HR professionals could soon be offered jobs working for up to 20 firms at once under plans drawn up by business leaders.
David Frost, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), told Personnel Today he was working on a system that would allow organisations to share HR professionals. "There is an opportunity for small businesses to group together and collectively employ an HR person," he said. "This is something we are looking at."
Frost is in talks with regional Chambers of Commerce about the scheme, and hopes to have something up and running by the end of the year. "Lots of small businesses cannot afford their own HR professional," he said. "But the increasing amount of employment legislation means they need to be kept abreast of HR issues. It could be that 20 companies come together and employ one HR person as a group."
One plan under consideration would see HR professionals encouraged to set up independently and then fill their time with different firms. Another option would be facilitating one firm to employ an HR professional and sub-contract them out to other businesses.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) welcomed the idea, and said it could prove "very attractive" to HR professionals.
Vanessa Robinson, CIPD organisation and resources adviser, said: "It would need to be set up carefully in terms of contract, and it would be important that the HR person established a good relationship with the businesses involved. But it could offer an insight into different organisations and a variety of work - it could be very attractive."
The BCC already offers Chamber HR, an online service allowing small businesses to download standard HR documents and advice.