Toun Roberts on BusinessDay Weekender: The Importance of Human Resources in Business
19 Aug 2020
Toun Roberts, Managing Consultant HR on wheels in this interview with BusinessDay’s Strategy and Partnerships associate, Samuel Anyanwu talk about the importance of human resources in business, the inspiration behind her company, and its long term goals. Excerpts;
What made you decide to start HR on Wheels?
SME owners are saddled with a lot of responsibilities at the onset of launching their business ideas. This typically makes them overnight specialists in different business support functions like Finance, Marketing & Sales, Human Resource Management, and more. While many prioritize the finance function based on the notion that it is where the money is, the Human Resource function is often neglected and trivialized.
The importance of how talent will be attracted, recruited, managed, and retained to guarantee the success and sustainability of their business is not understood by many business owners. As an SME focused organization, our desire is to ensure that as every startup, small and growing business develops its business strategy, they put basic HR structures in place that will increase their chances to compete for increasingly scarce talent as well as improve chances of optimum business performance.
Why is the HR function important in any business?
No business can operate without people whether through the use of part-time contractors or hire full-time employees. The HR function manages the full lifecycle of employees i.e. from recruitment to exit/termination. For core business functions to run seamlessly like a well-oiled wheel, the right people must be on board. This means that recruitment strategies must consistently produce the best people per time, employee engagement strategies must be in place to ensure employees are treated well and continue to have an enjoyable working experience with your SME. One of my favorite quotes to SME owners goes “Your employees are the internal customers of your business and just the way planning is done to attract and retain customers for your business, the same approach must be adopted when dealing with employees!
What makes you different from other HR Consulting firms?
At HR on Wheels, we understand why SMEs don’t prioritize the Human Resource function some of which reasons are; cost and lack of business education. However, at HR on Wheels we have developed our business model to create a win-win scenario for us as a business and the many SMEs we support using technology to provide a blend of virtual and onsite support, to ensure SME owners can truly focus on what is important and core to their businesses.
Our business model was created as a solution for many SMEs as well provide a workable alternative for many HR professionals especially women who are transitioning to motherhood and often times have to quit work completely during this important phase of their lives. From the job seekers perspective, we are well aware of the high unemployability rate of our fresh graduates and have decided to take the education approach using face to face medium and technology platforms to help job seekers unlearn, learn and relearn the ever-changing requirements of the workplace.
The new world of work promotes flexibility using technology, allowing employees or contractors to choose how to work, where to work, and what to work on per time. We believe the future of work is here and there is no better profession to launch it than Human Resource Management. At HR on Wheels, we offer flexibility, affordability, and a truly borderless service approach.
What advice would you give to SME owners to help attract, hire, motivate, and retain great talent on a budget?
Plan!Plan!! Plan!!! Many business owners do not have a plan for the people that will work for their business beyond knowing the headcount and budgeting for salaries. Your business plan may have your staffing needs required for each life stage of your business but those do not define the ideal employee profile nor do they tell you how you will reward and motivate your employees for better performance or help define the culture of your brand. It is also important to note that as a business founder, your business is unique to you and therefore all the human capital management pillars must be personalized to best suit your vision for your business.
What are the long term plans of the business?
HR on Wheels started off in Lagos and our growth plan is to expand our services to other business districts across Nigeria as well as capture the African market through partnerships. Every organization is only as strong as the weakest link hired. So plan ahead of every hiring decision, hire right, motivate your employees by harnessing their strengths for optimum performance. Finally, ensure you adopt retention strategies that will keep your employees loyal to your brand even when your competition comes calling.
Source: BusinessDay Weekender