Overworked Manager concept dreamstime xl 49050479 Pivotal HR Solutions Blog

The Undervalued and Overworked Middle Manager: The Role of Outsourced HR Management

Discover how outsourced HR management can bolster middle managers. Dive into strategies that streamline processes and boost leadership efficiency with Pivotal HR.

Empowering Middle Managers: The Transformative Role of Outsourced HR Solutions


Middle managers are critical to most organizations, bridging the gap between senior leadership and front-line employees. Recent departures of middle managers from tech giants like Facebook and Twitter have sparked discussions regarding their value.

The prevailing thought among some tech giants appears to be that middle managers are expendable. However, a recent survey by McKinsey[1] highlights the invaluable roles they play and the pressures they’re under. Can outsourced HR management be the key to valuing and supporting this critical group?

The Plight of the Middle Manager

McKinsey’s survey results reveal an alarming trend: middle managers are stretched thin. They face unsustainable work demands, with 22% citing it as a significant concern[2]. Also, the departure of valuable team members, which was a concern for 25% of the respondents, further underscores the pressure on these managers. Such departures not only disrupt team dynamics but also increase the load on middle managers who must pick up the slack.

Overworked help dreamstime xl 84605211 Pivotal HR Solutions Blog
With increased demands from both teams and senior managers, and the ongoing layoffs of mikddle managers in big tech, the middle managers are under significant pressure. Outsourcing may be a solution.


These statistics shed light on the deeper issues that middle managers contend with: bureaucratic tasks, endless meetings, and outdated company structures. Instead of focusing on talent and people management, which is purportedly their main role, managers are often buried under administrative work, making up nearly 18% of their time. This imbalance is a clear indication of a system that needs reformation.

Outsourced HR Management as a Solution

Middle managers serve as a crucial bridge, connecting the broader organizational vision to the on-the-ground realities of day-to-day operations. However, as the McKinsey study reveals, these managers are grappling with a plethora of tasks that divert them from their core managerial roles.

Enter the prospect of outsourced HR management. By leveraging external HR expertise, companies can not only streamline operations but also reinforce the core strengths of their middle management. Let’s delve deeper into how outsourced HR can serve as a potent solution to some pressing issues:

1.   Reducing Administrative Workload

The Challenge: Middle managers are inundated with administrative tasks that, while essential, divert their focus from their primary role of team management and strategy implementation. These tasks, such as approving expense reports, often become time-consuming hurdles, creating a backlog of more pressing responsibilities.

The Solution: By outsourcing specific HR functions, the burden of these administrative tasks can be shifted. Dedicated external teams, equipped with specialized tools and software, can efficiently handle these responsibilities. This not only streamlines the process but also introduces a level of expertise and precision, reducing errors and redundancies. With this load off their shoulders, middle managers can redirect their energies to drive team productivity and strategic initiatives.

2. Talent Acquisition and Retention

The Challenge: The competitive business landscape means that talent acquisition and retention have become more challenging than ever. Middle managers often bear the brunt of these challenges, feeling the gap left behind by departing team members and the pressure to quickly fill these roles.

The Solution: Outsourced HR teams, with their extensive industry connections, talent pools, and recruitment expertise, can expedite the hiring process. Moreover, their in-depth knowledge of market trends allows them to craft compelling retention strategies, from competitive compensation packages to career progression plans, ensuring that organizations hold onto their star performers.

Overworked concept dreamstime xl 30070484 Pivotal HR Solutions Blog
With increased demands from both teams and senior managers, and the ongoing layoffs of mikddle managers in big tech, the middle managers are under significant pressure. Outsourcing may be a solution.

3.   Employee Support Systems

The Challenge: The emotional and mental well-being of employees is paramount. However, when crises arise, middle managers are thrust into the role of counselors, a role they’re not always equipped for.

The Solution: Outsourced HR services often come with a range of specialized support systems, including mental health initiatives and counseling services. By providing direct access to these resources, employees can receive timely, professional help, ensuring their well-being while allowing managers to focus on their primary responsibilities.

4. Training and Development

The Challenge: The rapid pace of industry changes means that continuous employee training is not just optional but essential. However, organizing and overseeing these training sessions often falls upon middle managers, adding to their already full plates.

The Solution: Outsourced HR services can introduce a structured and efficient approach to training. With access to the latest training modules, tools, and expertise, these external teams can oversee everything from onboarding sessions to advanced skill development workshops. This ensures employees remain at the forefront of industry knowledge, boosting overall team competence and productivity.

Stress and employee needs help dreamstime xl 101374594 Pivotal HR Solutions Blog
How can HR Managers help management suffering from increased stress?

5.   Streamlining Meetings

The Challenge: Meetings are essential for communication and decision-making. However, their overuse and mismanagement can lead to significant time wastage. Middle managers, attempting to stay connected with various teams, often find themselves trapped in a cycle of endless, sometimes unproductive, meetings.

The Solution: While managing meetings isn’t a traditional HR role, external HR professionals bring a fresh perspective. They can conduct a holistic audit of the current meeting culture, suggesting tools and strategies to optimize them. This might include introducing efficient communication platforms, setting clear agendas, or even recommending alternative collaboration methods. The end goal is to ensure that meetings serve their purpose efficiently, freeing up valuable time for more strategic endeavors.

By harnessing the capabilities of outsourced HR management, organizations can unlock a new level of efficiency and support for their middle managers, allowing them to thrive in their roles and drive organizational success.

Key Takeaways

Middle managers are the backbone of an organization. They stand at the intersection of executive vision and ground-level execution, translating broad strategies into tangible actions. Given the myriad responsibilities they juggle, the pressures and challenges they encounter are significant. It’s no longer sufficient for organizations to merely acknowledge these challenges; proactive solutions must be sought.

Outsourced HR management presents itself as a viable, impactful solution. By partnering with external HR experts, such as Pivotal Integrated HR Solutions, companies can alleviate many of the burdens that middle managers face, from administrative tasks to talent management. This not only streamlines processes but also reinforces the role of middle managers, placing them in a position where they can truly focus on leadership and strategy implementation.


Overworked Manager concept dreamstime xl 49050479 Pivotal HR Solutions Blog
With increased demands from both teams and senior managers, and the ongoing layoffs of mikddle managers in big tech, the middle managers are under significant pressure. Outsourcing may be a solution.




[1] – McKinsey research>>

[2] – https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/fall-2023/Pages/middle-managers-stretched-thin.aspx

[3] – Learn more about Pivotal Solutions>>


Do you have a question about this feature, middle managers, or HR Management? Contact the experts at Pivotal HR Solutions:

mini contact

  • I'm inquiring about:


Scroll to Top