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As the manpower needs of business owners have become more and more complex over the last few years, a highly specialized and lucrative field has grown into being: human resources consulting. It’s worked for many businesses before, and it may work for you too. Let’s consider what the field can offer your company, and what you should watch out for if you’re shopping around for a firm.
If you’re looking to track down the talent that will be most useful to your business plan, HR consultants can help you do it with great specificity. They can interview you and your staff and analyze your general business plan to determine who would be the best possible candidate for the position you’re looking to fill, and conduct a headhunt to follow through on their recommendations.
A full-service firm should also advocate forcefully for your staff’s needs once they’ve been brought on board. Proper consultant-based negotiations have been shown to improve the benefits packages of many talented employees, making them more satisfied and more likely to stay with your company once they start.
In addition, consultants are effective at managing employees’ needs on a day-to-day basis, keeping lines of communication open and making recommendations to the owners based on the data they acquire. The firm will stay on top of what’s bothering your staff, what can be improved, and what they find special about your company.
And they can offer you these kinds of premium services (and much more) while still fulfilling the basic functions of HR outsourcing, like payroll and timesheets.
HR consulting is expensive, and usually appeals only to larger businesses. If your business isn’t at the stage of development that requires the services, you may be digging a hole that’s bigger than the hill.
That said, since it’s such a valuable service, you might not be able to operate competitively without it working for you in some dimension. You may want to pick and choose which particular services appeal to you the most, and work out a narrower contract with an HR consulting firm.
You should be able to openly discuss your needs with a knowledgeable representative at the firm of your choice. Before you do, though, get a strong sense of exactly what you want and how much you’re willing to spend. From there, they have to convince you that their services can be tailored to effectively meet your requirements. If you remain unconvinced, don’t go out on a limb – you can probably do without it for a while, and besides there are many other firms out there.
The biggest players are Mercer, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte, but there are many major companies out there that can offer you a thorough consulting plan. Research your options before you begin, and try to go with a firm that can give you the kind of personal attention HR demands.
Human resources consulting is an increasingly vital service to businesses of a certain size, or even smaller ones that have very specific manpower needs. Consider signing on to one if you feel your company needs to step up to the next level.