One of the most satisfying experiences as a consultant is to work with a client that engages you long enough that you can start to see the benefits of your labour. We have experienced just such a relationship with Hills Limited (formerly known as Hills Holdings) and it is a real pleasure to see that business now going from strength to strength.
It was late 2012 when we first met with the Head of People, Performance and Culture and the CEO of the then Hills Holdings. Although the vast majority of the conversations we had during that time were confidential, it is fair to say that Hills was about to embark on a significant period of change and this had already been foreshadowed to the financial markets. As an external consultancy, we would be engaged to review every Human Resources policy and procedure that the company had at the time, recommend changes (where required) and implement those changes. All before the end of the financial year. It was a daunting challenge but one which we accepted with open arms.
The next 6 months would be an extremely difficult time for the 4 main consultants that worked on the project but with the assistance of a VERY supportive client and some VERY late nights we got there in the end.
Following this initial success we were subsequently engaged to conduct Due Diligence assessments of potential acquisitions that Hills was considering at the time. Not only did we see Due Diligence as core business (see this link for more information about what an HR Due Diligence assessment consists of: http://www.henricksconsulting.com/files/Due_Diligence_Assessments.pdf) but we were the natural selection to conduct this work as we now knew the Hills policies and procedures inside and out! We have now conducted HR Due Diligence assessments on 4 acquisitions that have been announced to the market.
It’s now been over 12 months since we first took on a consultancy project with Hills. During that 12 months we have been engaged on a variety of different projects. We have been engaged on a truly flexible basis, coming in to help out when required, then taking a breather and watching from the sidelines when work was more suited to internal resourcing. During that time it has been a real pleasure to watch the Hills share price take a significant step upwards. Of course, most of the credit for this must be afforded to Hills Managers and Staff who have seemingly navigated a significant period of transformation brilliantly. However, we would also like to think that, as consultants, we have provided the expertise and resources that were required from an HR perspective to support that growth as well. We have definitely contributed in a small but significant way to help Hills achieve what it has done to date.
As many of our clients know, one of the major benefits in engaging our consultants is that we are able to provide TRULY tailored support for your business. If we came into Hills with a pre-determined template of what needed to be done I have no doubt that this project would have been a failure. This has truly been one of those engagements where success has been dependent on a business partnership founded in mutual respect and trust.
Of course all consultancies will SAY that they can provide a tailored service. I doubt that you will find a partner in a large consultancy anywhere in the world who would admit that they take a “cookie cutter” approach. However, one of the biggest criticisms we hear from our clients is that this is precisely the way many of the biggest consultancy companies treat their clients. At HC, we also have a range of best practice models and standardised tools available (just like some of our bigger cousins). However, if our standard tools do not meet your needs, we will always make a genuine attempt to build something from scratch that will.