May 20, 2019

When’s the right time to hire a HR consultant?

Wondering whether now is the right time to hire an HR consultant? In this article, we look at seven times you should consider engaging externally, including an outsourced or virtual HR team.

Hiring an HR consultant when you’re a new business

If you’re starting up a new business, a good HR consultant, virtual HR team or outsourced HR departments, will help with efficiency and cost-effectiveness. That’s because they can provide policies, procedures and processes you need. As well as people-support you’ll want without the same investment you’d need to make in a full-time member of staff. After all, when you’re just starting up your HR needs won’t usually be consistent. There are likely to be intense periods of HR-related activity, followed by periods where you don’t need support at all. Paying for an employee to sit around with little to do and then severely overwork others, doesn’t make economic sense.

Your business has an HR incident

A human resources consultant can help when there’s been a specific HR incident. In the case, when no one in-house has the specific skills or independent status to deal with it properly. Often that’s because the incident requires a workplace investigation where an unbiased, methodical and impartial point of view is needed. Other times, it’s because someone senior needs to be dismissed and there’s no internal employee who carries it out effectively. And other times still, it’s because you have a specific complicated issue such as work-related visas or technical resignation that requires specialist skill or knowledge. By engaging an HR specialist, you can often deal with a project in the most effective way while your staff continue doing what they do best.

You need strategic help with your human resources

An HR consultant can fill the gap when you need strategic human resources work done. After all, employing someone senior in-house to deal with your strategic HR issues is not a cheap exercise. A fully-qualified and experienced HR Director will expect a decent salary. On top of that, they’re likely to be a little over-qualified when it comes to performing many day-to-day tasks. By outsourcing your strategy to an HR consultant, you give yourself the opportunity to employ someone more junior, who’s happy performing the more administrative tasks associated with HR, such as payroll and leave processing. This can save you a lot of money while ensuring your staff stay happy and productive.

Hiring an HR consultant to outsource your admin

On the other hand, if you have senior people in your HR team and want to keep them engaged, you may consider outsourcing the administrative side of human resources to an HR consultant. That way your senior staff can focus on what they do best, keeping them happy and motivated at work.

You need new HR policies and procedures (or they need updating)

Sometimes the need for an HR consultant comes from having outdated, irrelevant or even non-existent policies. For instance, you may have designed them when you had 10 staff but now you have 100. You may be going through a major change that means you need a new framework to govern your workplace. You may want to take account of flexible working or social media. Or you may just want to have something formal for the very first time. Whatever the reason, engaging an outsourced HR consultant can mean you have access to the latest thinking. You should also get the knowledge you need to make sure your policies are compliant and in line with best practice, and that they propel your business forward.

You don’t want to hire someone new

Engaging an HR consultant can take away the inherent risk and cost that comes with hiring a new HR employee. Whenever you hire someone new, you’ll need to train them in your processes and worry about the extra costs such as leave, superannuation and the other expenses associated with employing new staff. By engaging an HR consultant, you can circumnavigate many of these – giving yourself the advantage of having proven HR expertise on tap without the commitment of taking on a staff member.

You’re expanding (or reducing) your operations

Finally, a human resources consultant can help when you’re expanding your operations. That’s because when you grow quickly, or when you acquire or merge with a new business there’s almost always an HR dimension to the change. That could include arranging a new remuneration or bonus structure, harmonising policies and procedures or otherwise just making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Alternatively, there are times your organisation may need to shed staff – whether that’s because of a shift in the market cycle or a change in direction. If you need to make employees redundant, an HR consultant can help you make informed decisions every step of the way, so that you meet your obligations and minimise risk and your business suffers a minimum of disruption.

Are you ready to talk with an HR consultant?

If you’re still wondering whether now is the right time to engage an HR consultant, why not get in touch with the Catalina Consultants team to find out how we can help.

say hi to our author

Merilyn founded Catalina Consultants in 2012 on the belief that all organisations, regardless of size, should have access to top quality bespoke HR services. She enjoys working closely with her clients and believes that the best results are built on relationships of rapport, trust and authenticity. Growing up, Merilyn had her sight set on stardom and dreamed of becoming an actor. She also sang and played the piano, but ended up studying accounting and HR. Whilst she hasn’t won her Grammy just yet, she still loves a good karaoke night. Merilyn loves to travel with her family, with South Africa being one of her most memorable destinations.

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