One of the benefits of working as an HR consultant to SMEs that I’d not really identified beforehand is how much I enjoy working with a variety of different businesses. Like most HR professionals, I’ve hopped about a bit, but my experience was concentrated on only a small number of different types of organisation. It happens to most of us, we find an organisation we do well in, and as we move up the ladder, more senior roles demand experience in the sector they are in, so naturally we tend to develop ourselves within that sector.
That’s good in that you get a deeper understanding of how a certain type of organisation, or a certain business sector operates, the key issues they face, the approach to HR they tend to take, and the characteristics of the staff they employ. You can develop techniques, strategies and approaches to HR that work particularly well in that type of business and contribute effectively to the business.
But let’s face it, working with similar people, with the same issues cropping up all the time can be a little limiting in terms of broadening knowledge, and keeping your working life interesting. Some jobs just aren’t transferrable between sectors, but HR applies across the board so it’s a shame not to take advantage of that when you can.
Some HR consultants stick with the area they are most comfortable with, particularly if they concentrate on larger organisations. But at face2faceHR our speciality is small and medium sized organisations, usually with little or no internal HR. Although some of our partners may find they get little gaggles of clients from the same sector, due to personal recommendations within that sector, generally they have a very broad client base.
I’ve found out loads about a range of different businesses since starting on my own, including (but not limited to) printers, IT support, technology, engineering/manufacturing, leisure, retail, logistics, financial services, childcare provision, management consultancy and publishing. I love learning about the different businesses and thrive on the variety. I also find I can bring my learning from one type of business to my other clients, meaning they benefit directly from things learned and practiced in businesses they may normally have no contact with.
If you’d like to spend your time working with a variety of different businesses, do get in touch.