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Getting The Most Out Of A Part-time HR Director

by Ally Maughan, CEO People Puzzles, leading provider of part time HR Directors for growing healthy businesses

Part-time HR directors can play a strategic role in the growth and development of your business - helping to support or establish your HR function and achieve long-term results.  

In recent years, the demand for part-time HR support has grown considerably. A large number of SMEs are recognising the benefits of flexible, part-time HR expertise, particularly while the economy continues to pick up speed. If you are a business owner considering hiring a part-time HR director, read on to find out what key things you should look for, and how to make the most of your people management.

Know What You Want Them to Achieve

Human Resources is a broad sector encompassing many different tasks, specialisms and responsibilities. As a result, individual HR directors have their very own specialist skills relevant to their area of expertise and past experience. Being aware of this is crucial when it comes to hiring HR professionals.

Look for Commercial Acumen  

Part-time HR directors need to be able to influence and drive a business’s commercial agenda. Their role within your organisation is to deliver growth-focused strategies that help you to overcome any problems that may be hindering your success. Without commercial acumen and strategic nous, they will be unable to design and deliver the change initiatives required to streamline your HR functions and achieve good results, efficiency and profit.

Therefore, choosing an HR director with a commercial track record is key. They need to show they can achieve results on a flexible part-time basis, and that they can deliver a growth-focused strategy tailored to your unique business aims and requirements. It’s no use hiring a part-time HR director who will simply impose a strategy they have implemented elsewhere. 

Select Carefully

Based on the above criteria, carrying out a thorough selection process will ensure you find an HR professional that aptly meets your needs. A part-time HR service is just as important as a permanent role within your company, so it’s crucial you approach recruitment in the same way. This means you should asses the cultural fit as well as the technical, management and specialist HR skills of all candidates. Their competency to deliver growth-focused strategies on a flexible, part-time basis should be carefully reviewed, but it’s also important to ensure they can challenge you and your business.  The good thing is that People Puzzles do most of the hard work for you, it is then up to you to choose fit, and someone you are going to get on with personally.

Prepare an Induction

Once you have identified the right part-time HR director, it is worthwhile spending time inducting them into your business before they set about managing change. Giving them the opportunity to thoroughly explore the organisational culture of your team(s) will help them get a feel for your business, engage with the people they will be working with and liaise with senior members of staff they will be supporting. This is where our fact find fits in really well.

Agree Goals and Deadlines

Agreeing on KPIs and how these will be measured is another key part of hiring a part-time HR Director, but it’s important that this information is shared with your HR department and key business stakeholders. Although consultants can generally sit outside organisational performance-management structures, a performance management plan that is shared with everyone is essential for achieving success. This includes part-time HR directors.

Prioritise Knowledge Transfer

Ensure that when your part-time HR professional leaves, their knowledge doesn’t go with them. Spend the last two weeks of the time they have spent with you implementing a formal knowledge transfer. A detailed handover will help your team to prepare for the future and will give you a blueprint for the next six months. This will include team goal-setting which can be incorporated into your business’s talent management plan.

Ally Maughan is CEO of People Puzzles, a team of senior HR Directors working for our many ambitious healthy businesses on a part time basis. Please visit www.peoplepuzzles.co.uk  for more information on we can deliver a reliable, growth-focused strategy to drive success.