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HR is one of the most challenging areas to develop and stay on top of in any organization — especially in today’s quickly changing work environments. HR professionals are responsible for an overwhelming number of responsibilities from record keeping and payroll, to employee engagement and satisfaction, developing competitive compensation and benefits packages, and hiring and retaining top talent that fills gaps in their workforce. HR and legal mistakes are costly — for companies and individuals.
For organizations needing wrap-around support, a membership with a trusted HR partner and employment law guide is essential for success. Memberships through HR providers like MidAtlantic Employers’ Association (MEA) in Pennsylvania, can help you address the day-to-day challenges of HR while supporting your long-term growth for years to come.
In this guide from MEA, you’ll learn everything you need to know about an HR and employment law membership — what to look for, questions to ask before purchasing a membership, and how your HR and executive teams can make the most of your membership investment.
Table of Contents
HR and employment law challenges — for any size of organization
HR is a complex function. When it comes to the compliance side of human resources, it can be very difficult for any HR professional stay on top of evolving regulations, requirements, and shifts in legislation, let alone for business leaders and owners whose primary concern is running the business. Does your organization employ people across several states? That adds another layer of complexity.
For startups and businesses in the early years
Depending on the life cycle of your organization, you may need different services at various stages of growth. For instance, start up companies need foundational HR elements such as finding talent, HR technology, developing a handbook and writing policies, and implementing a benefits package. All of these needs can be coordinated and supported through MEA or one of our partner relationships.
For growing, multi-state organizations
Organizations in a growth phase have greater and more complex needs. For companies employing an increasing number of people, their focus shifts to employee relations concerns, conflict resolution and termination, and leaves of absence. And now that we’re seeing more remote environments, it’s crucial to have an HR expert who understands multi-state compliance* for remote work.
Additional employer needs
Beyond size and location, other factors are cause for HR and employment law challenges. Additional employer-related needs include:
- Practical, personal guidance that comes with local or regional insight.
- Flexible solutions that allow them to allocate their HR budget wisely, getting help for what they need most when they need it most.
- Quick access to resources, support and advice to solve compliance and people challenges before they become costly.
- Help finding, engaging, and retaining top talent that fills gaps and builds dynamic teams.
- Training and coaching to develop teams, leaders, and managers efficiently.
- Responsive experts who get to know their team members, their business, and offer support for years to come.
*MEA supports state compliance in 49 states, primarily headquartered in the MidAtlantic states. For organizations with remote employees in California, MEA refers companies to trusted agencies within that state.
Advantages of fractional HR support through membership
Investing in a membership for HR and employment law comes with several benefits. Here are just a few:
1. One-stop resource for compliance + HR
Your membership can be the one place you go to to get ahead of HR challenges, keep you compliant and learning as you navigate. You get access to resources and tools that you would otherwise have to piecemeal together on your own.
2. Dedicated HR partner
The difference between a standard HR membership and a great one? Finding an HR partner who understands your work and your organization, works the way you do, has similar values, and will stay with you as you grow and change over the years.
3. Reliable, trustworthy expertise
Every CEO and CFO knows the sinking feeling of employee complaints or oversights that potentially jeopardize their organization and company success. One big advantage of an HR and employment law membership is compliance expertise at the ready that keeps you on top of new legislation and out of trouble. For HR professionals tasked with every aspect of HR, a membership’s big value is keeping them current. They need a guide to raise a yellow flag of caution, offer a reminder of what’s ahead, and give sound advice for all things people related.
4. A community of peers
Growing and managing a business can be a lonely undertaking. CEOs and executives need connections to people who’ve been (or are) in their shoes. People outside of their organization they can trust, lean on, glean ideas or bounce ideas off of. A great HR membership allows for networking opportunities, events, and online communities that make “I’ve-been-there” advice accessible and confidential. You just have to set aside the time to fully utilize your HR membership features and benefits.
5. Well-rounded perspectives & advice
While having a membership with an HR partner well-versed in your industry has its advantages, it’s even more beneficial to have a membership with experts well-rounded in many industries, like MidAtlantic Employers’ Association. Looking outside your industry can surface new perspectives and insightful guidance that you may not get from a membership with a standard HR services provider.
6. Save time & money
In the long run, a membership that gets you (and your team) unlimited access to HR experts and employment attorneys will save you time. And if structured well, you will save money across all your fractional HR support needs.
The downside? You have to remember your membership is robust and there to be used. Rather than waste time searching for solutions or wrestling with out-of-the-ordinary problems, contact your HR partner. They’ll likely be able to find what you need faster, and give you advice that’s more particular and realistic to your needs and situation.
Signs it’s time to invest in a membership
No matter your role in your organization, there are key questions you can ask to determine if it’s time to consider a membership for HR and employment law services, or if you need to outsource your HR altogether through HRO services.
Indicators for c-suite executives:
- Has your organization grown to over 50 employees or crossed state lines?
- Do you frequently find yourself in need of additional HR expertise or advice?
- Are you worried about or experiencing liability exposure?
- Are you bogged down by unfamiliar HR challenges and needs that keep you from focusing on running your business or organization?
- Is hiring a full-time HR professional too expensive? Do you need to save money?
Indicators for HR professionals, generalists, and managers:
- Are you spending too much time managing HR problems?
- Have you had an employee situation arise and not known what to do or who to call for guidance?
- Is your HR department struggling with capacity?
- Are you unable to respond to changes as quickly as you know you need to?
- Is your organizational culture and employee engagement suffering?
- Do you find it difficult to keep up with finding, hiring, and onboarding top talent?
- Are you losing valuable employees to competitors with better benefits packages?
- Has juggling payroll taken over all of your time?
- Are you struggling to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of HR and employment law?
- Have you consistently reached out to a colleague whose role is not in HR as a resource?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, read on!
We’ll help you understand the most utilized services in a membership with an HR provider or employment attorneys. Learn what to look for to find the right partner.
Making the most of your HR and employment law membership
Any valuable HR and employment law membership will not only be robust enough to handle every aspect of your human resource and legal needs, but also structured with flexibility in mind. Most memberships take a tiered approach, so you can get the help you need most when you need it most. Knowing which services and projects to invest in first will maximize your budget, focus your team’s efforts, and allow your HR and legal partner to serve you well.
Small businesses or new organizations commonly look for HR support in foundational areas, such as:
- Employee Handbook* development and updates
- Hiring and termination forms, and human resource consultation to guide them through new problems they’ve not encountered before
- Access to compensation planning tools for competitive recruitment
- Advice for employee records and payroll support for accurate bookkeeping and payroll
Big value for small businesses: One of the best ways for small organizations to make the most of their membership, is to connect their team and simply make the call when they have a question. Some memberships include access to a 24-hour hotline or unlimited calls and email communications so companies can get help during any shift, day or night.
Larger, growing organizations gear their memberships toward:
- Consultation for balancing and managing an uptick in leave of absence requests
- Planning and organizing coaching and training to help management teams level up their leadership skills and reach their potential
- Legal advice to avoid liabilities, mitigate or alleviate compliance issues, and make necessary updates to stay in compliance
- Employee Handbook* updates
Big value for large organizations: For business leaders and CEOs of thriving businesses, memberships with a networking community and peer groups offer a huge value. They get to converse with others who’ve already been at their growth stage and “get it”. This ability to have safe, secure sharing space is critical to their growth as a leader and offers a diversity of thought they likely won’t get elsewhere.
*A membership with MidAtlantic Employers’ Association offers Employee Handbook projects at a discounted fee. Various membership tiers allow for project credits that support a wide range of HR needs.
Want to learn more about what’s included in a membership with MidAtlantic Employers?
For employers headquartered in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Delaware, MEA offers tiered membership levels designed to provide any organization with the level of service that matches their needs and their human resource budget.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a membership specialist, help us understand your needs, and learn how we can help.
What does a membership cost?
Most providers in the HR and employment law space charge an hourly rate for their services and expertise. While some require a minimum number of hours, others limit communication or charge a flat fee based on a set number of hours. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to factors that can affect the total cost of your membership.
Scope of HR and legal needs
The more support you need — across lines of service, such as recruiting, compensation and benefits planning, strategic HR, training, and legal advice — the more you’ll need to budget for your HR partner membership.
While remote HR support is an option with most providers, on-site support can be really valuable. Additional travel reimbursements on top of hourly fees may raise the cost of your membership.
Products and tools
Many aspects of HR require tools like payroll processing applications, benefits analysis tools, or behavioral assessment products to facilitate HR needs efficiently and effectively. The more you need, the more potential for increased cost. However, many providers often partner with other products and service organizations to bring you the best services at discounted rates. Be sure to ask what these partnerships could potentially save you in HR budget dollars.
Size of organization and growth pace
Smaller organizations may just need a few services, but larger employers with more employees across multiple states will likely want more support for more services and need access to experts who can help address more complicated compliance and legal issues as soon as they arise. If your organization is on track to grow quickly, you may need more hands and resources to support a growing HR team, as well as an increasing number of employees — all of which can bring more challenges (and opportunities) to the surface. That means more hours, maybe even around-the-clock support, and unlimited communication. In some cases, this could mean outsourcing all of your HR through an HRO or team of experts who will not only guide your decisions, but execute all of your HR and employment law needs.
Have you considered the cost of not investing in an HR Membership?
When an HR membership is structured wisely, you can save money. But there are also great savings in investing in a trusted partnership that will give you sound advice and help you avoid costly errors — in payroll processing, compliance errors, or even strategic HR decisions and training. Investing in the right membership with the right HR partner can be one of the wisest decisions you make.
What to look for in an HR and legal partner
It’s no secret that the associations and partnerships you make (and tend) as an organization have a profound impact on your success and growth. Choosing the right HR partner for your employment legal needs and to support your human resources team starts with knowing what to look for — and what questions to ask.
What to look for:
- A corporate membership — Many HR provider memberships are set up via an HR team member who holds sole access to experts through their personal membership. Finding a provider whose membership is granted to the organization rather than a single individual will give your entire executive and HR teams access to the support they need. Any team member has access to HR experts for consultation, advice, insight and the resources they need to make the right HR decisions.
- Membership tiers — The best memberships offer flexibility. A few ways to get that are through a membership with varying levels, plus the option to add on projects (large or small) for unexpected or extra work your HR team isn’t able to handle — like an Employee Handbook. You get to invest your HR budget wisely to get the help you need in the areas you need most, and know exactly what to expect cost-wise on an annual or monthly basis. Another advantage of membership levels is their capability of growing with you over time.
- Accessible expertise — Some providers offer remote-only support, limit phone consults and email communications, or simply serve such a high volume of clients that they’re unable to meet the daily and ongoing HR needs of their members. Those who are willing to visit you on-site, get first-hand experience of your situation, and be available any time of day or night can really give you the confidence you need in a trusted HR and employment law partner.
- Wide knowledge base — Many organizations look for a provider proficient in their space — as a nonprofit, manufacturing or construction business for instance. But gaining insight from a provider whose experience in HR crosses a wide range of industries can offer creative solutions that should be considered.
- Personalized service — Being in business means putting people — relationships — first. Hiring an HR and legal provider who takes the time to get to know you, your organization, your people, and your values goes a long way. Having one contact or a team of consistent support from year to year means you won’t waste time revisiting what’s happened in the past, but build on one experience after another.
8 Questions to ask before hiring an HR partner with a membership program
Here are a few questions to find out more details you should know before making the decision to subscribe to a membership:
- How long have you been in business?
- What is your turnover like? How many team members will we have access to?
- How will collaboration and communication be managed?
- How will you ensure data security and compliance?
- What’s included in your membership or membership levels?
- What types of organizations do you currently serve? What is your client retention rate?
- What does your onboarding process look like? How long does it take?
- How do you stay current on HR and compliance issues and keep our team up-to-date?
Why invest in a membership with MidAtlantic Employers’ Association?
Simply put, MidAtlantic Employers’ Association is an HR-driven business solutions provider that exists to help companies and their people reach their full potential. We do that by providing deep expertise for simple and complex issues, focusing on your long-term success through a comprehensive suite of services and expertise, and personalizing our partnership with you. You’re more than a transaction to us. We want to make your life easier and help you grow your business. That’s why your MEA team gets to know you and your unique needs. It lets us be collaborative, accessible, and responsive — which helps you succeed.
- Local! — We understand the needs of businesses and organizations headquartered in the mid-Atlantic states, can visit you on-site, and serve your employees across 49 states.
- Practical — Our guidance is realistic to your business. We give you several options that can work for your business and your people, and discuss them with you so you understand the implications of each and can make the right decision for your future.
- Conversational — Our attorneys and experts enjoy getting to know you and diving into the details of your HR and compliance challenges, giving you unlimited access through phone consultations, email communications, and our 24-Hour hotline and online discussion board.
Our membership is:
- Robust! — Whether you need a small budget or access to everything, our membership tiers give you the flexibility to manage your HR budget, add on extra projects, and still get the consultation you need when you need it. Pay monthly or annually.
- Member-friendly — HR isn’t a 9–5 job. That’s why (in addition to consulting) we provide resources in accessible ways through our resource center, webinars and events (live and on-demand), and a continuum of articles, forms, and legislative updates.
- Supported by training — Enjoy a variety of learning and training options such as conferences and events, self-paced, virtual training, public training at pre-scheduled times, and private training where we bring the classroom to you when it’s convenient for your team.
- Corporate-based — Your entire C-suite and HR teams get access to MEA’s dedicated team of experts and attorneys and all aspects of your membership. Collectively, our team has wide recognition of our client base to offer a range of support. When a project of issue arises, we turn to those with a depth of knowledge in specific areas.
Bottom line: your organization matters to us.
We keep your best interests in mind and make it easy to invest in the most critical part of your business growth — your people. Whatever your goals are, we can help you develop better people and better outcomes so you can achieve them.
Learn more about a membership with MEA or, if you’re ready to start a conversation, schedule a consultation with a membership specialist.