Ten things you may not know about Human Resources Consulting
1. Human Resources Consulting often costs less than in-house HR
When hiring Human Resources (whether for in-house HR or HR consultants) it’s important to understand what level of experience you can expect. The table below might help.
|Job Title||Years of HR Experience|
|VP of HR||10+|
It would be great to always hire the most experienced person but sometimes budgets don’t allow for that. That’s one of the reasons why, if you really want to get the most out of your budget, you may want to consider HR consulting. With Jouta, for example, for less than the cost of hiring one senior internal HR professional, it’s possible to hire a complete HR team , including a VP, a Director and an HR Generalist.
The advantage of hiring a team of HR consultants is that they can put a full HR infrastructure in place in a matter of months, compared to it taking upwards of a year for a solo, in-house HR employee (who inevitably gets pulled in to the day-to-day of the business, in addition to HR).
2. It’s not all or nothing – you can choose to how much HR support you have
Many small- to medium-sized organizations only need Human Resources from time to time, or perhaps many only need assistance in the beginning when establishing their HR practices and policies. By hiring HR consultants, you are only paying for HR when you need it rather than having the extra expense of a full-time salary. In addition, you pay for the right level of HR at the right time. For instance, when establishing your HR practices, you may want someone more senior; from there, you may wish to hire someone more junior to maintain those practices, while outsourcing strategic HR for the higher-level things that arise from time to time.
3. Human Resource Consultants will save you time
Business owners in small- and medium-sized businesses often find themselves wearing many hats – from big picture business planner to mediator and problem solver. If you ask them, HR consultants can take many administrative and people-related tasks off your hands and leave you with more time to focus on growing your business. For example, administering benefits, coordinating employee vacation/time-off, orienting new employees, workforce planning, and more.
4. Just as Human Resources shouldn’t take care of your Accounting, the HR shouldn’t be done by the Accountant.
Many small businesses often don’t have a dedicated human resources employee and the task of carrying out HR often falls to someone already within the team. In our experience that person is often the accountant. Accountants are experts in finance, but not necessarily with the ins and outs of employment law. Human Resources consultants will make sure your business stays compliant with provincial and/or federal employment law, and they will keep on top of it so that you (or the accountant!) don’t have to.
5. There’s more to Human Resources Consulting than hiring and firing
While it’s imperative to hire people who have the right skills and are the right fit, there’s more to Human Resources than simply hiring (and firing). Human Resources consultants have the experience to assist with many other areas including setting up performance programs, workforce planning, building your HR infrastructure, occupational health and safety, helping cement your company culture and much, much more.
6. Human Resources Consultants come in all shapes and sizes
If you already know what area of HR you would like an HR consultant to focus on, it might be helpful to seek one in specializes in that area (for example, HR technology, compensation, etc.). Alternatively, if you need lots of general HR assistance you might want to find an HR Consultant with a broad range of experience. Often though, it can be hard to know exactly which area/s of HR would most benefit your business, therefore, if you find an HR consultant who offers a free HR assessment, their advice may help guide you on how best to proceed.
7. Good Human Resources Consultants will not rely on templates
There are many HR paperwork templates available online to download and they may do an adequate job, but one day you will come up against something that these templates don’t cover. At best they may encourage misplaced guidance, at worst you may find yourself at a tribunal hearing due to following incorrect termination procedures. You cannot rely on HR templates to cover all the intricacies of every HR law, nor can you expect them to integrate with your company culture. And you certainly shouldn’t put your faith in them when it comes to difficult HR issues.
Remember also, that your HR practices and policies should be based entirely around your own HR needs and your own culture, and your HR should be integrated in a way that aligns with these. Your organization is as unique as you are; it certainly didn’t come out of a mold, so why would you want to rely on standardized, cookie-cutter HR templates to have all the answers?
Be very wary of HR consultants who encourage the use of templates.
8. Human Resources Consultants are honest
A good HR consultant is honest. They will not always be on your side and you may not always like what they have to say, but they will always have your organization’s best interests at heart. They will be there to help through tricky times and support you and your employees, no matter how rocky things get.
9. You can trust Human Resources Consultants
Human Resources Consultants are privy to many confidential pieces of information about your business and its employees, therefore, it’s imperative to establish a reciprocal trusting relationship to help ease the sharing. Opening up your files or practices to an outside party shouldn’t be done lightly, but holding anything back you will affect the advice you receive. It’s in the best interests of both your organization and your employees to be open and honest.
10. Human Resource Consultants will save you money
Human Resources consulting isn’t free, but it will save you money by looking at areas in which you might be losing it. For example, reducing your turnover and absenteeism by implementing more efficient time tracking; reducing the amount of paperwork by helping you manage your employee records more effectively; boosting productivity by implementing consistent policies and practices.
These are just a few things you might not know about Human Resources Consultants. Like any consultant, the best way to really get to know an HR team is to spend time with them prior to hiring them. You may not always get the chance to do this but, if you have the opportunity to do so, requesting a free HR Assessment prior to signing an agreement is a great way to get to know them and to find out if they’re the right fit for you and your organization.
Read on for more details about the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your HR.