When Do You Need an HR Consultant?

Jennifer L'Estrange
June 13, 2024

All businesses with staff have to properly manage their human resources. In many cases, businesses perform best with the help of a HR consultant. But what do HR consultants do? Red Clover created a guide to HR consulting, but on a high level, HR consultants are an affordable outsourced solution that manage all aspects of human resources management. We put some thoughts down on what issues you may be presented with that may be your sign to hire an HR consulting firm.

Understanding What HR Achieves

Human Resources is an essential function in every organization. Employees know that their HR department is important, but very few employees actually know why. So what exactly does HR achieve? The HR function is responsible for managing the entire employee lifecycle; including recruitment, onboarding and offboarding, training and development, compensation and benefits, and performance development. If you are struggling with any of these functions, you may need an HR consultant’s help. An HR consultant can work with your organization to develop and administer processes that will increase the effectiveness of every single function that comprises the employee lifecycle.

Employee Handbook/Policies

An employee handbook is a valuable document that helps an employer communicate guidance and information on the organization’s mission, values, policies, procedures, culture, and benefits. The establishment of these policies and procedures is critical for managing employee expectations and ensuring your company is within legal compliance, especially as the company grows. Topics in an employee handbook include the following:

  • Overview of Mission and Values – Every employee handbook should start with a welcome letter from the CEO. This letter should provide an overview of the mission and values of the organization. It will ultimately set the tone for the rest of the handbook and establish the company culture
  • Legal Compliance – A key component of an employee handbook is the inclusion of any local and state employment laws and regulations ensuring your company and employees are in compliance with any legal regulations. In this section, you’ll Include employment requirements  (like an at-will employee statement), equal employment opportunity commission (EEOC) statements, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, and any additional, legally required statements and legal definitions, like the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is essential to communicate these policies to your employees to ensure compliance with the law. 
  • Company Policies/Procedures – This section should outline policies and procedures around the use of drugs and alcohol, violence and weapons, attendance, hours of work, meal and rest periods, timekeeping, paydays and payroll deductions, performance reviews, and usage of phone/email/internet and social media. 
  • Benefits – The benefits section is a popular section in the handbook for employees. This section outlines the company’s benefits programs, including paid time off, company holidays, vacation allotments, sick leave, family and medical leave, disability leave, personal leave, bereavement leave, jury duty and any other company-sponsored leave entitlements.  . If applicable, this section should cover health insurance (medical, dental, vision), life insurance, workers’ compensation, and retirement/pension plans.
  • Acknowledgement: Handbook Receipt – The final section of the handbook should be a statement about the employee acknowledging receipt of the handbook. All employees should sign the acknowledgment and return the signed form to the dedicated HR person in the organization. 

Once a draft of the handbook has been developed by your HR partner, they work closely with legal counsel for review to ensure that it is in compliance and that it does not contain any statements that may create contractual agreements. A qualified Red Clover consultant can help develop an employee handbook for your organization that will incorporate all relevant state/local regulations and company policies while ensuring that your company culture shines through. 

HR Solutions for Small Businesses

When employees who are not HR experts try to perform essential HR tasks, they can easily waste valuable company time and resources. Outsourcing your small business HR function to consultants can free up time for strategic planning and minimize costs. Outsourcing the HR function allows for an organization to pick and choose the HR responsibilities they would like to focus on throughout the course of an engagement. This method also mitigates the risk of having to hire an HR staff, which can ultimately have a positive impact on the overall bottom line of the organization. Hiring HR consultants help small businesses benefit from the expertise and essential guidance of a dedicated HR professional at a reasonable price. Start-ups and small businesses in the construction, hospitality, and architecture/engineering industries are prime examples of organizations that would benefit from an HR consultation. As an organization grows and it makes more sense to bring on a full-time internal HR resource, your HR consultants now know enough about your organization to help you identify the right fit when it is time to hire a full-time human resources manager.

Should You Hire an HR Consultant?

Taking care of your employees is just as important as taking care of your clients and customers. If you are focused on continuously growing your business, this could lead to you becoming overwhelmed and setting aside important matters, like human resources. Hiring an HR consulting firm in New Jersey, like Red Clover, is a great way to ensure that your employee lifecycle is being properly managed from start to finish, while you focus on the future of the organization. If you are interested in hiring an HR consultant to support your small business, reach out to us here!

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