HR Consulting on the Side: “I’ve Just Landed My First Gig. What’s Your Advice?”

Hi Alan,

For the first time, I’m going to be doing some HR consulting on the side for a small business. 

What I should charge to create a company handbook, revise new hire paperwork, including an online employee application…and be available for phone consultation?

I want to be reasonable but also don’t want to cut myself short.  

Any advice on what to charge and on agreements you have that you would be willing to share would be appreciated?

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6 Ways To Become an HR Superhero in Your Organization — No Matter How Much (Or Little) Experience You Have!

by Alan Collins

A few nights ago, I saw Black Widow on HBO Max.

I loved it!

It had great action sequences, a cool story and heart. Scarlett Johansoon was terrific in the starring role.

I highly recommend it.

I’m a big superhero fan and movie buff.  As a kid I collected comic books and fantasized having powers like Spider-Man.

Growing up, I wouldn’t be surprised if you had your own super-powered role model as well.

And, maybe you still do.

If so, envision this: Imagine being an HR superhero in your organization.

If you’ve gained a reputation with your clients as someone who is awesome at what you do in HR, it’s just like being your favorite superhero — gifted with super powers.

When you’ve reached this level:

It doesn’t matter how much HR experience you have.

It doesn’t matter what college you went to.

It doesn’t matter what degrees you have.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re HR certified or not.

No one gives a crap about that stuff.

Instead, they are spellbound by your powers and your awesomeness. 

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4 Ways To Create Your Own Luck & Advance Your Career in HR…

by Alan Collins

The date: February, 2019,
before all the pandemic craziness.

“Damn!  Another early morning HR presentation.”

That’s what Mike muttered under his breath as he slowly climbed out bed at 5 am.

He had given three presentations to different business groups around Miami.

And this would be the tenth one he’d given in the last year.

He was tired, but excited at the same time.

He had promised his good friend Cynthia, president of the local SHRM chapter, that he’d help her out.

She had lined him up yet again to give his presentation on: “The Top 10 Ways To Use Social Media To Attract Top Talent.”   

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HR Leaders: Are Your Treating Your Good People Like Criminals? If So, Watch Out.

by Alan Collins

A friend just quit his job as Director – HR Operations.

And was treated “like a criminal.”

When he handed his boss his two-week notice, this occurred one hour later:

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HR Leaders: Why You Can’t Find Great HR People To Hire — And What To Do About It.

by Alan Collins

An HR leader recently questioned a well-known executive recruiter:

“Why can’t we find great HR people to hire?”

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How HR’s Most Misunderstood Buzzword Can Jack Up Your Income & Promotability

By Alan Collins

There are lots of buzzwords in HR.

“HR business partner.”
“A seat at the table.”
“Go-to person”

You know the list.

But in my humble opinion, “ADDING VALUE” is the most misunderstood one of all.

Why? Because unlike the others, there are a thousand different interpretations of it.

To illustrate, I’m sure you’ve heard your boss say:

“Jill, you need to add more value to the team.”

“Jamal, that new talent acquisition program has really added value.”

“Morgan, the Marketing group would like to see HR add more value.

These statements are tossed around in HR as much as footballs thrown by Tom Brady.

Yet, I’d bet you dinner at the best restaurant in Chicago that you couldn’t get five HR people in a room to agree on what they REALLY mean.

Nevertheless, “adding value” is an important concept.  

In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that if you earn a reputation as someone who can truly can add MORE value…

You’ll make MORE money and
ENHANCE your promotability,

as long as you’re in HR.

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A Short, Open Letter To All Abusive & Toxic HR Leaders

From: Alan Collins

To: All abusive and toxic HR leaders

Hello! Time is running out on your career.

-You are treating people like dirt.
-You bully and shame.
-You exclude, divide and disrespect others.
-You throw people under the bus when blamed.
-You engage in corrosive office politics.
-You regularly steal credit for other’s ideas.

Excuse me for being so blunt, but consider this a heads up.

Right now, the organization may be applauding the great HR results you’re getting.

Right now, some higher ups may not even be aware of your behavior.

Right now, there are some key leaders that DO know, but they’re hesitant to confront you and are choosing to look the other way.

That’s right now.

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However, things can go south in a heartbeat.

Today, as we emerge from the pandemic, patience is in short supply and tempers flare easily. People will NOT put up with your crap for long, without lashing out in your direction.

Some will do it overtly. Others will do it covertly and quietly behind the scenes.

So don’t be surprised to hear that you’ve been named prominently in:

-Anonymous letters to your boss.
-Negative office rumors.
-Harassment complaints.
-Unexpected resignations.
-Lawsuits and litigation.

These kinds of distractions and potential risks to the business will not be tolerated by those same higher ups, who may be singing your praises now.

Worse yet, if this reaches the news media, it will soon be lights out for you.

No organization wants this kind of embarassing publicity that can sabatoge their brand.

Frankly, should any of this happen:

-Your HR track record won’t matter.
-Your HR credentials and certifications won’t matter.
-Your ability to sell HR ideas won’t matter.
-Your self-confidence won’t matter.
-Your great presentation skills won’t matter either.

You will be soon be forced to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Why? Because at some point, how you continue to treat people trumps what you’ve accomplish.

So consider this just a warning.

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Now, allow me to be helpful.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

#1: Clean up your act.
#2: Clear out your desk.

Pick one.

Obviously, it’s your choice.

But decide now before it’s too late.

Again, your clock is ticking.

Don’t wait for your time to run out.

So what’s your decision going to be?

Decide quickly because the rest of your career depends on it.


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I’d welcome your comments. 

Post them below by clicking HERE.


If you’re a brand new HR leader and you want more brutal truths for getting off to a fast start, then check out:  THE NEW HR LEADER’S FIRST 100 DAYS: How To Start Strong, Hit The Ground Running & ACHIEVE SUCCESS FASTER As A New Human Resources Manager, Director and VP.  You can get more details HERE.

About the author: Alan Collins is Founder of Success in HR, Inc. and the author of a variety of best selling books for HR professionals.  He was formerly Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where he led HR initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses.

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