In the fast-paced environment of small organizations, the human resource role often falls to an office manager, executive or even the business owner.
Unfortunately, these individuals frequently don’t have the time or the training to provide all of the services typically offered by HR professionals. And when crisis situations arise – or even regular recruiting needs – they can face real challenges in fulfilling this role.
That’s where HR consultants can help.
Here are 7 of the most common ways consultants provide and support human resource needs at organizations.
1. HR consultants administer and interpret assessments.
Most human resource professionals have a background in assessments. They may also have certifications for interpreting certain ones, such as the Activity Vector Assessment (AVA).
That’s because HR consultants know how important assessments are to hiring the right people and building a healthy company culture.
Sadly, many organizations negate assessments when hiring, trusting the interview process alone to find the best candidate. They also refrain from using them developmentally with current employees.
That’s unfortunate because in-depth assessments provide a better comprehensive picture of the candidate. In fact, many companies discover things they may not have noticed during the interview process.
Additionally for current employees, assessments reveal valuable information about how to best manage and support individuals.
Our Two-Cents on Assessments
At Samaritan Consulting Group, we generally recommend the Activity Vector Assessment (AVA) and the 16 Personality Factor (16pf) for hiring. Both of these assessments reveal helpful information that may not be discovered through interviews.
For the development of current employees or teambuilding, the DiSC profile, Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator and our 360-Degree Feedback are a good fit.
2. Human resource consultants help you evaluate employee experience.
Did you know more than half of all employees rate workplace culture as more important than pay?
Or that disengaged and dissatisfied employees decrease the productivity of a business?
Studies by the Queens School of Business and by the Gallup Organization revealed that disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism, and 60% more errors and defects in their work.
Furthermore, organizations with low employee engagement scores experienced 18% lower productivity and 37% lower job growth.
So it’s safe to say employee experience matters a lot – even to the bottom line!
Human resource consultants are well-versed in evaluating employee experience, often through the development and implementation of custom surveys and assessments.
And once the evaluation process is finished, HR consultants can help you develop a plan to make improvements and create the positive workplace culture your employees desire.
3. Human resource consultants develop performance appraisal programs.
Many managers dread job performance evaluations.
For one thing, it can be difficult to know how to provide constructive feedback. But even knowing how to best communicate positive feedback can be a challenge!
Human resource consultants ease this discomfort by creating a standardized procedure and process to use for employee evaluations.
Additionally, consultants can provide training to leaders on how to implement the process.
This includes teaching managers and supervisors how to have healthy and productive discussions about job performance, as well as how to address problem areas in helpful and clear ways.
The training and standardized system leads to smoother job evaluations and less stress for leaders. Plus, it makes each employee’s experience similar so they know what to expect from the review.
4. HR consultants review compensation programs.
The Society for Human Resource Management recommends examining overall salary structure at least every three to five years. Some professionals suggest every 18 to 24 months!
If your business doesn’t have a dedicated HR team or in-house professional, this can be challenging to accomplish.
HR consultants can help by providing a comprehensive review of all compensation programs, leaving you free to address daily tasks.
This review includes digging into what programs look like at other companies within your industry, as well as examining best practices across the board.
The information from the review is then used to develop a competitive compensation program that helps your business stand out to prospective hires. Additionally, it rewards current employees for their hard work and loyalty.
The end result will be reduced turnover, happier employees and a better recruitment process.
5. Human resource consultants provide guidance on difficult issues.
When you’re an HR department of one – or if you’re overseeing HR as part of your role – a difficult issue with an employee, manager or boss can be overwhelming.
Human resource consultants bring years of experience in dealing with difficult issues. They provide a much-needed outside perspective and a listening ear to help you process the problem. But most importantly, they help you create a plan to address the issue.
This plan can include one-time sessions with employees, seminars for the entire organization, or even a consultation with the in-house HR department on how to best handle the issue.
Whatever is needed, a human resource consultant can help you find the pathway out of a tough situation when you’re unsure of which way to go.
6. HR consultants perform executive and retained searches.
Hiring a leader or executive takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. Often a human resource consultant can assist in the process through a variety of ways, including:
- Developing the profile for the ideal candidate.
- Posting and managing job submissions.
- Screening candidates.
- Calling references.
- Administering and interpreting assessments.
- Interviewing candidates.
- Providing support and recommendations to the search committee.
This allows you to remain focused on the day-to-day tasks of your job while finding the best possible candidate to lead your organization.
7. Consultants audit human resources programs.
Did you know all policies and procedures should be reviewed every 1 to 3 years?
It’s a practice that too often takes a backseat when HR teams or departments are pressed for time. But outdated polices and procedures can be extremely dangerous for companies, particularly from a liability standpoint.
Human resource consultants help over-stressed teams by providing a complete, in-depth audit of policies, programs and procedures. Audits like this also include best practices, as well as recommendations, to improve your overall HR program.
This helps your business stay compliant and on-target for employees and leaders.
Is it time to ask for help?
Even fully-staffed human resource departments can struggle to meet the needs of their workforce. For smaller organizations with limited HR professionals, it’s understandable when individuals in that role can’t fully address the needs of your employees.
If that’s the case, though, it may be time to enlist the help of an HR consultant, at least for some of the human resource areas discussed above.
After all, your employees are one of your organization’s greatest assets. You don’t want to neglect investing in them!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bethany Georgia is the marketing and administrative coordinator of Samaritan Consulting Group, which provides human resources consulting, as well as career coaching and outplacement services, retirement coaching, training, leadership development, executive search services, hiring and development assessments, executive and performance coaching and more.
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