How can an HR consultant help?

Remain impartial and compliant

Seeking HR consultancy or outsourcing your company’s HR provisions can ensure that any HR procedures remain impartial and compliant with statutory guidance.

Rest assured that you're doing the right thing.

Enabling a third party, such as Lamont Jones, to handle any HR action can alleviate the pressure and stress of managing things in-house. Plus, with over 30 years’ experience, we’re qualified and well-versed in the sensitivities of handling all HR cases, so you can rest assured that we’re doing the right thing.

For advice and information about adopting a strategic HR framework, speak to the Lamont Jones team. We offer several HR services for small- and medium-sized businesses and provide bespoke HR processes customised to your wants and needs

Strategic HR Consulting & Management

What is strategic HR?

Strategic HR aligns a company’s objectives with those of its employees. Essentially, strategic HR aims to maximise the potential of the workforce to support the overarching aims of the business. HR departments could do this by, for example, taking steps to improve employees’ welfare to maintain high levels of productivity.

What are the benefits of strategic HR?

Before opting to employ a strategic HR plan, you must work with other departments to align priorities and analyse areas for improvement. Although careful planning is essential, strategic HR allows businesses to…

  • Identify areas of weakness and strength, and develop strategies to address these 
  • Establish smaller goals to help measure progress concerning wider objectives
  • Ensure business and HR strategies are aligned
  • Be confident that all departments are working toward the same goal
  • Foster a culture of learning and striving to improve
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of current practices and policies
  • Retain employees 
  • Improve employee satisfaction

How does strategic HR work?

To be more strategic in your approach to HR, you first need to understand what purpose your HR strategy will have. These targets could include…

  • Boosting employee morale
  • Increasing retention rates
  • Maintaining quality output
  • Increasing profitability
  • Developing the skills of the workforce
  • Improving customer service

1. Review your current HR offering

Once you’ve found the purpose and it aligns with company-wide objectives, you should review current HR provisions. Doing so will help you understand what has worked and what could be done differently. Conducting a review will give you a good foundation to work from too, so you’re not starting completely from scratch.

After reviewing current processes and practices, it’s time to start formulating the strategy – starting with the goals and sub-goals you’ll be aiming to achieve.

2. Set targets

Setting goals early on in the process gives you direction and something to work towards. In the early days of implementing new frameworks, like strategic HR practices, it’s crucial you define what success looks like.

When setting these goals, it’s important they contribute to the overall business strategy. For example, the goals of the company are to increase sales by 20%, your HR goal might be to recruit X amount of new sales staff or develop existing employees. 


As well as setting goals, it’s good practice to set sub-goals. These act as milestones and are useful for monitoring progress. Using the example of recruiting more staff members, a sub-goal could be creating a new job description or posting a job advert before a certain date. 

When you’re setting targets, it can be good to utilise SWOT analyses and SMART goals to help inform your planning. 


What is a SWOT analysis? 

A SWOT is used to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats relating to an individual, department, business or project. Conducting a SWOT analysis will give you foresight into the factors that affect the goals you outline as part of a strategic HR framework. 


What are SMART goals? 

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Using these parameters when goal setting helps ensure that goals are challenging, pertinent and achievable within the timeframe you have set.


3. Establish your objectives

At this stage of planning, it’s time to determine your objectives, i.e. outline the things you’ll do to reach your goals and subgoals. Again, these objectives should align with the business’s overall direction to ensure consistency. 


Continuing with the example of hiring more staff members to increase sales; an objective could be sitting down with the head of sales to ascertain what they want from a new member of staff and using this to inform writing your job description, or hiring sales staff members with a particular number of years’ experience.


4. Choosing an approach 

Once you’ve laid the foundations of what you want to achieve and the tasks you can undertake to ensure success, it’s time to consider how you will approach the new framework. 

At this stage, your review of the current HR provision will be useful as it’s time to decide whether to change the approach or not. The three main types of approaches are: 


  • Reinforcement – reinforcing current practices and processes
  • Change – making adjustments to current practices and processes
  • Innovation – introducing new ideas and processes


5. Implementation

Once you’ve identified success, set targets, reviewed your current processes and decided how you’ll fulfil your strategic approach to HR, it’s time to implement your plan.

When implementing your plan, it’s important to be aware of how it may be received by the workforce. 


Depending on what you’re planning to do, people may feel threatened by the changes. For example, if you’re implementing changes to processes or new training initiatives, older employees may feel like they are being pushed out or replaced by new technologies. 

The success of your implementation strategy can depend on your approach to the next step too… 


6. Monitoring and evaluation

Once your plan is implemented, you need to monitor and evaluate its performance to ensure continued success and that those objectives are contributing to the completion of goals and subgoals.

Your HR strategy should be a living framework that grows and adapts based on what you find while monitoring. You can monitor performance by:

  • Surveying and interviewing people
  • Observation sessions


Likewise, evaluating goals and objectives once they have been completed is crucial to inform future strategies. Similar to the initial review you undertook before fleshing out your strategic approach. 


If your business objective is to grow sales and you have identified a need for new sales staff, you could evaluate the performance of this strategy by looking at how successful the recruitment process was. This could include how long it took you to hire staff, the calibre of people interviewed and how successful applicants have contributed to sales. 

How does strategic HR fit into wider business strategy?

Strategic HR and wider business strategy are intrinsically linked. Wider business strategy and objectives should be used to inform the direction of strategic HR.

For example, if a business wants to improve its customer service, this can be translated into a strategic HR framework involving CPD or personal development plans.

How does strategic HR contribute to business performance?

Strategic HR should be used to feed into wider business objectives. For businesses to perform well there needs to be a coherent plan in place that enables all departments to contribute to success, including HR.

Learn more about strategic HR

What is operational HR?

In comparison to strategic HR, operational HR focuses on helping employees perform their day-to-day tasks. Operational HR typically includes…

  • Recruiting and onboarding
  • Managing benefits and compensation
  • Handling complaints, grievances and disciplinary procedures
  • Handling leave requests, including resignations and maternity leave
  • Organising CPD
  • Ensuring the health and safety of employees
  • Counselling and coaching
  • Engaging with employees through, for example, reward schemes

Meanwhile, strategic HR has more of a focus on completing long-term business objectives and goals.

Contact us for professional advise on strategic HR

Strategic HR vs operational HR

When you’re trying to decide which route to take, there is no right or wrong answer. Both operational and strategic HR have their merits - it’s all about what works best for your company and its priorities.

There are times when the two will cross over as well, like when you’re handling training initiatives and managing benefits.

For advice and information about adopting a strategic HR framework, speak to the Lamont Jones team. We offer several HR services for small- and medium-sized businesses and provide bespoke HR processes customised to your wants and needs.