Eastern PA Business Journal – Jan. 14, 2008: Work Force Changes Prompt HR Firm to Start Service
Eastern PA Business Journal
Employment Outlook 2008
by Stacie Wescoe, Business Journal Staff
The work place is changing according to Tina Hamilton, President and CEO of hireVision in Whitehall. She said not only is the labor pool diminishing with baby boomers moving into retirement age, but the new crop of workers available to employers is also much different than the one that is leaving.
“Our parents came to work every day and didn’t think about it, but the day of seeing 20-year tenures is gone. People are changing jobs faster and demanding more from their employers,” said Hamilton. She said the shift in what employees expect as far as support and services from their employers has left many small and mid-sized businesses either unable to cope with those demands, or without the time to handle day-to-day human resources issues.
To address the need, Hamilton said hireVision is changing the way it is doing business, establishing an a la carte menu of human resources employee support services, known as DirectLink. She said the move is a big change from the original intent of hireVision, which she established in 2002 with the sole purpose of allowing the firm’s Lehigh Valley-based and national clients to outsource their entire hiring process versus going to a head hunter or staffing service.
But she saw that hiring employees wasn’t the only need her clients had; retaining them was also becoming an issue. “A lot of these managers and bosses are very good at what they do, but they have no idea how to deal with employee issues, or they don’t have time to do it,” said Hamilton. “The problem is that the number one reason people leave jobs is due to poor supervision or poor communication.”
She said DirectLink is a fairly unique service in that hireVision can perform tasks based on the employee needs of a company. “You can have one company with 20 employees that hardly ever calls you, and another company with 20 employees where it’s a living hell,” she said.
Examples of issues the firm would tackle would be developing employee policies, interpreting policies and dealing with issues such as sexual harassment or nepotism. “You could call us up as an employee and say, ‘I have a sister that I would like to come work for the company’ and we can help you find out what the company’s policy is with that and deal with the issue,” she said. “They can also call us and say, ‘Hey, I think my paycheck is wrong,’ and we can help resolve that.”
More than a call-in service, she said the firm deals with such issues over the telephone, by e-mail or even Web conferencing. She said for clients in the Lehigh Valley area, her staffers also help out with such support services in person.
Hamilton said she tries to tell clients that the biggest value of the service is that it frees them up with the task of dealing with human resources issues, which she said most employers dread, and allows managers and owners to concentrate on what they do best – growing the business.
But she said having an outsourced human resources department can also save money for companies. Hamilton said that the average human resources manager earns between $75,000 and $80,000 a year, and that companies with less than 75 to 100 employees can’t always justify that cost. She said while the cost of her services vary depending on the scope and volume of the work, because her firm is only working part time for a specific client, the cost is generally one quarter to one half of that. She said her client service contracts can range from under $1,000 a year to over $250,000.
With the addition of the new employee support services through DirectLink, Hamilton said she is projecting a 50 percent growth for her $1 million-plus a year business, and she is in the process of hiring additional human resources professionals to augment her current nine-person staff.
She said hiring numbers will be based on how quickly DirectLink takes off, but she expects even more dramatic growth in coming years as hireVision begins an aggressive national marketing campaign through an Atlanta, Ga.-based public relations firm they recently hired.
“The evolution is incredible,” said Hamilton. “You need to serve your employees and support your employees or it will affect your bottom line.”