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Stephanie Messier: We are a virtual HR consulting company that provides fractional human resources and recruitment services.

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Follow Stephanie Messier in LinkedIn

Can you tell us about HR à la carte: what is it? what does it do? how did it came to be?

HR à la carte is a virtual HR consulting company that provides fractional human resources and recruitment services working in collaboration with our clients as an extension of their team. We are a small business ourselves, so we understand the challenges of operating a business, especially the people challenges. Our team offers experience gleaned from a diverse range of industries and we specialize in understanding our clients’ unique requirements and creating strategies and solutions that are accessible, flexible, and ultimately speak to their business. 

How did you identify the need for a service like HR à la carte in the market, and what influenced the bilingual aspect of your offerings?  

Offering bilingual HR and recruitment support was a need we identified, especially for smaller organizations without internal HR expertise. Business leaders are increasingly turning to a fractional HR model for assistance with managing the complexities of the labor market and its regulatory requirements, particularly in the areas of recruitment, HR compliance as well as employee relations and engagement. 

What has been the most challenging aspect of providing cost-effective HR solutions to small and mid-size businesses? 

Human resources challenges can often compete with other business challenges, making it a time-consuming task to resolve issues, stay updated on new legislative changes, and respond to employee concerns, among others. The longer staff issues remain unresolved, the more costly they become for employers. For instance, dealing with employee relations issues may prompt an urgent call to an employment lawyer, which can often be expensive. However, in reality, 90% of employee challenges don’t require legal expertise. This is where we come in as a cost-effective HR solution for organizations. 

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Could you share a success story where HR à la carte significantly impacted a client’s business operations? 

We had a client who faced various compliance and staff challenges, leading to two workplace investigations, the termination of non-performing employees and those contributing to a toxic work environment. To identify organizational and employment gaps, we conducted a HR audit and recommended specific actions, including hiring the right people, implementing HR policies and performance management, and conducting training for all staff and managers. We worked with the leadership team to implement these recommendations, which resulted in increased profit and employee engagement. Even today, the CEO remains our greatest source of referrals to other clients. 

How do you maintain quality and compliance in your downloadable HR templates and toolkits? 

Just a note that we don’t offer the downloads anymore, except the free toolkit. In general, we work with employment lawyers when new or updated HR legislation is effective and ensure all our documentation reflects those changes.  

As the demand for remote work solutions increases, how is HR à la carte adapting its services to meet these changes? 

HR à la carte is a virtual company with some team members having worked in virtual and hybrid work environments for nearly 20 years. We believe that collaboration is a key skill that Company’s highly value and that many people understand the concept of but struggle to explain its specific components. It involves multiple skills such as communication, engagement, facilitation, teamwork, learning, trust, and accountability. HR à la carte can help companies develop collaboration skills and the ability to engage a team, regardless of whether their work environment is developing collaboration skills. Our CEO has CEO has expertise with operating teams in virtual environments that the team at HR à la carte tapped into. 

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What role has digital marketing played in how clients find and engage with your services? 

People are naturally drawn to asking questions on search engines prior to engaging with a professional. This is true whether someone is buying a car or seeking HR advice. Digital marketing has played a vital role in helping us be seen when potential clients are searching for answers about the work we do. 

 Looking ahead, where do you see HR à la carte in the next five years, particularly with advancements in HR technology?  

The values and the collaborative spirit of the team will remain. As technologies ievolve, HR à la carte will assess and implement those that will increase efficiency so the clients of HR à la carte can benefit from more cost-effectiveness while preserving the responsiveness and the expertise that clients value and appreciate. 

 What one piece of advice would you give to new entrepreneurs entering the HR consulting space? 

 Human resources is broad and involves many different disciplines. My suggestion is to be clear about your expertise is and to find your niche to avoid diluting your brand. We are known for our fractional recruitment and human resources model we are clear as the things we do not offer such as outplacement services, health and benefits, pension, and health and safety. 

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