Just-in-time HR: Passing fad or here to stay?

There are pros and cons to be had – it’s all about avoiding the pitfalls
By Cissy Pau
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/12/2016

Let’s time travel back 20 years. Take a company of about 500 staff, with the HR department employing nine employees — an HR manager, HR co-ordinator, HR administrator, secretary, payroll and benefits manager, benefits administrator, health and safety manager, two payroll administrators and a labour relations manager, with support from a vice-president and a CFO. 

Almost all HR expertise came from in-house generalists and specialists. External resources were required only occasionally — a headhunter, a labour lawyer, an actuary and an outplacement firm. 

Fast forward to 2016. There is little possibility the HR structure for a 500-person company would look the same. With downsizing, rightsizing and restructuring, HR departments are leaner. HR staff need to be generalists with knowledge in many areas — knowledge a mile wide and an inch deep — from the strategic to the tactical. Automation and technology have reduced HR staff counts.