About HR Partner, HR Best Practices for small businesses

The Issues, The Solutions

HR for small businessThe Issues

There are many HR Outsourcing companies that offer payroll and benefits administration, risk compliance services, time-off tracking, expense management, COBRA support, workers compensation and other back office support. Certainly those back office services may be important for those companies with more than 20 employees if they don’t already have those services. But look closely. None of them offer what we refer to as front office expertise for leadership coaching, hiring top performers and resolving performance or organizational issues.

Are the back office services keeping you from growing at a faster pace? We doubt it.

Is the obstacle to growth related to front office challenges? We think it is.

HR Partner™ offers an affordable front office retained services solution – so you can focus on growing your business.

What any company must have to grow/what we focus on:

  • A performance-based, trusting and collaborative culture
  • Leadership support and development
  • Manager and supervisor success
  • Great-place-to-work culture
  • Excellent employee communications
  • Hiring processes that attract and identify high-potentials / high-performers
  • High employee morale and engagement
  • Elimination of unwanted turnover, low turnover, stable workforce

The results of those efforts: Lower operating costs, better organizational performance, faster growth.

#1 reason top performers are reluctant to work for small businesses? Poor management practices.

Competency. From hiring top performers to creating a high-performing company culture to managing performance, are you an expert?

Time. From dealing with internal conflicts to ineffective hiring processes, the more time you spend on those issues, the less time you have to grow your business. High unwanted turnover suggests the need for management development. High turnover due to poor new hire performance, especially within 18 months of hire, suggests poor hiring strategies and tools.

Cost of mediocrity. The reality is you can’t afford to hire a full-time Fortune 100 Chief HR Officer who has repeated successes growing companies and implementing best practice talent management strategies in companies just like yours. However, the cost of not having that level of expertise is unacceptably high. Just the day-to-day tactical HR-related work, when improperly performed, can cause a business to fail. Ever go to a new restaurant where you received bad service? You tried it one more time and received bad service the 2nd time as well. What did you do after that? You promised yourself you’d never go back. Six months later you notice there’s a For Lease sign on the building. What happened? Bad HR practices – plain and simple. It could have been poor training but it was most likely poor hiring practices. It’s happening everyday in every industry.

Your current service providers’ available add-on options aren’t acceptable. Your payroll service, benefits management/insurance firm or your internal office manager are narrowly focused experts in what they do. And they don’t have the time or expertise to meet your needs for professional HR front office services.

Distractions. Dealing with HR issues is keeping you from doing what you should be doing …growing your business. The lost opportunity costs are likely the highest expense in this equation.

Two Solutions – so you can focus on growing your business

Hiring Partner: Attracting and Acquiring Talent

The Hiring Partner retained service suite provides comprehensive hiring life-cycle support including an applicant tracking system, applicant communications support, job posting support including posting design, posting on Indeed, Craig’s List and several other job posting sites, assessment administration and interviewing guidance. The purpose of the Hiring Package is to improve hiring workflow, increase the number of quality candidates in the pipeline and ultimately increase the quality of hires and reduce the time-to-hire. This is the foundation to improving profitability and business growth.

HR Partner: Attracting, Acquiring and Retaining Talent

The HR Partner retained service suite provides all of the Hiring Partner offerings plus management/leadership guidance and advice, talent management strategy, employee relations support, compensation advisory, employee development tools, policy deployment support, discounts on workshops and on-site programs and job profiles for internal development use. The purpose of the HR Partner suite is to provide you with comprehensive professional HR services as your chief human resource officer and leadership coach.

  • HR Partner offers valuable strategic and tactical HR expertise, executive coaching experience, hiring best practices, back-office systems/provider evaluation and selection and people-management knowledge. We’ll quickly become a key advisor at both the strategic and daily tactical levels.
  • HR Partner provides a robust applicant tracking system and assessment administration*.
  • HR Partner provides a part-time cost for a full-time solution.

*Assessment usage fees are not covered in the Hiring Partner or HR Partner retainer fee but are discounted. Assessment usage is invoiced separately based on actual usage.

What We Offer

  • Management advisory services
  • Talent acquisition, hiring best-practices
  • Talent management best-practices

Let Us Help You Grow Your Business

About HR Partner, HR Best Practices for small businesses, What is an HR Partner


HR Partner is a boutique consulting firm solving Human Resource problems for small, high-growth organizations across the USA. We are a division of The Nielson Group, a talent management solutions provider, who services mid-cap and multi-national companies.

HR Partner offers a bundled suite of services and tools designed specifically for growing organizations with as few as 5 employees up to 100 employees. Usually found in larger companies, you will find our offerings meet critical talent management requirements for any organization, of any size. HR Partner provides effective HR services in the most cost-effective way possible – to grow your business.

The backstory

The Nielson Group, established in 1998, developed a strong reputation for assisting large multi-national businesses with coaching, professional development, team development and hiring best practices. The Nielson Group also provided small business clients, whose companies were trying to grow, with services to help them eliminate missteps. As our smaller clients grew, so did the strong positive feedback and appreciation for our services.

“While our original focus was serving large multi-national companies, our competencies overlapped nicely with the needs of small businesses” stated Carl Nielson, founder, Chief HR Officer for HR Partner clients and managing principal of The Nielson Group. “The greatest overlap of needs was with matching the right applicants to the right jobs. With cloud-based technology, we were able to offer small companies the same best practices for hiring that billion dollar multi-national companies were using. Once we began applying best-practice HR methods and tools for small businesses, it wasn’t long before we started seeing our small clients grow! The ROI was incredibly in our clients’ favor – to the detriment of their competitors. Certainly, some executive coaching along the way was proving helpful as well. But with our applicant tracking system, proprietary applicant assessment strategy and suite of applicant assessments, we were seeing faster hiring, better quality hires, and eventually much better business performance and measurable growth. By hiring better, our small business clients were in a better position to focus on growing the business. “

We recognized early-on the need for small business HR services but cloud-based technology hadn’t happened yet. For most small businesses, hiring an HR manager requires a significant investment that isn’t affordable. The average salary for an HR manager is well above $80,000 per year. And to make the issue bigger, for many smaller businesses who grew large enough to make that investment, the expected ROI didn’t materialize. The combination of business acumen, HR competencies, experience with best-in-class HR technology and talent strategy development and implementation experience was missing. Instead, these businesses had hired administrative office managers to do the work of HR.

Today, the technology, especially because of the scalability and cost-effectiveness of cloud-based solutions, is within reach of any organization, regardless of size. But as a small business, there is still an issue with the time, costs and energy required to effectively select, implement and use these tools. In most cases, if you were to take all of this on yourself, the amount of hours for you and your staff to find, learn and implement the tools could easily add up to an HR manager’s salary. With HR Partner, we offer a formula that allows you to be much more efficient with your time and your money – so you can focus on growing your business.

Leverage our expertise.

Many of our early clients told Carl they wanted greater access for more in-depth interviewing support, dealing with performance issues, strategic talent management planning and general management coaching – all available within The Nielson Group’s primary competencies. With HR Partner, we found a way to value and package it to be cost-effective for small businesses.

“But the real win-win, is seeing your business grow.”

Our HR Partner clients are benefiting from the much lower expense of this HR outsourcing strategy in a win-win formula that shares the cost of expertise across all HR Partner clients. But the real win-win, is seeing your business grow.

The Nielson Group continues to serve the needs of multi-national, Fortune 250 clients and mid-cap leaders with coaching, organizational development and assessments. With HR Partner, we now believe we have the formula to offer a complete suite of talent management strategy offerings that can be leveraged specifically by our smaller clients.

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