How An HR Consultant Can Add Value To Your Startup Business
Tiaan Dwyer | HR Consultant
January 07 2022
Starting a new business is exciting, it is something new, and you have this picture of what success will look like. You have identified your target market, you market to them and they begin to respond which is all that you ever wanted! Sales go up and it seems like you will realise your dreams and aspirations but soon you realise that you will have to scale your business and grow to keep on serving your customers effectively. So you decide that it might be a good time to start hiring likeminded people that will work just as hard as you do and also believe in your business as much as you do.
As your workforce increased it seemed to be going well but soon you realised that some of your new hires are not as passionate as you about your business and don’t seem to fit in as you would have liked. Some employees sounded great during their interviews and said that they can do all that is required of them in the position but from day one you noticed that they are not performing as well as you expected. It also seems like employees tend to not take punctuality seriously and you get the feeling that they see the workplace as a place where they can do as they please without there being consequences for their actions.
It’s here where you start to wonder what you could have done differently or where you have gone wrong. You are now trapped with unproductive employees who are not delivering and you seem to have lost control of your workforce.
Your stress starts to mount as you realise that you need to sort out this nightmare if you want to still keep this business a success and reach your goals. All you are doing now is battling every day to motivate and keep employees productive and your focus is no more on your business. It is during these times that business owners or a manager start to do some research on how to deal with these issues.
As you do research you soon find thousands of articles and websites all explaining what you need to do and what not to do. Some advice seems to hold water but then others not so much. Some articles contradict themselves and others are so technical you can’t make out what they are saying. Some websites are from overseas based businesses so you wonder if the advice given is applicable to your problem here in South Africa?
You also start to think.
• Can I do this myself? Do I have the knowledge and experience to solve these issues?
• Do I have enough time to do this myself?
• Do I need to reach out to someone?
• Is it worth the cost to get an expert?
• Can I delegate this to a manager?
• What about all these laws, strikes, and go slows I read about every day in the news? Will I make the right call?
Those are some tough questions to work through. You basically have two options. One, you can take the time, study, read and hope that you implement and execute an effective strategy to solve you HR issues or delegate it to a fellow manager and hope they get it right.
Without you realising it you are paying a price for wanting to do it yourself. It will cost you hours of reading and studying, hours that could and should be used to work on the business rather than in your business. Its energy draining as this is not why you started your business or applied for that junior manager position.
You will lose focus and motivation to keep going. Your business will stagnate due to you allocating all your time to HR issues. Your stress will increase day by day and there is a big chance that the business will get it wrong at some stage and end up at the CCMA or a Bargaining Council facing costs not budgeted for and a damaged reputation.
The other option is to find an expert in the field that can deal with difficult matters, provide the correct advice, and partner with your business. Such a person must give you the chance to re-focus on working on your business again and not in your business. These experts you are looking for are called HR Consultants. It’s important to understand what they do and how they can help you.
What is an HR consultant and what do they do?
Human resources (HR) consultants provide advice and guidance to businesses and ensure that a business’s employees serve the best interests of the company. By creating and implementing customised HR strategies, they work to ensure the business is effectively utilising its employees to achieve its goals, while working at high levels of performance and efficiency.
An HR Consultant is often either outsourced from an HR Consultancy or works independently. They advise and perform HR functions as and when they are needed within the business.
HR Consultants can support a business with the following:
- Manage the recruitment and selection process on behalf of their clients.
- Write Job descriptions to ensure the correct person applies for vacancies and also for existing employees to have clarity of what is expected of them.
- Guide you through the process if you need to retrench employees.
- Help with absenteeism and discipline.
- Mitigate harassment and bullying in the workplace.
- Put HR Policies & Procedures for Labour Law compliance in place.
- Creating business and/or job-specific contracts of employment.
- Provide accurate salary Advice and Support to ensure you pay enough to keep your top talent.
- HR Consultants can establish onboarding practices to increase employee retention.
- Writing of HR Templates to save time and for consistent application.
- Provide on-call HR Advisory services whenever needed to avoid clients making costly HR mistakes.
Let’s dig deeper into the benefits of an HR Consultant and how they can add value to your business.
HR Consulting is cost effective
It is more cost-effective for small to medium-sized businesses to hire an HR Consultant who will do the job well and with efficiency rather than build up an HR department from scratch. When you already have a team you can bring in an HR Consultant to deal with the specific area that needs attention without disrupting the other team members with what they are doing.
HR Consulting increases effectiveness
Experienced HR Consultants can often deal with HR processes more effectively – especially quite complex HR functions such as recruitment, employment regulations, employee handbooks, policies and procedures. This will reduce the time that employers and managers spend on HR-related paperwork and procedures, and more time dedicated to their areas of focus.
Additionally, any changes in administration or company policy they bring about should also improve efficiency further.
HR Consulting helps to regain your focus
As mentioned earlier, owners often get embroiled in the day-to-day HR issues, distracting them from their main business focus. An outsourced HR consultant will allow you to shift your focus back, while providing comfort knowing that the HR side of things are being taken care of.
By working alongside the HR consultant, your own staff can learn and grow, as well as being able to focus their efforts in key areas.
HR Consulting saves the business time and provides clarity to employees
An HR consultant can often be brought in to help create some of the more difficult HR documentation such as HR Policies and Procedures, and to help establish best practices. In turn, this documentation contains the answers to many employee questions, ranging from how to book leave to fire safety procedures. By having the answers at their fingers tips, employees (and employers) get consistent answers to their questions, faster.
HR Consulting increases employee satisfaction and decreases employee turnover
The quality of services your outsourced HR Consultant provides has a direct effect on employee satisfaction. Having an HR expert speak honestly with your employees about their work, and then having changes implemented that are fair and that benefit everyone, will lead to greater employee satisfaction, increased productivity and decreased turnover.
What could an HR Consultant have done in the above situation?
After an assessment an HR Consultant could have realised that there was no job description in place which caused the business to hire the wrong person for the position. An HR Consultant can write a job description that will clearly state what is expected of the person, what qualifications they should have, and can also recommend a salary that is based on market information. This will ensure that the business hires the right person for the right position.
It also seems like there is a need for the business to have more structure. An HR Consultant can write the necessary policies and procedures to ensure employees work and behave within the parameters set by the business. This will create a standardised way of doing things in the workplace. This forms the backbone of your business culture.
Are you in need of an HR Consultant?
You have seen the services and value that a typical HR Consultant can provide but how do I know who to reach out to?
How do you know which HR Consultant will be a good fit for your business?
Look for the following to ensure you get top quality service and advice:
- The HR Consultant must have experience in the areas where your business needs help. Book a meeting and find out if they can assist you or check out their website of a list of their services on offer.
- A good HR Consultant must be an arm’s length away from you and your business at all times. They must be available when needed and offer advice as soon as possible. Virtual and/or face to face support can both be used as long as it’s effective.
- Look for website, Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn reviews. This will provide you with proof that they are who they say they are.
- You can also check and see if the HR Consultant is a member of a professional body although it is not a legal requirement for and HR Consultant to be a member of such a body in order to practice.
FIC Consulting ticks all the above boxes and can provide high quality services that you require, accurately and timely.
Get in touch with us today and let’s see how we can be of value to you.
If there is something I want you to know about me right away, it’s that I have a passion for supporting business owners. I believe in the future of South Africa and that there are so many opportunities out there to be successful and to make a change to our economy.
I want to be part of that change by providing businesses with core HR and Labour Solutions that will not only result in legislative compliance but actually positively impact their bottom line.
Over the years I have gained practical HR experience working in various sectors such as mining, construction, financial services, and corporate legal. As a business owner myself, I can relate well to businesses and what their needs are.