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5 Strategies for Thriving as a Solo HR Professional

hr best practices hr department team work Jun 11, 2024

In today's dynamic business landscape, it's not uncommon for small businesses to rely on a single individual to manage all their HR needs. HR is a critical function in many businesses, but often one person can handle the work. That still leaves you alone on an island, missing peers to bounce ideas off and help fill in the gaps when needed. Whether you're a seasoned HR veteran or a multi-tasking organizational team member juggling HR responsibilities alongside other duties, you need ideas to make every day easier!

These are some of my favorite strategies that will help you navigate the challenges of being a department of one!

1. Master Time Management

As a solo HR practitioner, your time is precious and constantly in demand. We tend to allow others to infringe on our priorities by showing up at the door and expecting help in the moment. From balancing the expectations of top management to addressing the diverse needs of employees, it's crucial to prioritize tasks that align with your organization's goals. Start by clearly defining your objectives and focus on activities that drive tangible results. Embrace the power of delegation and don't hesitate to say no to tasks that don't align with your priorities. Own your time and be willing to tell others when you just don’t have time. Navigate the situation by scheduling time in the future to work on their needs.

2. Communicate Your Goals

Take ownership of your role by proactively communicating your objectives to stakeholders. Collaborate with your manager to establish 3-4 strategic goals that align with the company's vision and make them visible to everyone in the organization. By clearly articulating your focus areas, you empower yourself to say no to distractions and stay aligned with your mission. Be sure that you proactively share that your goals are focused on driving the strategy of the business forward, not doing administrative tasks for others.

3. Streamline Internal Processes

Efficiency is the name of the game when you're a department of one. Conduct regular assessments of your HR processes to identify areas for improvement and automation. Whether it's simplifying onboarding procedures or restructuring performance reviews, investing in technology and optimizing workflows will free up valuable time for strategic initiatives. Consider the use of AI today to handle repetitive tasks.

4. Cultivate Vendor Relationships

Vendor management is a critical aspect of running your small HR department. Identify key vendors who can help lighten your workload, whether it's through payroll services, benefits administration, or recruitment support. Regularly review contracts to ensure they meet your needs and leverage vendor expertise to enhance your HR capabilities.

5. Network and Learn

Don't operate in a silo – seek opportunities to connect with peers and learn from their experiences. Join HR groups, attend industry conferences, or participate in online forums to stay updated on best practices and emerging trends. Many vendors offer free or low cost programs that will give you access to top experts in the field. Engaging with other professionals not only provides valuable insights but also expands your network of support and resources.


Being a solo HR practitioner doesn't mean you have to navigate the challenges alone. By implementing these strategies, you can effectively manage your responsibilities, align with your organization's goals, and elevate the impact of your HR function. Remember, collaboration and continuous learning are key to thriving in your role.

Leverage your unique skills and expertise to drive positive change within your organization, and don't hesitate to reach out for support when needed. Together, we can redefine the role of solo HR professionals in today's ever-evolving workplace.

Thanks for reading!

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