Author Archives: CorpStrat News

Should you Hire or Outsource HR?

A question we often get is, “Should I hire a full-time HR person or outsource my HR?” It’s a really important question and we wanted to address it on the blog today. In general, HR is a critical part of any business operation. So much gets wrapped up in the HR seat, it’s often responsible for: maintaining morale, culture, hiring, firing, delivering employee handbooks, ensuring compliance, and more.

However, many firms decide not to have a full-time, dedicated HR person. Instead they’ll opt to delegate the task among several employees, all who may know a little bit about HR laws and guidelines, but may not know enough of the nuances to keep a company in compliance and help it reach its full potential.

So is there are “right way to do it”? Not necessarily, but there is a “right” solution that best fits your organization. We think there are three primary ways a business can set up their HR department; none of them are “right” or “wrong”, it’s just about finding the option that best fits the employer.

1. Hire a full-time HR person.

This is pretty self-explanatory, you can hire an in-house HR person that focuses solely on managing and executing HR. We think having an in-house HR person may be best for growing companies that have 55-70 plus employees. These organizations are large enough that they really do require the support of a full-time HR person or HR team.

2.  Outsourced HR.

If you hop on Google and look for an outsourced HR solution, you’ll find hundreds of them. Very few of them are really good but there’s an unending supply of them. These outsourced HR companies will help you with all the baseline HR tasks: handbooks, compliance, access to form libraries and policies. They can even help with employee agreements like hiring or separation agreements. Often they’ll provide ongoing support through a call center or email.

The main drawback is as a user is you’re left on your own to navigate their system and, because these tech HR companies are so massive, it can be difficult to get someone on the phone to answer your questions directly.

3. Full-service, outsourced HR.

Full-service, outsourced HR provides the same benefits as the outsourced HR department, but you get much more value because you would have a proxy HR department but not on your payroll.

These type of firms, can step in, get to know your team, and help with culture, morale, interviewing, hiring, terminations, conflict resolution, etc. And a lot of times they’ll even work directly with the employees and help drive your HR initiatives. We think this is how you get the best of both worlds.

There’s really no right or wrong way to do this. Every company is going to set up their HR department differently, based on the size of their company and their objectives. Sometimes it’s about finding the best combination of the two, depending on the needs of the company.

At CorpStrat, we offer full-service, outsourced HR. If you have questions about how to best set up your HR department, let us know. We’re here to help.

Recession-Proofing Strategies for Small Businesses and Their HR Teams

Amid a recession, organizations of all sizes and sectors usually experience decreased sales and profits stemming from changing consumer behaviors. An economic downturn may also limit an organization’s credit capabilities and reduce their overall cash flow as customers take more time to pay for products and services.

While these behaviors can threaten the financial stability of any organization, large businesses are often better positioned to weather a recession because of their substantial revenues, excess reserves and privileged access to a wider range of credit markets. Small businesses, on the other hand, may be particularly vulnerable during an economic downturn, as they generally lack the additional capital necessary to offset extended periods of loss. As a result, when a recession occurs, small businesses are more likely to have to make difficult financial decisions to avoid issues such as insolvency or bankruptcy.

Recessions can’t be prevented or avoided but the strategies that HR teams implement can great impact whether organizations are able to withstand the downturn. Specifically, HR teams can ensure their organizations are sufficiently prepared for a recession by taking steps to limit related ramifications and maintain financial stability. Today we’re going to talk about how a recession impacts small businesses and explores what HR teams can do to adequately prepare their organizations for an economic downturn.

Tips to Prepare for a Recession

To promote financial stability among their organizations during an economic downturn, HR teams should consider the following recession-proofing tips:

1. Revisit compensation and benefits strategies.

Many employers have responded to recent labor challenges by increasing workers’ salaries, providing substantial bonuses and expanding employee benefits and perks. However, with the possibility of a recession on the horizon, HR teams may need to rethink how their organizations will address attraction and retention struggles. This may involve curtailing salary increases and reducing employee benefits. After all, recession-proof organizations tend to develop their budgets with an eye toward the future.

2. Automate internal processes.

The more efficient organizations are, the more resilient they will likely be during a recession. In particular, recession-proof organizations tend to stay one step ahead by optimizing their resources and automating where possible. As such, HR teams can improve organizational productivity by automating processes and implementing new technologies. This may entail automating recruiting, onboarding and payroll operations to bolster efficiency.

3. Try to minimize layoffs.

When organizations’ financial capabilities become uncertain, their immediate plans may be to reduce costs through layoffs. However, layoffs should only be considered a last resort, seeing as they can create additional risks (e.g., legal liabilities, lower morale and employee distrust) and negatively impact business operations by decreasing productivity and proficiency. Instead, HR teams may be able to minimize the need for layoffs within their organizations by implementing voluntary reduction-in-force programs or choosing to slow hiring or pause it entirely.

4. Stay transparent.

The possibility of a recession can bring uncertainty. Employees will likely be concerned about their futures. They may question the long-term viability of their respective organizations. With this in mind, HR teams need to find ways to keep employees informed without fostering their worries. Creating transparent workplace cultures can help organizations limit recession-related ramifications.

5. Prioritize employee engagement.

Employee engagement can be vital leading up to and during a recession. During periods of economic uncertainty, employees are likely to feel stressed. When organizations are forced to lay off employees, the remaining employees tend to shoulder additional responsibilities and greater workloads. As a result, these employees feel overworked and unsure about their futures. According to industry experts, highly engaged employees can help limit recession-related labor challenges among organizations. Engaged employees are more likely to accept negative work changes and remain loyal. HR teams can increase employee engagement by meeting with employees regularly and addressing their concerns early. By increasing employee engagement during difficult times, HR teams can help maintain staff morale and productivity.

6. Manage health care costs.

As healthcare budgets shrink during a recession, searching for cost-effective solutions can allow organizations to maintain affordable benefits for employees. Implementing effective strategies to manage health care expenses can help HR teams keep their organizations’ reduced benefits budgets intact without sacrificing employees’ needs. This can include reevaluating plan designs and offerings, directing staff to cost-effective services, and improving employee health care literacy.


A recession can have serious impacts on small businesses. Fortunately, by properly preparing for an economic downturn, HR teams can help their organizations be better positioned to minimize financial hardships.

Have additional questions? Reach out to us at

4 Attraction and Retention Trends to Monitor in 2023

Last year’s labor market was a roller coaster and we believe 2023 will be no different. A lot is uncertain but one thing is clear: employers will struggle to compete for top talent.  Labor metrics indicate that though the market has slightly improved over last year, it’s still a tight labor market, numbers remain historically high. While most employers project an increase in salaries in 2023, many will look beyond pay alone to help attract and retain current and prospective employees.

While some companies have been offering higher compensation and better benefits packages, many organizations also are looking for other ways to optimize their offerings and enhance employee experience. As they compete for talent, many may take a total rewards approach to fulfill employees’ workplace desires. Today, we’re talking about four attraction and retention trends to watch in 2023.

1. Redesigned Flexibility

Remote work exploded at the height of the pandemic and many organizations shifted to a flexible work model out of necessity. Nearly three years later, having flexible and remote work models has shifted from a perk to a given. Employees want the flexibility to work when and where they want.

For employers, it’s essential to balance organizational goals with employee desires. It’s important to adapt to employee expectations around flexible work models while also keeping an eye on business priorities that might call for having employees back in the office. While workplace flexibility is not always feasible, employers can evaluate their own situations and consider ways to develop flexible arrangements. The goal is to focus on output and productivity rather than time spent online or in the workplace.

2. Mental Health Support

Between the pandemic, inflation and job duties, more employees feel burnt out or are battling mental health challenges. More employers will be considering how to take a proactive approach towards employee mental well-being and resilience. A survey from the employee wellness platform, Gympass, revealed that nearly half of employees (48%) say their well-being declined in 2022. In addition, 28% say they are miserable at work. Health experts predict that employees’ mental health will continue to decline amid economic uncertainty, which means the demand for mental health care will increase in 2023.

Employers can offer benefits, perks, and wellness programs designed to support mental well-being. To address burnout, many employers will offer or expand their employee assistance programs, behavioral health anti-stigma campaigns, and training for recognizing employee and peer behavioral health issues. Employers are poised to offer the education and support that today’s workers need and are looking for.

3. Learning and Development Opportunities

Learning and developing efforts have been on the rise in recent years. Not only are workers looking for professional growth opportunities at an employer, but many organizations are upskilling or reskilling workers, as it’s often less expensive to reskill a current employee than hire a new one. On the flip side, employees who receive learning and development opportunities are more likely to stay with the company and grow into different roles. Therefore, learning and development initiatives prove to be a win-win situation for employers and employees.

As employers go head-to-head in the competitive race for talent in 2023, upskilling their current workforces could be a solution to finding workers for their in-demand roles. Furthermore, organizations are prioritizing internal mobility to address skills gaps and strengthen employee retention.

4. Increased Focus on Belonging

Nurturing a sense of belonging is a critical component of company culture. At work, belonging is the experience of employees feeling accepted and included by those around them. While belonging doesn’t necessarily come with a price tag, employers can invest efforts and resources into ensuring their workplaces are inclusive, collaborative, and connected. Employees are looking for a work environment that’s authentic and accepting. A focus on belonging can play a crucial role in improving workplace culture.

Many workplace factors can impact employees’ sense of belonging, including company culture, benefits offerings, communication methods, learning and development resources and mental health support. Any day-to-day interactions among co-workers and managers or companywide initiatives may impact workplace culture and the overall employee experience. When an organization develops reputation for being an inclusive and supportive workplace, new talent is eager to join. Employers can elevate employee experiences by creating workplaces where employees feel they belong and can be their authentic selves.


Employers can get ahead of the game in 2023 by monitoring the trends shaping the ever-evolving labor market and driving current and prospective employees’ needs and wants. While attraction and retention challenges are likely to continue this year, these trends demonstrate ways employers can elevate and strengthen their talent strategies to win and keep more workers.

Reach out to CorpStrat for more guidance on these topics and other employee attraction and retention trends.

Today’s Top Compensation Trends

Although some organizations may cut jobs or reduce hiring as economic growth slows, some are paying higher employee wages to keep and win top talent. More than ever, compensation is top of mind for employers and employees alike. Today, workers can demand higher pay and better benefits as many employers face a worker shortage and struggle with employee attraction and retention. The latest compensation trends aren’t just about wage increases, but also workers wanting to get paid differently, be compensated based on their work, and receive more pay transparency.

Organizations are facing evolving talent challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has given workers time to reflect on their jobs and consider opportunities with a fresh perspective. On top of that, both employers and employees are feeling the financial strain of record-high inflation. When employees feel adequately compensated for their job, they’re more motivated to give it their all. Proper compensation demonstrates to employees that they’re valued as workers and humans. This article explores today’s top compensation trends and how employers can best compete in the labor market looking ahead to 2023.

1. Salary Hikes

The reality of the current labor market is that there are more open jobs than people to fill them, and inflation is impacting employees’ pay expectations. As a result, salary budgets for American employees are projected to increase in 2023. According to Willis Towers Watson’s
July report, companies are budgeting an overall average increase of 4.1% for 2023, compared with the average actual 4% increase in 2022. Keep in mind that these are the most significant increases since 2008. Forty-six percent of respondents said the top reason pay budgets are increasing next year is based on employee expectations for higher pay.

These percentages don’t account for inflation, so pay bumps likely haven’t helped workers much. While employers are exploring more competitive compensation strategies, wage raises still lag behind the current rate of inflation.

2. Variable Pay

Generally, pay is categorized as “variable” when a substantial proportion of an employee’s compensation changes from time to time, rather than being set at a fixed hourly or salary rate. For example, some compensation plans may have a less substantial base pay—allowing employees to earn a high percentage of their total compensation via variable pay, such as sales commission or earnings based on performance. Likewise, others use variable pay for a very small proportion of an employee’s total rewards, such as an expected bonus at the end of the year.

When utilized effectively, these incentives can boost motivation. Organizations also sometimes leverage these structures to retain flexibility and adaptability—particularly in uncertain economic environments. If the business does well, more compensation can be shared with employees, while allowing the ability to avoid excess pay if profits are down.

3. On-Demand Pay

The traditional weekly or biweekly concept of “payday” is ingrained in many workplaces. However, some employers are exploring ways to pay their workers faster, especially those in industries that provide hourly wages or have high turnover rates (e.g., retail, hospitality, manufacturing and health care). On-demand pay allows employees to be paid as soon as they’ve earned their wages. Americans are facing rising costs for everyday essentials, health care, and other emergencies. Because of these increasing financial burdens, employers are considering how they can provide employees with faster access to their earnings.

Employers may use bank account direct deposits or prepaid debit cards to pay employees instantly. The ability to be paid sooner can be valuable and potentially provide additional organizational benefits, such as increased attraction and retention levels.

4. Raises

Raises are in the spotlight as many workers change jobs or careers. According to a new ADP report analyzing payroll data, workers who changed jobs got a median raise of 16.1%. Interestingly, according to the same report, that’s nearly double the median change (7.6%) in yearly pay for those who stayed in their jobs. Job hopping has proven to be a way employees can compete with increasing costs amid inflation and be better positioned to afford everyday life. To compete, organizations are finding ways to offer raises to match the pay increases of employees’ counterparts leaving for other, higher-paying opportunities.

5. Pay Transparency

Pay transparency is another hot topic. Today’s workers want to know what they’ll be paid before interviewing and that they’re being compensated fairly compared to their colleagues. Workers also want to clearly understand their career development potential, as many are interested in professional growth opportunities.

Some large states, most recently California, have passed pay transparency requirements. For example, some states require organizations to disclose salary in job postings, but others require it only upon request. The goal is to promote more equitable pay regardless of specific details. Although conditions can vary, many municipalities and states are poised to join the growing nationwide pay transparency movement. As a result, many U.S. employers feel pressured to provide salary information even when they are not legally required to do so. This pressure has been compounded by the increase in companies, such as and Glassdoor Inc., posting pay estimates and data for job postings that can often be inaccurate.

6. Well-Being Perks

As many workers reconsider their jobs they may also look to take better care of themselves physically and mentally. Today’s employees seek work-life balance and resources to care for themselves and their families. Although many organizations have expanded their employee assistance programs, mental wellness goes beyond access to care. Employers can consider how employees are treated in the workplace and find ways to help reduce burnout. Some employers are offering mental health days and flexible working options to help employees take control of their workday.

7. Increased Minimum Wage

For years, states have been pushing their minimum wage above the federal minimum rate of $7.25 an hour. When both the state rate and federal rates apply, employers must pay their employees the higher of the two rates. This can also be true of local ordinances for minimum wage—which can be even higher.


As businesses and individuals continue to navigate high inflation and other financial challenges, compensation will remain a top deciding factor for workers. As employees reconsider their jobs and careers, total compensation can be the item that piques their attention.

Organizations will likely continue to compete for top talent—local, hybrid and remote—and compensation could be the differentiator. Reach out to us for additional resources.

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