The Outsourced HR Department Wendy Ellen Inc. is the HR Answer for Small and Mid-sized Companies
Photo by Jager & Kokemor Photography.
By Rennay Craats
hat a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago, Wendy Giuffre hung out her shingle as a one-person consultant business brokering group benefit programs to small and mid-sized businesses in Calgary. Now sheâ€™s celebrating her 10-year anniversary in Wendy Ellen Inc.â€™s new beltline offices alongside her growing team of human resources consultants.
Wendy Giuffre (third from left) and her growing team of human resources consultants at Wendy Ellen Inc.
The success and growth her company has enjoyed has been truly organic, rising from the realization that there was a definite need for HR expertise in the marketplace merging with her experience and drive to fill that void. With 16 years as an in-house HR specialist for a major oil company and then nine years consulting in all areas of HR as an independent consultant, Giuffre was in the perfect position to help move small and mid-sized companies forward. Over the past 10 years, she and her dedicated staff of seven consultants and coaches have done just that â€” they have helped approximately 100 companies across varied industries in Alberta, British Columbia and the United States become more successful by providing them with a variety of HR services. Wendy Ellen Inc. | 10 Years | 1
Photo by Jager & Kokemor Photography.
“Basically, we are like an outsourced HR department,” Giuffre says. “We can be there for the full lifecycle of the employee from the hiring process through to development and engagement and ending with the exit strategy. We focus on the whole gamut of the people side of the business.” Depending on the size and requirements of the company, which usually ranges from 5 to 100 employees, this ‘people side’ can involve any combination of the specialized services available at Wendy Ellen Inc. Smaller companies benefit greatly from outsourcing efficient and timely professional payroll processing services. This way they are ensured that their practices adhere to all confidentiality and compliance requirements without the extra cost of devoting an in-house staff member to handling the job. With benefit options to fit every budget and employee need — whether traditional insured plans or flexible and blended benefit plans — Wendy Ellen Inc. offers individual and group benefits management consulting to help employers navigate the potentially convoluted waters of company benefits. Wendy Giuffre
“Basically we are like an outsourced HR department. We can be there for the full lifecycle of the employee from the hiring process through to development and engagement and ending with the exit strategy. We focus on the whole gamut of the people side of the business.” ~ Wendy Giuffre
Larger companies avail themselves of Wendy Ellen Inc.’s expertise in these areas as well, but many also look to Giuffre for help in further developing and growing their businesses. The firm offers extensive leadership and management coaching to help clients build on their strengths and work through shortcomings in order to be more effective in the workplace. Recruitment is another key area in which Wendy Ellen Inc. is helping clients build their businesses. “Our HR consulting often involves how to attract and keep your people, and then how to be competitive and develop within your organization,” Giuffre says. “We do individualized recruiting at a much lesser rate than the big houses.” The firm’s consultants view their clients as partners, so entrusting Wendy Ellen Inc. with their recruitment needs is a natural progression. “We focus on the culture of the company and we make a point of getting in there and getting to know the people,” she says. Consultants get to know their client’s companies well, and therefore have a clear idea of whom the best candidates are for job openings. Then they recruit and pre-interview prospective employees to vet the individual so their clients only meet the candidates that are best suited for the position. Wendy Ellen Inc. can effectively build a client’s business by adding the right people into the mix while lifting the time commitment and burden of the hiring process from the client’s shoulders. While in an upturn market, clients are focused on hiring and retaining staff, in an economic downturn like what Calgary is currently experiencing, the focus can switch for HR professionals. Giuffre and her team are now faced with assisting their clients with how to properly exit employees from an organization. Wendy Ellen Inc. | 10 Years | 2
“It’s good when the owners and managers take the time and spend the money to do it right, both for them and their employees,” Giuffre says. Wendy Ellen Inc.’s transition services help clients ensure they are handling this delicate part of business properly while offering a career counseling program (which includes resume preparation, career planning and interview coaching) to assist in transitioning someone to their next job. Wendy Ellen Inc. provides a comprehensive menu of quality services and tailors them specifically to the unique needs of each client. In fact, it is this attention to the individual needs of clients that has made Wendy Ellen Inc. such a well-respected firm and a leader in the field. Giuffre and her experienced consultants aim to simplify the process of creating and implementing HR practices, which sometimes requires some out-of-the-box thinking — and this fits with Wendy Ellen Inc.’s mission to a tee. “We’re grassroots and highly collaborative. Communicating face-to-face with employees and management with as little policy and bureaucracy as possible is what we strive for,” Giuffre says. The Wendy Ellen Inc. consultants spend a great deal of time off-site at client locations to facilitate this personal relationship and are available for whatever clients may need, whenever they need it. This 24/7 commitment ensures that outsourced HR isn’t a faceless entity for these clients and it keeps Giuffre’s team in touch with the corporate climate and evolving needs. And needs are growing, especially in a location like Calgary. The strong entrepreneurial spirit of the city means there are many small and mid-sized companies that can’t support an HR department of their own but recognize the importance of proper hiring and HR practices. These companies look to firms like Wendy Ellen Inc. for the professional and knowledgeable support of an external HR team.
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The strong entrepreneurial spirit of the city means there are many small and mid-sized companies that can’t support an HR department of their own but recognize the importance of proper hiring and HR practices.
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“I’m always accepting new work and am able to accommodate with my consultants to fit the bill. I have a really strong team and that’s what makes me successful,” Giuffre says. Her success is due in large part to her consultants’ high level of skill and experience but it speaks to the philosophy of Wendy Ellen Inc. as well. The consultants are flexible and responsive in how they work with clients and are invested in their clients’ success. They are true partners, forging strong connections between clients and consultants. After all, at the end of the day, Giuffre and her staff want to help create for their clients a corporate culture that promotes employee engagement and retention through their initiatives and support.
“We want your employees to love to come to work for you so we really try to focus on what works for your business.” ~ Wendy Giuffre
“We want your employees to love to come to work for you so we really try to focus on what works for your business,” she says. For the past 10 years, Wendy Giuffre and her team of HR professionals have provided practices and advice to clients to manufacture the best work environment for employees while taking care of the HR needs of the employer. Giuffre and her team know what works for businesses, and they look forward to providing quality service for decades more to come. •
www.wendyelleninc.ca | 1-855-QUESTHR (783-7847)
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