Apparently, interim, third-party human resources services are not immune to inflation. And Schuylkill County taxpayers are about to find out just how susceptible that particular service is to it.
On Wednesday, the Schuylkill County Commissioners are expected to approve a contract with Hubric Resources, of Wyomissing (Berks County), to provide “interim human resources director support and HR recruiting support, if needed,” according to the meeting Agenda for June 8.
The contract with Hubric Resources is retroactive to May 17, which likely means the Courthouse is already using the service but waited until now to get around to telling people. Last week, coincidentally, is when the Commissioners approved the resignation of the most recent HR director, Heidi Zula, who is leaving her County job to work for Harrisburg School District.
Schuylkill County Re-Hiring Third-Party HR Firm at Grossly Inflated Rate
Later, we can get into the fact that the person Hubric assigned to work the Schuylkill County HR Director job the last time – yes, this is the second in less than 2 years that the County has employed the use of Hubric for this service – found herself mixed up in the Jane Doe v. Schuylkill County sexual harassment lawsuit.
The HR agent Hubric assigned, Doreen Kutzler, is named as a Defendant in that lawsuit, along with Zula. Schuylkill County employed Hubric’s services back in September 2020 before ultimately picking Zula to take the HR job. Zula was replacing the County’s previous HR director, Deborah Twigg.
What first caught our eye about this new contract with Hubric is the cost of it.
When the County contracted Hubric in September 2020, we paid them a whopping – well, what we thought was whopping then – $125 per hour. We gave them $110 per hour for “recruiting support” for their help in finding a permanent HR director.
The cost at the time was spellbinding. Even County Administrator Gary Bender mentioned it publicly, informing Commissioners he was “well aware” of the cost and that the County was “aggressively pursuing” a permanent replacement for Twigg.
Well, hold on to your hats because inflation has hit the third-party Human Resources industry hard, apparently.
The contract the County will approve – and likely has already agreed to – with Hubric is for … seriously, hold on to your hats … $215 per hour. That’s a 72% increase from the 2020 rate. Seventy. Two. Percent.
The cost for Hubric’s recruiting services now? That’s $165 per hour, a 50% increase.
If said third-party HR Director were to work a full 40-hour week under the County’s contract, not only would it set a record for hours clocked in a week at the Courthouse, but it would also cost $8,600.
We don’t know how much the County has already used Hubric’s services under this new contract but in a related matter, the Commissioners are also set to approve on Wednesday a budget adjustment for this year for human resources to the tune of $149,000.
That, folks, is a lot of money for Human Resources.