Click to read Ceridian's article on how to develop effective HR advisor partnerships.It is often said that the most successful leaders surround themselves with those smarter than them. Transform your HR strategies with effective advisor partnerships. Unlock the value of outside experts and gain tips for hiring the right partner.  

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Help Wanted: Harnessing the Power of HR Advisors

   Give your HR department a step up with the right HR advisor partnership.

It is often said that the most successful leaders surround themselves with those smarter than them. This sage piece of advice encourages professionals to embrace opportunities to learn and benefit from the expertise of others. In the field of HR, surrounding yourself with smart people can take a variety of different forms – from hiring people more talented than you to partnering with advisors who can provide valuable council and support.

“Hiring the right HR advisor can transform your HR department. Whether you use HR advisors on an ongoing basis or for special projects, these outside consultants give you more time and resources to focus on your organization’s core business issues. Effective advisor partnerships can give you the step up you need to develop people strategies that surpass the status quo,” said Kevin Thompson, vice president of professional services at Ceridian.

Finding the right match

HR is a complicated field that demands advanced skills in every area of the employee experience. On top of managing the day-to-day demands, HR professionals are responsible for increasing engagement, shaping culture, and complying with ever-changing regulations.

Even the largest HR departments can struggle to keep up with these diverse demands on their own. Using outside advisors can help you fill skill gaps and navigate unique situations, such as a mergers and acquisitions. The three most common types of HR advisors include:

  • Consultant: Hired on a project or as-needed basis, consultants offer strategic expertise and advice. They can perform a variety of HR functions ranging from developing strategic plans to managing large scale transitions. Consultants specialize in a number of areas, including HR technology, and can often be hired through HCM solution providers.
  • Benefits Broker: These experts help organizations navigate the complexities of employee benefits. The best brokers have an in-depth understanding of products and can help HR align benefit plans to the company’s philosophical and financial needs.
  • Outsourcing: Models for delegating HR functions to outside experts can range from outsourcing the entire department to contracting help for time-consuming administrative tasks. Outsourcing minimizes risk and compliance penalties since the external party assumes some liability.

Unlocking the value of outside experts

One of the biggest benefits of hiring an HR advisor is the breadth of knowledge and experience they bring to your company. The insight from their previous work experience can help you maximize your resources and minimize mistakes. Additionally, outside experts can help save you time by taking over administrative or manual tasks.

Contracting out work can also help you save money through economies of scale. An HR advisor’s investment in infrastructure, HR software, hosting environments and IT support will allow you to easily scale your HR operations when necessary. Additionally, the right partner can help you minimize risk by providing compliance expertise in legislation, reporting, security and privacy.

Most importantly, the right HR partnership will enable the organization to reallocate resources to strategic activities that will help increase the efficiency, proficiency and effectiveness of the workforce.

5 tips for hiring the right partner

Choosing an outside consultant is just like hiring an employee – it takes time, diligence and some legwork. To find an advisor that meets your needs, follow these five tips for hiring success:

  1. Evaluate your needs: Start by conducting an internal HR audit. Define what your organization does well, where it needs help and what you hope to achieve by hiring an advisor. Use this analysis to guide your search for outside help with open enrollment, merger and acquisitions, process improvement, etc.

  2. Ask for referrals: Ask other HR professionals and industry groups for not only advisor recommendations but also for tips on how to best work with outside advisors.

  3. Clearly articulate your needs: When interviewing outside experts, clearly communicate the project scope, including responsibilities, expectations, deadlines and evaluation criteria.

  4. Ask good questions: Ask the outside expert about more than just their experience. Determine their level of expertise by inquiring about their familiarity with your industry and their views on current HR issues.

  5. Check their credentials: Verify that the outside consultant hasn’t had any complaints or penalties filed against them by previous clients. Also, ask the advisor for information on their license or professional designations.

 While finding the right HR advisor takes time and energy, it’s worth investing in the process. This relationship will be an invaluable asset to help you predict and respond to the ever-changing HR needs of your workforce.

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