Why Hire an HR Consultant
The perception and importance accorded to the Human Resource department has undergone a vast change as technology is continuously evolving to re-define work, especially now, when most firms nurse global ambitions and relative start-ups are exploring newer markets each quarter to fuel growth owing to the rise of internet economy. People are vital and most integral part for the development of the organization and matching skill and talent with the organizational need still poses a challenge since organizations have to balance the short-term and long-term talent management.We need HR to look at the larger picture and find people who not only match the job but also fit into the larger role at the organisation level. HR consultants come to the aid here in helping them create a talent pipeline, manage relationships and look for people management gaps such as high attrition rate, benefits management etc. Retaining talent has emerged as a key factor for maintaining growth for companies, especially in the knowledge economy. Given this background, recruitment and talent acquisition have evolved into being the most dynamic HR functions with a tangible and quantifiable impact.
Recruitment is immediate, narrow, and tactical while talent acquisition is broader; it takes a long-term view of using the candidates that come out of a recruiting campaign as a means to fill similar positions in the future. Talent acquisition is a cyclical approach that’s geared towards building relationships, anticipating future hiring needs, and creating a sustainable pool of candidates. It is a priority activity that can forecast the direction in which the company is headed. A consultant partners with his clients in understanding their vision, growth and succession management plan, and/or by analysing the history of attrition for certain positions. Consultants carry the onus of identifying and facilitating the cultural assimilation of suitable talent across the business canvas of an organization.
Owing to the critical impact and losses incurred due to incorrect hiring, it is essential for consultants and companies to have clear and concise expectations set from the beginning. The key to successful working relationship and effectiveness lies in appreciating how each party works.
While selecting a consultant the Rule of Three must be borne:
Proven track records matters within your industry. The odds are stacked in your favour while working with consultants who have been veterans in the industry and critically analysed the sweeping changes in the last two decades to identify the right fit for your organization.
The traits of a good consultant are speed, integrity, creativity, honesty, persistence, organizational skills and a sense of corporate maturity
An innate ability to “read” people and their motivations (personal and professional) with enviable listening skills
When to call a consultant
Calling a consultant to rescue will serve you well under following circumstances:
Filling a position is urgent and is hampering the delivery of work. With their ready database of eligible candidates, time and resources at their end, consultants can accomplish this task with efficiency and speed.
You have a “difficult” position to fill. You have placed ads, checked with competitors, consulted colleagues for references and extensively interviewed with no success. In this scenario, the consultant offers the company a window of opportunity - a "court of last resort".
You wish to be kept informed of top-notch talent as those talented people surface, regardless of whether there is an opening.
How a Consultant "Sells" Your Opportunity
Consultants process and package a “Job Description” to motivate their candidate base to consider the offered position as their ideal career move or opportunity. The consultant has to act as the client’s brand ambassador and must constantly be prepared to answer the prospect's often non-verbalised question, "What's in it for me?”
In this regard, consultants find candidates’ motivations on the below mentioned themes and help the candidates articulate their concerns. Consultants are also required to help their candidate-pool to figure out the fit and match with the prospective firm and their career goals.
Stability of the company
Remember that consultants do not work in the marketplace of 'applicants' i.e. who we consider job hoppers, job shoppers or rejects. Rather, their marketplace consists of 80% of the working population who are happy, well-appreciated, making good money and who do not have a readymade resume. They attract professionals of uncommon ability - individuals to whom companies might not otherwise have access. Experienced consultants, through their talent, skill and training, motivate candidates to seek better opportunities.
For candidates not active on the job market, the consultant will not have current resumes or CVs. Asking a professional consultant for a resume for this type of individual will often only slow down the process and possibly lead to loss of opportunity of meeting a prospective top calibre employee; resumes can always be secured at a later date.
The HR consultant and the client are working with the same objective and end result. Hence it is critical to keep constant communication and work towards building trust to achieve people management goals. Without enough trust, it will be a waste of time, energy and resources of the consultant and the company. Even worse, it can translate into loss of business. Quality consultants would always do everything possible to cement a strong working relationship with their clients and anticipating their business need and requirements. If clients are not happy with the quality of the consultant’s output then given the fierce competition in this market space losing business is very easy. The good ones are always in demand, actively helping firms achieve a competitive edge, recruitment targets and be their partner in the whole process.