Employees are the lifeblood of a company. As such, they deserve a Human Resources department that can support their needs, aid in their career growth, and develop a work environment that promotes efficiency and productivity.
Unfortunately, some companies lack qualified human resources professionals with the right skill set. Instead, they delegate basic HR responsibilities to their in-house team. If a greater need arises, they call on third-party HR consultants for training and assistance.
If the role of an HR professional is crucial, why don’t all companies hire one in the first place?
The Reality of Piecemeal HR Departments
HR professionals with impressive credentials and achievements are a staple in large companies like IBM, GE, and Apple. In smaller enterprises, however, HR professionals are a dime a dozen.
Most startups begin without a dedicated HR professional. Stakeholders who are hands-on in the company often divide the administrative and human resources tasks amongst themselves. Examples of these tasks are payroll, recruitment, talent development, employee relations, and compensation and benefits.
As their company grows, however, these tasks often fall upon the shoulders of assistants who may lack the necessary skills or knowledge to do the work justice.
These “piecemeal” HR departments are common even among mid-sized businesses which, by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) definition, have 50-250 employees.
Growing companies often retain such a structure to minimize costs. After all, salaries for HR employees are indirect costs, meaning they are beyond the expenses of creating a service or product; companies can’t charge customers for their overhead.
The perceived cost savings can come at a price. The lack of an HR professional could deprive employees of the opportunity to scale up, develop existing and new skills, and work their way to a higher pay grade. As Georgetown University’s Human Resource Management faculty put it, HR today does more than administrative functions. It is also a strategic department that could secure the growth of a company.
Minimize Risks and Increase Compliance: Goals of HR Consultancy Training
As companies exceed the 50-employee mark, a number of state and federal compliance laws take effect. A few of them are:
- Affordable Care Act – Employers must provide healthcare benefits to their employees.
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – Employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave.
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – Companies must submit a demographic report of their workforce per year. This report includes the current number of employees and the population by gender and race.
Other compliance concerns that come with business growth and expansion are workplace safety, employee engagement, and talent development. If a company fails to address them, they could face problems like high employee turnover rates and low satisfaction and morale.
Inexperienced HR teams may not be able to handle these responsibilities or follow these compliance requirements without proper guidance. Hiring an experienced HR professional is a sound solution, but, if that option isn’t feasible, companies can also hire HR consultants to train and educate their teams to stand on their own.
Consultancy and Training
HR consultants are experts on human resources management. With their guidance, underskilled HR departments can learn and develop, in a shorter period, the knowledge and skills that typically take years to assimilate.
HR consultants can assist in other areas, too, like in developing company policies, procedures for workplace complaints, and succession planning. They can also help refine job descriptions, onboarding and exit interview scripts, and performance management systems.
Regardless of its size, a company has to strengthen its HR department to achieve and sustain growth. If an HR professional’s rate is still beyond a company’s capacity to pay, it should consider hiring a third-party consultant to upscale its HR staff.
BDeWees Consulting offers business consultations and provides excellent human resources training. Get in touch to learn more about our services.