Developing HR Strategy

This particular organisation was growing quickly and had just recruited an in-house HR person but needed additional support with their HR strategy.  I worked in conjunction with their HR person in the capacity of a coach and presented our findings and recommendations to the Board.  I drew up a plan of action for the next eighteen months towards achieving certain key objectives in the recruitment, retention and development of the staff and personally implemented some of these until their in-house HR specialist was ready to move the programme forward.  The projects within this programme were wide-ranging but included the design and implementation of an employee survey, a job-profiling workshop, an appraisal process, a company handbook, recruitment campaign management and day-to-day advice and guidance on employee relations and employment legislation issues.



HR Troubleshooting

A SME had recently compiled and conducted its own in-house staff survey and was concerned at the results.  Uncertain as to how to tackle the issues which came to light in the responses, I was invited to recommend a plan of action.  Working with the CEO and one of the Directors, I formulated a proposal which took into account the culture of the organisation and which was realistic as to the outcomes which could be achieved within the time and budget available.  The recommendations covered a range of interlinking approaches, often with multiple beneficial outcomes, the majority of which could be implemented in-house by the management team.



HR Coaching and Mentoring

Many organisations wish to develop one of their existing staff into the role of in-house HR Manager.  They need an experienced HR Specialist to be available to support and guide their employee through more complex HR situations.  My role is to be mentor and coach to this member of staff, being available to help him/her out with a vast range of personnel, training and development matters as and when they occur and reinforcing the learning which they are acquiring from their CIPD studies.  The aim is that, eventually, the employee gains in confidence and expertise to the point that they are able to handle the majority of HR-related requirements themselves.



Acquisitions and the HR elements of due diligence

An overseas company was seeking to acquire a significant proportion of a UK organisation.  Working as part of the due diligence and integration team, I was gathering, checking and reporting on those elements required for the HR aspects of the due diligence.  This included identifying any anomalies with contracts of employment, salary and benefits scales and structures, custom and practice, HR policies and staff costs.  I also conducted one-to-one interviews with the transferring staff with a view to formulating the soft integration plan addressing issues such as communication, motivation and culture.



Business Planning

We live in a fast-moving, ever-changing business climate.  Adapting to change is crucial.  It seems as if the goalposts are constantly being moved.  To compete in this environment, an organisation must be aware of the skills and expertise available to it from within its human resources pool, particularly if headcount is restricted.  Just as it would be difficult to manage a company and make financial decisions without being aware of what is in the bank, the bills that need paying and the money coming in, it is difficult to realise the true value of staff without a real understanding of their skills, experience and aspirations.  I have worked with organisations to help them realise that potential and to address the HR facets of their business planning process.



Executive Coaching and Mentoring

I was brought in to prepare one of this organisation’s key performers for promotion.  They were immensely experienced and able but needed to develop their relationship-building skills within the organisation. Over three two-hour sessions (plus some “homework”), we achieved significant headway and by the fourth, and last, session were able to spend time focussing on maintaining the behavioural changes.  By the follow-up, six months afterwards, the promotion had been awarded and the adapted behaviour firmly entrenched.



Quality Processes

I was initially retained by this organisation to perform company-wide job evaluations and to then conduct a comprehensive compensation and benefits review.  On completion of these exercises, I was asked to design and implement personnel and training processes and records in accordance with their industry-specific quality standards.  The feedback from the client was, “With your help, establishing staff records and a regular review system within the Good Laboratory Practice framework has been straightforward and painless.  Ironically, this was one area of implementation that was giving me nightmares, but has proved to be one of the few parts that are on-stream with the proposed deadline.”



Recruitment Nightmares

These companies were being bombarded by emails and telephone calls from recruitment agencies.  This was taking up an inordinate amount of time and disrupting the work of various people within these organisations, some of them at a senior level.  By taking over the project management of their recruitment activity, I was able to significantly reduce this time wastage and streamline the whole process.  Terms and conditions of supply were negotiated and agreed, job and person profiles and supporting company information were provided to selected suppliers and questions answered.  CVs were sifted quickly and suppliers advised of the status of their applicants’ CVs.  The clients were then provided with relevant CVs.  For some clients, my involvement continued right through to shortlist interview stage, for others I organised the interviews on their behalf.  In essence, the whole process was made simpler and easier for not only my clients but their suppliers too, resulting in the comment from one, “It’s a pleasure to work with someone who still holds the basic values of recruitment and is nothing but professional.”



Bite-Sized Training

Following his promotion to CEO, this client was seeking to appoint a successor into his previous FD role.  He wanted to find out how he could glean truthful and meaningful information when interviewing the short-listed candidates .  He wasn’t sure how to cut through trite or rehearsed interview answers to gauge the depth of the candidates’ specialist skills and identify their true personal qualities.  During a three hour facilitated workshop involving him and the organisation’s HR Manager, we worked on the role specification, identifying priorities, clarifying the behaviours which were essential for this role and determining how this information could be extracted both directly and indirectly.  The outcome was a clear interview plan which enabled him to ensure he “covered all the angles” at the interview with well-thought through questions for each key component plus background training to enable him to adapt and adjust to interview responses to ensure the interview remained focussed and productive.