Why do businesses need HR consulting?
Businesses constantly handle intricate contracts, pivotal situations and complex compensation and benefits offerings. International expansion only multiplies the potential headache.
Getting such paperwork, policies and procedures right is crucial. If anything goes wrong, you can lose staff or find yourself facing penalties.
That’s why many leaders use HR consulting firms to answer nagging questions or pick up the pace of complicated paperwork.
What is HR consultancy?
HR consultancies hold the answer to ALL those HR procedures and issues you’re not sure about – and reveal the hidden pitfalls that catch companies unawares.
They provide advice, liaise with third parties and draft documentation. They can be at the other end of a phone, contactable by email, or able to visit you in person.
An excellent HR consultancy is normally enough to put your mind at rest – whatever the challenge.
Our FREE guide to HR consulting
If you want to learn more about what HR consulting can offer your business, check out our free guide. It takes you through how these HR professionals can assist with everything from employment to international expansion.
HR consulting: more than advice, it’s an extension of your business
HR consulting is about more than delivering sound, timely advice. HR consultants provide you with paperwork, run audits in your business, and come back later to ensure policies, procedures, paperwork, and staff perks are a success.
Ultimately, they will analyse your business and the impact your changes are having. They ensure everything remains compatible with employment law and more.
Key areas where HR consultants help businesses
There is much more to what HR consulting companies do, but the below categories give you a quick understanding of critical areas where they can help.
HR consultants often help people with employment contracts – in UK law, they are an essential part of recruiting staff. Most countries agree that workers must have documentation that sets out the responsibilities, rights and procedures that affect them.
Beyond the letter of the law, good contracts place reassurance at the heart of the business. With the right advice, these agreements will protect your business and your staff.
Rewarding people is essential in the battle for new talent. HR consultants will often look at what you plan to pay someone to see if it meets the standard for that industry and location.
Furthermore, they’re on hand when you’re bargaining with a potential recruit and deviating from the standard contract. They will check to make sure your altered, more enticing contract remains compliant.
Private pensions, cycle-to-work schemes, private medical insurance and other benefits are great ways to attract new staff.
However, finding the right perks for the right price can be an art. That is where HR consultants can be helpful, as they will liaise with vendors, find effective, well-priced benefits, and check everything is working once implemented.
HR consultants can help with any change that affects your business or staff – from something as simple as adding a new level of responsibility to big moments like mergers. Throughout all these situations, your HR consultants will be able to help you manage implementation, communications, and any issues staff have.
Language barriers, cultural differences, variations in employment legislation and differences in qualifications are just the start when it comes to international operations. Setting up a global HR function for any business requires a keen eye on time, money and risk.
HR consulting firms that have specialists in international people management can help with this and much more.
What people ask us about HR consulting
Like the in-house teams they help, even HR consultants have limits – this is especially true in an area like international people management, where there are only so many countries they might operate in. If your HR consultant hits a dead end, it’s important to see how they react; do they figure out a way to resolve this? Internationally, they might be able to refer you to a specialist they work with or perhaps even look at adding the country to their roster (this takes time).
There’s no one answer that sets a standard – a one-person consultancy might be able to help a handful of firms and be great. IRIS HR Consulting is used by about 2,000 organisations across the world. But really, you need to make sure they can help you; that’s the most important thing.
In terms of qualities, we think speed and communication are key. Once you have signed a contract with an HR consultant, you should see movement in a very short interval of time. Communication is, of course, critical. They need to be able to explain things in terms that are right for you – rather than using jargon. Don’t be afraid to ask them to simplify things; that is exactly what they’re there to do.
This is very individual, but there is a baseline – they need to understand the legalities of managing your staff in the country where your headquarters is based. After that, they need to at least be able to refer you to other experts when something is outside their speciality.
Your consultant should be able to do everything you could hope for – and be able to go the extra mile by providing access to global mobility and relocation services. This, crucially, helps existing staff and their families move to new territories. HR consultants can advise on work permits and visas and manage the application processes from start to finish.
See if you can read about people they have helped. Look these up on their website or ask the consultant for literature which includes these first-hand accounts.
More information about HR Consulting
Get more UK employer advice from IRIS.
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