Let’s examine how to choose the right HR Transformation consulting partner for a major enterprise human resources transformation program. A business hr transformation, particularly in large companies, is more than just implementing an HR software solution. As HR transformation entails a complete and foundational shift in operating model, processes, capabilities, structure, staff, and systems, selecting the right HR transforming consulting company is a critical consideration.

First, do you need consultants to help in an HR Transformation program?

  • The first thing is to determine whether what your company is doing is a total transformation or a piecemeal project.
  • Secondly, do you have the right resources with adequate skills and competencies to shepherd the company from planning to execution of the proposed HR transformation?
  • Last but not the least, does your corporation have the ability to execute on a major enterprise transformation, while at the same time continuing business as usual?

If the answer to all the above questions is yes, then probably you don’t need high-priced HR transformation consultants.

What areas do HR Transformation Consulting companies typically help?

  • Current State Assessment of HR function:  Most often corporations bring in a consulting company – strategy consulting firms, the traditional big four, or large systems integrators with consulting teams – for the current state assessment.
  • HR Strategy and Target Operating Model: Another area, that requires an in-depth understanding of the future HR trends and how the human resources function is evolving. Another aspect is what are the operating models and given a company’s situation and future vision, what operating model may fit. Hence, consulting companies specializing in human resources transformation consulting can bring a lot to the table.
  • HR Software Vendor Landscape Analysis and Evaluation: From more of an employee record keeping systems, the so-called HRIS, HRMS software have today evolved into multi-dimensional human capital management platforms. In addition to the large ERP platforms, of which HR/HCM is an integral function, there is a new wave of specialist software focusing on HR software.  Furthermore, there are a variety of niche HR software players with excellent depth and expertise in specific areas – benefits, talent management, succession planning, employee feedback, performance management, contingent workforce management, etc.  A consulting company that understands this landscape and can objectively evaluate the HR software vendors and their fit to your firm’s situation is essential.
  • Cloud HR: Thanks to the digital revolution, Cloud HR is not just about where the HCM software is deployed but is a sea change in approach to how the HR software is conceptualized, designed, delivered, upgraded, and updated.  The SAAS revolution has transformed the HR software platform landscape.
  • HRO (HR Outsourcing): If you are considering outsourcing some of the HR functions to a specialist business process outsourcing firm – whether onshore or offshore – a consulting firm that understand the pros and cons of Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO) and can advise on various aspects of the opportunities and pitfalls in outsourcing any aspect of the “hire to retire” value stream is invaluable.
  • HR Transformation Roadmap: Once the strategy and path forward are defined, an HR transformation roadmap development with appropriate buy/build/outsource decisions, phased sequencing and program/initiative planning is critical.
  • HR Process Re-engineering: Automating existing inefficient and ineffective processes is rather a costly exercise with no positive outcomes. Instead, there may be times re-engineering and optimizing the HR processes is critical for any HR transformation initiative. In this case, HR consultants with proven credentials in process re-engineering will be helpful.
  • Employee Experience Design:  The advent of the digital age and the coming of age of the millennial generation have made not just what services HR provides, but how it provides, and what experience drives the underlying HR functions has become essential.  At times the experience may be more important than the commoditized basic HR service.

The advent of the digital age and the coming of age of the millennial generation have made not just what services HR provides, but how it provides, and what experience drives the underlying HR functions has become essential.  At times the experience may be more important than the commoditized basic HR service.

  • HR Software Implementation and Systems Integration: This is the traditional purview of systems integrators and IT outsourcing firms. In today’s cloud-enabled, SAAS landscape, understanding API-driven light-weight integration is table stakes.  In this case, partnership and certifications with the HR software vendor of choice may come in handy.
  • HR Data Migration: Many HR transformation projects fail or underperform due to the inadequate attention paid to HR data conversion, and faulty implementation of the HR data migration.
  • HR Transformation Change Management:  Another overlooked or under-appreciated area during a transformation is change management. This is critical in fostering adoption and acceptance across different stakeholders.

Human Resources Transformation Consulting Company Selection Criteria:

  • Type of HR Consulting: What areas of HR transformation do you need help? Building an HR transformation business case? Assessment of the current state HR landscape – process, technology, structure, and people? Compensation design? Employee Benefits benchmarking? HR operating model design? HRIS/HRMS/HCM software selection? HR Outsourcing? HR systems integration?  So, depending on what you need, an individual consultant with deep HR transformation subject expertise to boutique firms, and to large multi-dimensional consulting firms may be in play.
  • Track Record: Does the HR consulting firm have proven track record in the areas that you are soliciting help? Do they have referenceable client use cases that are from similar industries and similar situations?
  • Profile of the Consulting Firm: What is the overall market reputation, standing, financial stability, staff turnover of the consulting firm?
  • Cultural Fit: At times you may need a consultant who can deliver the right medicine and right message, in other cases, you will want to work with a firm whose values and culture fit with yours.
  • Team Structure, Composition, and Profiles: Whatever be the logo of the HR consultant, it is the particular individuals, their composition, the collective and personal skills and competencies that matter.
  • One or Many Partners: A critical decision is to choose one firm with a broad slate of services and general expertise, or do you need a specialist? For example, for compensation design or HR outsourcing, do you want to rely on your regular stablemate or do you want to bring in an expert?
  • Price: We subscribe to the adage, “Pay peanuts, and you get monkeys!” We also don’t believe paying insane amounts to kids barely out of college posing as the top of the line advisors.  Of course, it is not the age or years of experience, but the amalgamation of talent and competencies that a consulting team can provide that matters.

We subscribe to the adage, “Pay peanuts, and you get monkeys!” We also don’t believe paying insane amounts to kids barely out of college posing as the top of the line advisors.

Do you need help in picking the right HR transformation consultant? If so, please contact CIOPages.com Advisory Services.

Have you recently hired an HR Transformation Consulting partner? If so, what were your evaluation criteria for the selection? Please share your experiences in working with the HR Transformation consulting company.

You may also find valuable information from the analyst reports with comparison and rating of the HR transformation consulting firms. Last but not the least, please do check your peers who have gone through a recent HR transformation.

Other Resources:

ALM Intelligence

IBIS

SHRM

D&B Hoovers