Getting “A Little Help From Your Friends” Can Be A Best Practice In HR Strategy

Getting “A Little Help From Your Friends” Can Be A Best Practice In HR Strategy

When the Beatles released the now iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album in June of 1967, the song, “With a Little Help from My Friends” was written specifically for Ringo Starr to perform the lead vocals. The song was intended to reflect his role as the band’s mediator and the social glue that kept the group together during difficult times.

It is safe to assume that Ringo was not thinking about organizational HR challenges as he belted out the lyrics, however there are some interesting parallels: it is often the HR department that is responsible for mediating issues, keeping the organization focused on the mission, and creating the environment that fosters creativity and harmony.

Businesses have a lot to deal with. From revenue growth to recruitment and retention of talent and everything in between, HR leaders can find themselves overwhelmed and stretched beyond their capabilities. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could call in some “friends;” people with the experience and expertise to help? This is where Fractional HR can help the group ensure that the hits keep coming.

What is Fractional HR?

For mid-size and larger organizations, using outside talent can help get projects and initiatives off the ground. A basic but not exhaustive list of ways a Fractional HR consultant can help would include:

  • employee and labor relations
  • investigations
  • succession planning
  • organizational structure
  • leadership development
  • exit and stay interviews
  • projects like updates to job descriptions or employee handbooks.


For smaller companies or start-ups, it could be the total outsourcing of the HR function to establish some structure and formality as the organization grows. This would include a comprehensive list of functions one would traditionally associate with employee relations support activities.

The Business Case for Fractional HR

The interesting aspect of adopting a Fractional HR approach is that it can bring the HR department into alignment with the other parts of the business that are responsible for managing costs and profitability. By introducing variable costing into the equation of workforce utilization, HR begins to think and act like other parts of the business without sacrificing the quality or quantity of their contributions.

In fact, they may benefit in ways that are not immediately recognizable. Outside experts can often see things with the objectivity required to move the organization toward its intended goals. For example, an outside consultant working with a client to improve employee engagement might, through the process of gathering information in focus groups, uncover tensions within the group dynamics that would undermine policy improvements or cultural changes that might be implemented.

In this case it would be beneficial to work with a consultant who could identify the issue and has the capability to provide a solution that addresses the root cause.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Fractional HR Partner

If your organization could benefit from Fractional HR support, there are three key factors to consider:

  1. Choose a partner with a full suite of services. A consultant who is trained to detect these behavioral dynamics and address them upfront through assessments and just-in-time learning would be highly valuable and save time and money in the long run. Having multiple competencies within the partner company provides a level of comfort that regardless of who your main point of contact is, they will have an internal network of subject-matter experts they can rely on to ensure you get the support you need without having to utilize multiple providers.
  2. Look for variation in the types of services that the company provides. For example, if you bring in consultants to work on organizational structure and succession planning and they uncover gaps in the leadership competencies of key members, there is value added when the same consultants have the expertise and experience to do executive coaching, behavioral assessments, and training for further development.
  3. Lastly, prepare yourself and the organization to see Fractional HR as a partnership and not a threat. The utilization of outside providers is not only a way to remove stress, but it also shows an understanding and appreciation for sound business practices.


At PRADCO, we offer Fractional HR services as well as behavioral assessments, organizational development, and executive coaching services to help you get the most from your team. We are happy to answer your questions. You can contact PRADCO at (

Ron Panaggio
Ron Panaggio has nearly 30 years of professional HR experience in both the private service sector and manufacturing. Throughout his career, Ron has worked with leaders at various levels of the organization to gain operational efficiency by aligning people and processes to maximize success. Ron began his HR career in recruiting and professionally progressed into leadership roles in labor and employee relations, regional HR support, and most recently as the director of HR for an international manufacturing company. Ron has significant experience in helping organizations through union organizing attempts, contract negotiations, grievances, and arbitrations. He is particularly skilled in finding diplomatic solutions to complex challenges. Ron has a relaxed and approachable style that helps him build trusting relationships. He has volunteered his time to helping veterans transition from the military to civilian life by working with American Corporate Partners, as well as other community-based organizations dedicated to helping people in career transitions. Ron earned his B.S. in Business Communications from James Madison University. He has his Senior Professional Certification (SCP) from the Society of Human Resource Management.