Bringing learning from one sector to another

I’ve written often about the variety in working with small business clients in terms of getting to know different industries, and how that keeps things interesting. But actually, one of the best things stemming from that variety is something about the impact you can make.

Larger organisations can sometimes be reticent when it comes to recruiting from another sector, and job adverts for HR team members will often require sector-specific experience. That’s perhaps understandable – if they are getting lots of applications someone who understands the key issues and characteristics of the sector may get up to speed in the role more quickly, so filtering applications that way may make sense.

Some small business owners like sector-specific experience but actually their key factors in choosing who to work with tend to be about approach to HR, understanding of how HR works in small businesses and a personal trust and connection.

This means that as an HR consultant you have an opportunity to bring learning from a wide variety of places to help your clients. Small business owners have many of the same challenges regardless of their sector, and they look to you for creativity in solving those challenges and in improving how their people are managed and how they perform.

Working with a wide variety of sectors you can see what has worked elsewhere, with clients who maybe have similar problems or a similar culture, and can bring a variety of ideas, with real-life examples of initiatives making a difference.

Some small businesses are more forward-thinking than others, and may for example perhaps have implemented continuous performance management, or have a creative and innovative management structure. When working with another client, you can consider whether something like this would work with that client, how it could be adapted to suit their culture and implemented effectively.

HR consultancy for small businesses isn’t just about reactively dealing with disciplinaries and grievances; it’s an opportunity to bring your own wider experience and learning, and that of other organisations you work with, to a client with a particular need, making a significant positive impact.


If you are thinking of starting your own HR consultancy and would like to discuss our franchise opportunity, do get in touch.