Transformational HR Consulting: An Interview with Elyse Braud, MBA, PHR, REDW Senior HR Consultant

Transformational HR Consulting: An Interview with Elyse Braud, MBA, PHR, REDW Senior HR Consultant

June 6, 2024

What does an HR Consultant do?

Human resources consultants are experienced professionals dedicated to helping businesses and organizations of all sizes navigate the complexities of human resources (HR) management. In this Q&A, REDW Senior HR Consultant Elyse Braud shares her experience on the value brought to HR teams—and the professionals charged with HR responsibilities—when they engage professional HR consulting services.

Q. Elyse, you’ve spent over a decade in human resources. What inspires you most about the field?

A. As a human resources consultant, I’m continually inspired by the transformations I see happen every day as a result of my team’s work. It’s energizing to see change occur within organizations as challenges are conquered and needs are met. It’s rewarding when our clients can breathe a sigh of relief as the path to a calmer, brighter future comes in view for them. I often envision this well before they do and it’s exciting when they get to the same confidence level—knowing that their situation is solvable and that everything is back on track.

Q. What are some common misconceptions you’ve encountered when talking to organizations about engaging external HR support?

A. The complexity and volume of human resources tasks and responsibilities are often vastly underestimated. An organization’s existing staff may do fine keeping up with it, but when a complex situation comes out of nowhere, it can throw everything off-kilter.

HR teams and professionals assigned with HR duties often hesitate to ask for help. It’s difficult to acknowledge that the work that needs to be done exceeds their bandwidth or is beyond the scope of their expertise. It can also just be that they don’t know that help for their situation is available.

When I talk with organizations about their HR challenges, I always address the ROI of hiring HR consultants. At first, doing the work with in-house staff may feel like the most economic choice—but we often find the best, most cost-effective approach to achieve long-term goals and objectives is with the help of an expert HR consulting team.

For example, while organization leaders and HR teams may rarely encounter having to merge the staff of two organizations more than once in their career, this situation is one that HR Consultants work with several times a month. And so, we are well versed in providing expert support to more quickly pinpoint challenges and find solutions, as opposed to a permanent team member who may feel thrown into the deep end on a new initiative whilst managing a stacked day-to-day workload. The beauty of hiring HR consultants is that we are a temporary investment, as opposed to permanent organization staff members that are often hired and maintained at higher cost in the long run.

Q. It sounds like many organization leaders think they must handle HR tasks internally. What are the risks of this mindset?

A. Yes, that’s true. The risk of holding tight to this perspective is to potentially end up with an individual or team that is overwhelmed by their responsibilities. When it gets to that point, it’s hard to recover. Whether it’s the volume of tasks or a one-off situation that needs to be handled, our hands-on HR consultants are dedicated to helping relieve stress by acting as a temporary extension of an organization’s internal HR team until the work is accomplished.

As an added plus, we implement our expertise with the big picture in mind. As HR consultants, we want organization leaders to know that we’re here to help them as well as their HR staff. So, if the organization is struggling with HR task overload, needs updated position descriptions, or an organization-wide compensation study completed, we can quickly begin developing custom solutions that help organizations get back on track.

Q. Tell us a little more about your career as an HR consultant. How did you get your start?

A. My Human Resources career started over ten years ago when—on my first day working for a hospital—the accreditation Joint Commission arrived for an on-site survey. I was immediately intimidated. I rather uneasily thought about what could lead to a citation and how receiving one could be detrimental to both the organization and my job.

As it turned out, the Joint Commission was not there to intimidate us—they were there to ensure everyone’s safety and to make sure that our practices were compliant with regulatory standards. That day, I learned the importance of bringing an outside perspective to human resources efforts…and to not jump to conclusions!

Q. What were the driving factors in you joining REDW’s HR Consulting team?

A. Learning the depth of experience of REDW’s HR Consulting team was what initially drew me in. Everyone on REDW’s HRC team has directly worked as internal human resources leaders. We’ve worked in numerous industries, in organizations of all types and sizes, and had countless experiences where we had to learn how best to address challenging situations.

While that’s impressive on its own, REDW’s HR Consulting team wouldn’t be nearly as effective as we are if we didn’t work cohesively together to share our knowledge with one another. I wanted to be a part of this. Leveraging our skills, experience, and training helps us better serve our clients and keeps me on top of my game and ready to jump in and help wherever I’m needed.

Q. What do you find unique about REDW’s HR Consulting Services?

A. The most important thing we do is listen. It’d be easy to put out one-size-fits-all solutions but that’s not how we do things. When we talk with organizations, we listen to their concerns and goals and then work with them to tailor the project to meet their timeline, needs, and budget. I don’t think everyone does that.

We’re also able to draw on our collective depth of experience and provide an extensive suite of services that span from compliance to executive coaching to developing optimal organization structures that support our clients through changing times.

Q. How does REDW package Ongoing HR support?

A. REDW offers the flexibility of two pricing models that serve different organizational and budgetary needs.

Much like a checkbook, our clients can prepay for hourly support by purchasing banks of hours at a discounted and blended hourly rate, which can provide a more cost-effective solution. And when clients purchase larger bank of hours, we lower our hourly rates. Banks of hours will expire only if there has been no activity within a 12-month period.

Our second model is a monthly flat fee support engagement and is our most comprehensive service offering. With a minimum commitment of three months of service, we provide bespoke HR support from our team of experts. Our clients choose the number of hours needed in increments of 25, 40, 55 or more for the engagement. With larger hourly increments, we lower the cost per service hour.

Q. What would you say to those who are unsure about reaching out?

A. If you’re thinking about whether you might need help, you probably do. We would love to hear from you to go over your specific needs or to help you pinpoint what they are. We are currently providing free consultations with advisors from REDW’s trusted HRC team. Reach out to us!

REDW’s Human Resources Consulting Group is here to help you focus on what you do best. Learn more about our strategic support, assessments, process improvements, and more.

More About Elyse Braud, MBA, PHR

Elyse Braud, MBA, PHR, REDW Human Resources (HR) Consultant, Human Resources Consulting

Elyse Braud, MBA, PHR, is a seasoned Human Resources Consultant with over a decade of experience. She excels at aligning HR strategies with business objectives through problem-solving, analytical thinking, and effective communication. Elyse provides high-level consulting services, including assessment and leadership in HR functions, recruiting, onboarding, compliance, systems, and employee relations. Her expertise lies in optimizing recruitment processes, developing comprehensive HR policies, enhancing people management strategies, designing transformative learning programs, and ensuring compliance with key standards. Elyse tailors solutions to meet clients’ unique needs across various industries, promoting best practices and driving the integration of key organizational policies. Elyse holds an MBA from Dallas Baptist University and a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Development from Texas A&M University. She holds a PHR Certification (HRCI), is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Certified (University of South Florida) and is a Certified Predictive Index Trainer.

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