Six years ago, Kevin Rierson became the very first HR person at CoreRx. In business for 11 years at the time, CoreRx, which now employs approximately 200 people (with some seasonal ebb and flow), is what’s known in the pharmaceutical industry as a contract manufacturing organization (CMO). This means it formulates drug delivery methods, such as tablets and capsules, and moves them through the manufacturing process to be cleared and approved by the FDA. Before Rierson joined CoreRx as the HR director, HR at the company fell under the authority of an “accidental HR person” — in the parlance of human capital management (HCM), someone with another, official role who also happened to be responsible for tactical, operational HR. It’s easy to imagine the result .
Awakening From a Passive Slumber in HR
Who are accidental HR people? They’re anyone, really, who picks up the slack of taking care of any aspect of HR at a growing organization absent official HR people with official HR titles (3Sixty Insights 3SICSV2343 – “isolved Spares Hands-On, Strategic People Leader and Owner of Right At Home North Shore LI the Hassles of Unautomated HR,” April 2023). Organizations contending with this kind of a situation are prime candidates to consider a professional employer organization (PEO). This is at the crux of most PEOs’ business model: solving for the basics of HR for businesses that have finally figured out that they cannot handle in-house the heavy administration associated with the management of the employment of people. However, the story leading up to the role today of HR, as well as Insperity, at CoreRx is much bigger. The director of finance was also handling HR there with the help of another PEO, which CoreRx had been utilizing for several years. Through this relationship, this person was able to form some workforce policies, some employee handbooks, and some other information. The relationship never progressed from there, however.
“The prior PEO showed very little drive or initiative to expand their work with us,” says Rierson. “When I entered, I revamped everything to build employee relations and an HR infrastructure. I just simply took over the HR function,” and CoreRx let the contract run out.
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