The One-Person HR Office

one-man showWhen Human Resources Managers feel overwhelmed, the fault may be their own. But, when you contract with a Professional Employer Organization to take on the bulk of the HR functions, you have a chance to re-invent yourself. If you have become the one-person HR office, you might appreciate some peer advice on how to be the hub of employee and employer expectations.

In a recent presentation, Lori Kleiman, SPHR offered a look at what she calls “the HR leadership SEAT.”

  1. Strategic
  2. Executive
  3. Action oriented
  4. Technologically savvy


With administrative and functional tasks taken on by your PEO, your future lies in your strategic strengths. You have to make use of the time created by the PEO alliance to focus on goals that align employee and employer objectives, talent assessment and development, and creating a culture of engagement.


You will still make decisions and develop policies that cross operations silos. You will interface with marketing, finance, and operations to fulfill their needs, increase their collaboration, and define their ethos. As the hub of their activities and interests, you are positioned to decide and frame their message.

Action Oriented

HR performance expectations will be higher once you have shifted your administrative functions. So, your actions need to be seen and heard. It falls to you to explain the impact of your work on organizational effectiveness. Making decisions based on information and analysis lets you benchmark your own effectiveness.

Technologically Savvy

Gathering data from PEO reports is merely administrative. Processing the data as performance and predictive analytics drives cost effective and organizationally effective decisions and communication. The ability to draw and imagine metrics that integrate data from sales, operations, and finance solidifies your value.

Creating a role as link

The one-person HR office is an opportunity to create and be the link between key organizational experiences. The link is a new role as “mastermind,” a functional connection among advisors, board, vendors, and workforce community. You can make the role unique and customized, in effect, recreating yourself. It is your moment to lead and shape the effective engagement at the executive level necessary to the organization’s success. This strategic opportunity enables and facilitates Human Resources and challenges HR professionals to embrace and shape their future.

Lacking such strategic ability, your one-person HR office becomes a call center for employee problems. Employees expect you to act as the moral center and conscience, and the executive suite demands cost justification for your every move. The PEO collaboration lets you avoid that, but it remains for you to take the necessary steps to make what you want of it.