the Shared HR Services guide, outlines the ensemble format and identifies certain assumptions that have been made.
Making the case for an ensemble
This section identifies a range of critical success factors for the ensemble and reviews potential barriers, both internal and external, that you may encounter along the way.
Identifying who should participate
This section presents the desired characteristics of both ensemble participants and the HR expert.
The key elements of an ensemble
This section reiterates the importance of the executive director’s participation to the success of the ensemble model.
Understanding and justifying the cost
This section answers a number of questions relating to the costs associated with hiring and working with an HR expert as an ensemble. Two ensemble scenarios are provided as examples. In addition, the framework demonstrates the return on investment experienced by participants in existing shared HR service models.
Included as appendices are a number of tools and resources including a list of questions that should be considered as well as a profile outlining the key responsibility areas and desired competencies for the HR expert.
Creating your own ensemble
The HR Council is keen to connect with individuals and organizations that are interested in moving forward with the development of their own shared HR services models. We hope to follow the development of such models in communities across the country with the goal of documenting the experiences of participants for a follow-up case study series that would be made available in the Resource Centre on our website.
For more information about this guide or to express your interest in sharing your own experience in developing a shared HR service model please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org