Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQs & Beyond

Below are some of our commonly asked questions but there’s a good chance you may not see yours here. That’s okay! What we do is quite unique and it’s that way because each business we work with is also unique. Please don’t hold back in asking us your questions, no matter how “out there” they might feel. Contact us here. We’re happy to help in any way that we can!

We’ve been told that we do everything you can imagine a people and culture HR function do and probably more. That’s pretty accurate. We often have clients say, “You can help with that too?” Our aim is to fill in where you have gaps but not do things your team would rather handle themselves. We don’t run payroll, because we believe that you are best served with an accounting or payroll-specific professional that is best suited to fulfill those needs for you. We do not sell benefits. We work with companies to recommend benefits that are comparable to others their size.

Here’s an incomplete list of areas we’ve helped clients:

  • people strategy
  • business process analysis
  • recruiting and onboarding
  • HR tech selection
  • full-cycle talent management
  • culture scaling
  • Offboarding & termination guidance
  • training and development
  • employee relations
  • straightforward policy consulting
  • strategic operations consulting
  • apprenticeship & internship programs
  • local company-school relationships
  • group facilitation
  • diversity / equity / inclusion
  • leader coaching
Yes. We often provide recruiting support either as part of a broader engagement and sometimes just the recruiting. We provide support for the parts of the process you’d like help with and charge by the hour. There is NO contingency fee. We operate the way an internal recruiting team would function– but with the flexibility to adjust our hours up and down as your needs change.
A small, growing business has to be responsive and nimble. The kind of HR needed must reflect these requirements, so we’ve developed an engagement model using a right-sized retainer with the flexibility to add on extra time when it’s needed. We have an operationally tight process for staying in sync with your business rhythms that enables us to identify and respond to emergent issues and patterns before they become crises. This approach enables us to make consistent headway on longer-term strategic priorities without losing track of our progress, while also being able to temporarily re-orient our support to address sudden changes.
We realize that the kind of support a growing, smaller business needs is varied and requires different kinds of expertise and levels of strategic or tactical ability. This is why we assign a team with complementary capabilities who are best matched to meet your company’s needs. For consistency of experience, you will have a first chair consultant who will lead the engagement and an assigned second chair with a different but complementary skill set. Often, the first chair is a senior or executive level consultant, but that’s not always the case and depends on the nature of your needs. Having more mid-level to junior consultants on the team allows us to provide expert support at a reasonable price point.
Even though we are fractional (part-time) and “outsourced”, our operating principles dictate that we work hard to become “we” with you and your team. One way we accomplish this is by having one or two key team members as your ongoing support team. The engagement is led by the “first chair”, who is your key contact. The “second chair” is the additional consistent team member who has complementary skills. This model enables us to provide you with the highest quality, on-target, and cost-effective support possible.
After our consultation with you, the client, we estimate what would be the right number of hours needed in a typical month based on the size of the business, the pace of growth, and the nature of your support needs. A smaller organization, for example, would typically have a particular dollar amount retainer for up to 25 hours with an overage hourly rate. Different consultants’ time would be prorated to account for their bill rates. For example, if a consultant’s time is prorated at 50%, every 2 hours they work is counted as only 1 hour against the hours cap. The regular retainer helps you budget your HR expenses and the overage rate allows for maximum flexibility to tack on additional time with pre-approval when the workload is temporarily above normal.
We are focused on flexibility and therefore allow changes to the engagement size with a short 30-day notice period. If we find ourselves logging hours well below the retainer hours cap for several months, we determine if this is a temporary lull that will renormalize at prior levels, or if we should revisit the retainer or switch to an ad hoc hourly rate.
Yes. In cases where estimating the month-to-month needs is hard to pin down because there are so many unknowns and variability in the situation, a pure hours-based engagement can be a wise move. Sometimes, a client has a list of projects to start with that we can estimate hours for, but we cannot be sure about the scope of without first “looking under the hood.” In those cases, we set an estimated hours commitment, but bill you by actual time spent on the project. This frequently can save the client money because we aim to be as efficient as possible. This also allows us to adjust the scope of the project on the fly without having to re-contract.

Contact Us

We’re not your standard blocking and tackling HR professionals, therefore, we’re quite easy to talk to and level with. Schedule a consultation with us if you’re seeking an HR partnership for the long haul. Whether you need us for an hour or a standing meeting to build and run the leanest and simplest people practices, we’ve got you!
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2 Drakesway Court
Durham, NC 27713
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