For most businesses, employees are the most important asset. Hardworking colleagues who promote the brand in a positive light and go the extra mile for the client can help to establish the business’ credibility and reliability; a staff member who lacks commitment fails to understand the company ethos or whose work is unreliable can cause damage to the brand and to the team’s spirit. Human resourcing, therefore, is a key aspect for all successful businesses, because it pays to recruit and retain the best people, with the right qualifications, skills, and experience to help to shape the business and make an effective contribution to its success.
However, many companies – especially those that are smaller – don’t have the financial resources to justify a dedicated human resources department, but still need to recruit staff, manage their employment and, on occasions, oversee redundancy or termination of contracts. Hiring an HR consultant can provide the expertise and legal know-how that is necessary, thereby helping to positively promote the brand by assembling the best team available and to grow the business and cement its reputation in the community.
A wealth of Human Resource expertise
With an entire organisation to run and day-to-day operational responsibilities to discharge, many business owners simply don’t have the time to train to become fully-fledged human resourcing experts. An HR consultant should be up-to-date with current practice to ensure that company policies engage employees and enable them to work effectively to promote and stimulate productivity. Human resourcing is a specialist area that is continually changing, both in terms of best practice and legal obligations that all employers have a responsibility to adhere to. A qualified HR consultant who keeps abreast of changes to practice and thinking should act as a safety net for the employer, ensuring that human resourcing decisions are made justly and within the boundaries of the law and that the business remains compliant, preventing potentially costly mistakes that could put the business’ very existence in jeopardy.
Providing HR leadership
Growing a successful business is the central aim for all company owners and human resourcing is key to achieving this. An HR consultant’s expertise can support the human resources team by coordinating their duties and ensuring that their policies and procedures actively support the growth of the business. In smaller set-ups without a dedicated human resources department, a consultant can take ownership of mapping and implementing HR procedures, thereby freeing the owner and other managers to lead the development of the business and ensuring operational duties are carried out effectively.
Ensuring full compliance from an HR Specialist
Most businesses face issues surrounding employee relations from time to time, such as misconduct allegations on the part of the employee or complaints by workers about employment practices and rights. An HR consultant not only provides the level of expertise and knowledge to ensure that actions taken by the business are fair and legal, but also can provide an impartial view of a situation that ensures that processes are not compromised by allegations of bias. In any disciplinary process, or consideration of allegations made by employees, the employer’s handling of the situation must be watertight to prevent a potential escalation to an employment tribunal that could prove to be damaging to the brand and costly if compensation is awarded. Some HR consultants have specialisms in mediation to avoid lengthy and ill-tempered disagreements between the employer and workforce and can liaise with trade union officials if they are involved. An HR consultant can also ensure that measures are in place to avoid challenges to workplace practices, sustaining a committed and happy employee base who work productively for the business, rather than against it.
Recruiting talent for the business
Recruitment is a key strategic area for all businesses to ensure that the most suitable applicants are hired; appointing a member of staff who lacks the appropriate expertise, knowledge or skills can be a costly mistake in the long-term.
In the changing commercial world where recruitment is driven by the internet and social networks, an HR consultant who is knowledgeable about best practices can ensure that the most suitable candidates are identified at the initial stage of sifting applicants. Even understanding how to market a position can be a challenge for a business owner and, while the HR consultant may not be directly involved in the actual process of interviewing and appointing, he can help to ensure that the groundwork is completed to advertise the post in such a way to attract a talented field of candidates to interview. Screening applications can be daunting and time-consuming, taking the business owner away from their operational duties, so it makes sense to allow an expert to spend dedicated time sifting these to identify the most talented and promising candidates. The HR consultant can work in partnership with the employer to ensure that the selection process provides candidates with the best chance to demonstrate their suitability for the role, giving you confidence that the successful applicant will be a valuable addition to the workforce.
Promoting high-quality professional development
Good employers understand that newly-appointed colleagues are not the finished article and benefit from continuous professional development. Employees, who feel that their professional knowledge and skills are being honed and improved, appreciate the investment an employer makes in them and are more likely to commit their long-term futures. An HR consultant can be invaluable in ensuring that the workforce is continually improved by providing training opportunities. This can boost staff morale, ensure that employees are not only fully trained for their existing roles but competent to take on additional challenges successfully, and ensure that the workforce is at the cutting edge of best practices, strengthening the brand and discouraging employees from transferring to rival businesses.
To effectively target professional development to the needs of individual colleagues, an HR consultant can be involved in the performance management cycle, identifying how each employee would benefit from training and setting challenging but achievable targets for every staff member to work towards, thus giving the workforce an important sense of ownership about their own development.
Selecting an HR consultant is an important decision, so find out about their experience and qualifications, areas of expertise that match the needs of your business and what level of support would be provided as part of a contract. With the right HR consultant supporting your business, you can focus on engineering its growth, confident that your employees will be a committed, experienced and happy workforce who will do their best for the future of your brand. At The Hr Division we have the experience and expertise in the team to help your company no matter the size.
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