03 Aug Benefits of an HR Consultant
6 Reasons Why Your Small Business Should Engage an HR Consultant
There are a plethora of reasons why a small company can benefit from having a Human Resource Consultant on their team. However, there are six crucial reasons. Most small companies are working with limited budgets and may not be able to afford a dedicated HR resource or can only afford a more junior resource. By hiring an HR Consultant, a small company can get someone with more experience. This includes working with a variety of companies both in size and industry providing best business practices.
Benefit 1: Ensuring the Right Organizational Structure is in Place.
Engaging an HR Consultant early can help ensure the business is in prepared and has the right infrastructure in place to grow.
One of the biggest mistakes we see with small companies is growing and then trying to put the structure in place, after it becomes painful. American Express has an excellent article on the way to Recognize and Manage the 5 Stages of Small Business Growth.
Once a company moves from the survival to the success stage of growth, they tend to grow very rapidly, but lack any structure or intention in this growth.
This rapid growth can result in a lot of change for the business-impacting morale and the loss of some great talent. Having the business model, policies, and structure in place before the rapid growth helps to ensure success. A skilled HR consultant can partner with you to ensure your business has the right structure in place to be ready for the success stage and takeoff stages.
Benefit 2: Build Out an HR Structure.
Building out the appropriate HR structure is similar to building a house; without a strong foundation the walls can start collapsing.
HR structure can cover everything recruiting, training, development, compensation, benefits, safety, and employee relations. By having the right structure in place it can drive efficiency and ensure consistent processes across the organization. Building and defining structure takes experience and skill which is a benefit of hiring a consultant.
It can also impact all of our remaining reasons which is why we have it at number 2!
Benefit 3: Hiring– Hiring the right talent is imperative!
The cost of a bad hire can have lasting impacts on your business both financially and on the reputation of the company. In addition to the impact of a bad employee, the hiring process itself can take a lot of time. From posting the job, scanning through the resumes, scheduling interviews, and screening out candidates, you could easily spend hours a week. Running a small company you are already pulled in multiple directions. Let us help you focus on other areas. HR Consultants can help by:
- Guiding you on the most effective and cost-conscious places to post jobs to attract the candidates you are looking for.
- Scan through the resumes quickly. HR consultants have experience reviewing resumes for a wide range of positions rapidly, so you only see the ones that are qualified for the role.
- Many hiring managers focus on the technical skills of the candidate, which is essential but so is culture fit! One of the most common requests we get with new clients is they hired someone who technically has the skills, but isn’t jiving with the rest of the team or is not fitting in with their values. Prevention can go a long way. HR consultants can help prevent this from happening by quickly screen candidates for fit and train managers on behavioral interviewing to ensure the right hire!
- When it comes to making the offer, we can provide support on what to offer the candidate by providing salary benchmarks, compensation approaches and understanding your budgets. HR consultants can also help to negotiate the offer or coach the hiring manager on how to have this conversation.
Benefit 4: Help Navigating Employee Relations
Employee relations matters can be tricky to navigate. Whether it is an employee filing a complaint or a performance issue; if they are not handled, correctly it can land you hot water!
Performance issues and Terminations: At some point in our careers, most hiring managers will make a poor hiring decision. Whatever the reason we ended up here, firing an employee comes with risk, but so does keeping a poor performing employee too long. The earlier you engage an HR professional with an employee issue, the better. It is vital to handle appropriately to minimize this risk. HR professionals can help by:
- Impact on morale – firing an employee can have a direct impact on the morale of your existing employees.
- They may not understand why this employee is no longer here;
- Your employees may have developed a friendship with this person.
- They may think you did not treat this person fairly.
- They may think you took too long to take action on a poor performer!
- Impact on business – having a poor performing employee can impact business, either with customer experience or uncovering issues after they are gone.
- Financial – While most states adhere to the at-will doctrine, the burden is on the company to prove that they did not violate any laws in this process. There is no cost for an employee to file a claim with the EEOC, are you in a position to respond and defend the termination?
Benefit 5: Employee Engagement
From the first hire you make it is crucial to begin thinking about employee engagement. According to the Harvard Business Review, organizations with high levels of engagement report 22% higher productivity.
Engaged employees have a direct correlation on the success of a business and its more than just productivity. Employees who are engaged are more likely to:
- stay with the company,
- performer better,
- go above and beyond in their work and,
- take better care of your customers.
It also has an impact on attendance. You have spent time, money, and resources to on-board your employees. You recognize that they are the key to being successful, but are they performing, and are they staying?
Despite the importance of employee engagement, according to Gallup, only 33% of employees reported they are engaged at work.
Employee engagement tends to be an afterthought in smaller primarily because they may not have time to focus on employee engagement or may not know where to start.
HR consultants can help identify the areas impacting engagement and develop action plans to address.
Reason 6: Legal and Compliance
As companies grow, they are subject to different legal requirements, such as:
- Fair Credit Reporting Act
- EEOC Reporting
- Americans with Disabilities Act
In addition to adhering to legal requirements, you should also have an employee handbook. Handbooks are a great tool to help communicate with your employees on what is expected of them. It also helps to ensure employees are treated fairly and consistently. However, one of the most important reasons to have a handbook is they can help win unemployment claims, investigations, and lawsuits. While some policies can be standardized, you will want to engage an HR consultant to help customize the policies to your company.
Still not sure if your business can benefit from an HR Consultant?
Contact me at Heather.Albarano@RCR-Consulting.com to set up a free 30 minutes consultation!