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What to look for when engaging a HR Consultant for your SME
Over the 17 years we’ve been working with businesses, providing HR consulting and support, we’ve consistently seen many small to medium businesses thinking about HR when there is an acute issue to be addressed.
Some businesses however stay ahead of the curve with respect to thinking about HR strategically, minimising their risk by either recruiting for HR expertise to be added to their team, or commonly engaging the services of an outsourced HR company.
There are a number of providers in the market and whilst we obviously have a biased opinion as to who’s best placed to help your growing business with the right HR advice, here are our tips to help you through the decision process if you decide to outsource or at least engage an HR consultant for a specific project.
It is unrealistic to expect business owners to be on top of every aspect of HR risk for their business; employment law, modern awards and pay rates, obligations as an employer if terminating an employee or ensuring a safe workplace free from bullying and harassment and compliant with WH&S laws. When considering an HR consultant, you want someone that has the experience and depth of knowledge to provide relevant advice and can ensure compliance and best practices. Take the time to research them and feel satisfied they can cover off on all potential HR risks you may face.
2. Breadth of services.
If your requirements are long term, not just for a specific issue or project, you’ll want an HR consultant that offers a broad range of services. If you engage an experienced HR consulting agency, try and find one that has a comprehensive choice of services. Whilst not many HR consultants provide the full range, from HR consulting, executive search and recruitment through to professional development and training, there are some that can offer most of these and it’s best to work with someone that you can call upon for various needs. You’ll also have the advantage of working with a partner that brings a more strategic view to the table.
Whether it’s being able to get advice at short notice or working out flexible terms of business that accommodate your business needs, aim to find an HR consultant that can work with you and ideally adapt to your changing business requirements over time. This also goes back to our point about breadth of services. If you have the right HR partner, as your business grows, they can add value in different ways, be it advice and consulting on changing HR strategy that enables growth, through to leadership development and ensuring your people are performing at their very best.
4. See what their customers say.
The best way to get some assurance you are engaging with the right HR consultant is to see what their customers say. Research their website and ideally they should have current case studies and testimonials available for you to read. If not, ask to speak to a current customer, ideally one within your industry and of similar size.