Like other economies, the human resource consulting sector is growing in Nigeria. Over the last few years, the growth has been linked to the emergence of new businesses and existing ones’ interest in strengthening their operational performance with qualified talents. From recruitment to payroll management, players in the Nigerian human resource consulting sector are making significant contributions to the growth of other sectors and industries, despite the negative impact of population growth rate on human resource utilization.
From Lagos to Abuja and Port-Harcourt to Kano, there are a number of HR consulting companies with a special bias for outsourcing services. In one of our previous analyses, we noted that players in the sector need to devise new ways of advertising positions for their clients to the public. In this piece, our analyst examines how players can source and manage clients towards sustainable value co-creation and capturing using recent research outcomes.
According to the practitioners in the sector, online and offline are the main strategies being used for sourcing clients. Online strategy largely focuses on the use of professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. While using this strategy, we discovered that representatives of HR consulting companies connect with and engage potential buyers of their services on the platform. Before connecting, systemic profiling of the buyers is usually carried out. This is necessary based on the fact that potential buyer demographics and in some cases, psychographics must fit with their companies’ [representatives] core values, mission and vision statements.
Offline strategy is being employed when the representatives have opportunity of meeting prospective buyers in physical settings such as conferences, trade shows and exhibitions. From our data, we learnt that the use of one of the strategies or both at the same time depends on the proper understanding of the demographics and psychographics of the buyers.
Bidding for Jobs
When clients advertise bid, HR companies, like others in the management consulting industry, compete through technical and commercial proposal presentation. According to our data, HR companies express interest in bids when it is obvious that they have the required services, and abilities and capabilities to deliver. In the course of making the proposals available to the designated committee of the clients, strategic engagement is a must. The relationship started with the asking of questions for clarification on the grey areas and continue until the two proposals are submitted.
Having clients through the strategies are not enough, they must be managed effectively towards continuous patronage and interest. To the Nigerian players, relational, strategic, human and structural capital are significant to this. They believe that subsidiaries and other companies, which we called third party outsourced companies, are key to effective management of clients.
Since profiling of the buyers is essential, companies do consider understanding of the clients’ corporate culture and see how it aligns with theirs. Culture alignment is not sufficient. Services must be tailored to their needs with high level of professionalism. This is what we found as strategic capital. Creating and delivering value, according to our experts in the sector, is a matter of having internal employees with the right knowledge and skill-sets. When it is clear that this is lacking, external consultants become handy. This is human capital, according to our analysis. In some cases, both the clients and employees collectively developed tools for recruitment and payroll management. Our analyst considers this as strategic capital and a way of making the created and delivered value sustainable.