(left) Brian Poe, COO, HumanGeo (right) Patty Scott
Client Spotlight: HumanGeo – Hiring the Right Employee for Your Company’s Needs
By Stephanie Schehr, Client Services Specialist
Organizations, regardless of size or revenue, often find themselves in need of additional internal talent. Often these open positions are to fill permanent roles within a company, but sometimes an organization is in search of an employee only for an interim basis. Last year, the Arlington-based technology company HumanGeo found themselves in exactly that position. HumanGeo had experienced a surge in the size of their workforce and was anticipating even more growth in the coming months. As a small company, the general human resources tasks were distributed amongst the Office Manager and the COO, but as HumanGeo grew it needed a more formal foundation of human resources knowledge. Policies and procedures needed to be formalized, streamlined and put in place so that it could both effectively and legally function as a larger company.
To support HumanGeo through this growth period, COO Brian Poe needed an experienced HR professional who could provide knowledge and expertise to offer a few months of on-the-job training to their Office Manager. He turned to Titan for help with the search of an interim HR Consultant and Rachel Bender Meyer, Titan’s Director of Interim & Executive Search, was able to find him the right candidate. Matching Patty Scott with HumanGeo was a perfect example of being at the right place at the right time, as she had been considering consulting work following the sale of the company she had previously worked at. Brian had never hired an interim HR consultant before, and his expectations were focused on a high level of HR expertise because HumanGeo needed someone to quickly step in and help. Patty brought over 20 years of Human Resources experience and knowledge and was ready for the challenge.
The benefits from bringing Patty on board were almost instant. She came on during HumanGeo’s largest hiring surge yet, where they increased their employee count by roughly 40%. Patty’s extensive experience in Human Resources allowed her to quickly get a handle on the massive hiring and streamline their recruitment processes. To accommodate the influx of new employees, Patty helped implement a formal HRM system, which was both a central repository for employee data and an automated onboarding and benefits administration tool. The system’s automation gave new hires a better onboarding experience through the employee self-service and also freed up Patty’s time to be spent on other projects. Another large project that she was focused on was updating and implementing HR compliance standards. She was familiar with the requirements that were needed of a larger company, including various labor thresholds and laws, and was able to suggest improvements within the department. She also participated in a compensation study so that they would have access to valuable compensation data. In explaining how she was able to get acclimated so fast Patty explained, “The scope of my role was the day-to-day HR needs of a company and not a massive new initiative, so it was easy for me to step in and do what was needed. It was exciting to be in the startup phase of a company and watch it grow.”
Perhaps the greatest impact from bringing Patty on was shifting the HR responsibilities from the COO, Brian, to Patty, so that he could concentrate more fully on the company operations. Patty’s varied Human Resources knowledge allowed her to quickly impact all areas of the department, which freed Brian from having to research the different processes. In fact, HumanGeo found Patty to be so effective that they changed the scope of her original role. HumanGeo had originally wanted an HR consultant only to help through the few months of the hiring surge, but they have kept her on and made her a 1099 HR contractor for the company.
Making the choice to spend resources on internal departments can be a tough decision for companies, but Brian quickly realized the value of investing in HR talent. “Minimizing expenses and overhead costs is always a goal for companies, but HR is a necessary function. Human Resources turns out to be an investment in the ability to run a company,” he explained. Using an interim employee can be a route companies take that saves a bit of overhead costs without sacrificing the needed help.