A budget is a document that is used by an organization to focus on its future income and expenditures. Budgeting on the other hand is the systematic collection of data and information for the purpose of projecting the finances needed to support the objectives of the organization (Society for Human Resource Management, 2012).
From a human resource perspective the data needed in the budgeting process includes data of employees’ number needed in the new company in the U.S, projections on possible increases in costs in that country, data on the rate of turn-over expected, the programs planned in the U.S and data on possible changes in government policy, the strategy of the business as well as the laws and regulations that may impact costs of the department.
The human resource budget will include items such as selection and placement, training and development, compensation and benefits, employee and labor relations, health, safety, strategic planning (consultancy), administration as well as intranet design and maintenance.
Selection and placement of costs
The purpose of selection and placement is to choose the right people for a specific job description. Costs incurred in this stage include recruitment and advertising, costs related to recruitment travel in the U.S, printing costs (Application forms and recruiting brochures), system costs to track the applicants as well as the costs for developing and maintaining the human resource website.
Training and development
The costs incurred by the human resource department during this stage include travel costs of acquiring certificates after the training, salaries for the trainers, food and beverage costs taken during the training as well as costs incurred in buying supplies (books, pens) for employees, who will attend the training.
Compensation and benefit
Here, pay-roll costs, life insurance for the employees, overtime, and costs incurred during communication, health, dental and vision costs for the employees as well as the salaries to be paid to the company’s employees in the U.S are factored.
Employee and labor relations
Employee and labor relation costs can be broken down into costs related to the labor relations (attorneys and consultants), costs incurred during recognition programs by the organization, fees for employment of an attorney, as well as costs of awarding excellent services done by the employees.
Health, safety and risk management
Here, the costs incurred include costs of ensuring there is a fitness facility for the employees, costs incurred in the staffs’ training on safety issues, training of the employees on how to avoid the workplace violence as well as costs of sensitizing employees on the dangers of smoking in the workplace.
Cost reduction strategies
The human resource can reduce costs by advising their employees in the U.S subsidiary to take advantage of the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). This is because doing so will amount to a tax benefit for the employees, and, thus, reducing the amount of tax paid by the department to the government. This will lead to a significant reduction in costs.
The human resource department can also outsource the administrative and recruitment services that result to a significant amount of the human resource budget. This will reduce costs in terms of timely responsiveness, reduce automation as well as the salaries required to hire staffs to do the administrative, selection and recruitment work in the U.S.
In order to reduce communication costs, the human resource department may advise all employees to use online mode of communication, that is, emails, online memos and social networks. This will lead to almost 50% reduction as far as communication costs are concerned (Wright et al., 2009).
Alternatives for addressing Budget cuts
In an effort to reduce and cut budgeting costs, the human resource department can offer their employees mandatory vacation. Implementing a mandatory vocation will reduce costs, as the vocations will be unpaid. The human resource can also reduce the working hours per week from 45 to 35. This will reduce their pay, thus saving costs for the department (Gandolfi, 2012).
HR department Budgeting Challenges
Some of the challenges that are likely to face the human resource department are lack of up-to-date accurate figures on current expenditures given that the company is venturing into a new country. It may also be difficult to budget for employees welfare expenses in the U.S given the different labor laws in the two countries.
Recent Practices from the U.S Organizations
McDonalds reduced their administrative costs by outsourcing services from ADP. ADP was willing to serve the company even in their subsidiaries, thus, reducing costs required to process pay-rolls as well as assisting the company to administer benefit programs for its employees. Wal-Mart Company laid-off some 45,000 workers and replaced them with lower paid workers. The human resource department did this in an effort to increase the corporate profits and reduce expenses in all their international subsidiaries (Redtractor, 2008). Coca-cola company’s human resource department in its Indian subsidiary also closed some of its offices, sacked some of its employees and restructured salaries for its employees in an effort to reduce costs in the Human resource Budget (Centre of Management Research, 2010).