Whether you’re a budding start-up or a multinational corporation, HR plays a crucial role in the success of your company. The size of your company and your sector both have an impact on the role of HR. Although the human resources department requires a high level of specialized abilities, precise, educational, and professional communication is the foundation of HR. By effectively managing staff, a highly effective HR department maintains the company’s functioning within the bounds of compliance and ensures business continuity.
As a knowledgeable senior HR leader with several years of HR consulting, training, and management experience, Mallory Herrin, CEO and Principal HR Consultant of HerrinHR, has a passion for helping small to mid-size employers achieve results through custom, strategic HR consulting. She assists her clients in staying current and in compliance with the constantly shifting regulatory environment, creating a solid HR foundation to support their operations and people processes, managing their workforce successfully, attracting, developing, and retaining top talent, and designing and promoting an ideal company culture.
With more than 15 years of experience in HR and a focus on key areas like organizational development, compliance, employee relations, performance management, employee engagement, benefits, compensation, training and development, recruiting, and risk management, Mallory is able to create and implement unique strategies and programs to proactively address her clients’ people needs as their businesses expand. Mallory is a finalist for the 2019 Dallas HR Emerging Leader of the Year Award. She has also appeared on the HR Insider podcast numerous times as a thought leader in the field.
Stepping into the HR Profession
Just like many other HR professionals, Mallory didn’t intentionally set out to be in the human resources industry. She was given a variety of HR responsibilities in jobs she held very early in her career, which she thoroughly loved. However, she was also in charge of accounting duties and was studying accounting with the intention of one day working as an accountant. Mallory immediately understood, however, that HR-related tasks were far more enjoyable and that accounting wasn’t the right career for her.
At first, Mallory didn’t really understand the value of HR or the scope of what the HR function was responsible for. She says, “I would handle my various HR tasks in a bit of a silo, not seeing the bigger picture. That really changed for me when I was in a work environment that was incredibly supportive.” Despite Mallory’s entry-level skills, she was invested in and had a boss that cared about her and wanted to support her growth. Mallory was dealing with some challenging personal issues at the time as well, and the ability to learn and grow her skills at work helped her build self-confidence. She needed to deal effectively with the issues in her personal life. That’s when it clicked for Mallory, and she realized that HR is so much more than hiring, disciplining, and terminating people. She recalls, “I realized that HR plays a key strategic role in the business, shaping culture, the work performed, and so much more.” This inspired Mallory’s passion for the profession as she realized that HR professionals are in an amazing position to make a positive difference both for employers and in the lives of the individuals in the workforce.
More than an HR Expert
Mallory serves as the HR representative for the executive leadership teams of her clients. She manages a range of HR issues, serves as the point person for formal complaints or litigation, directs investigations into allegations of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and supervises other HR functional areas like benefits, payroll, and risk. She also chooses and implements pertinent software, vendors, and service partners and works to improve workflows and the effectiveness of the overall HR operation.
Mallory keeps a close eye on state and federal regulations to spot changes in the rules, legislation, and legal actions that may affect her clients. She then develops and implements action plans to make sure her clients stay in compliance while still achieving the company’s strategic HR goals.
Mallory also creates material for and in partnership with other business organizations, including HR Insider, to be distributed to clients and other HR professionals, such as podcasts, video lessons, and written articles. She has approximately 20 years of progressive HR experience, is certified by both HRCI and SHRM, and is also a Certified Professional Life Coach.
HerrinHR is a full-service HR consulting company that works with small and mid-sized businesses throughout the US. Its mission is to create amazing places for employees to work and to help its clients achieve growth and success through providing superior HR services. Mallory states, “Our vision is to be an elite HR consulting firm known throughout Texas, where we are headquartered, for our ability to help our clients create successful and effective work environments and grow their businesses through the HR services we provide.”
Since the beginning of HerrinHR, Mallory has had a major impact on its growth. As the company’s creator and CEO, she developed its long-term strategic plan and chose when to launch joint ventures as well as each of its service offerings.
Comprehensive HR Strategies
All of HerrinHR’s HR strategies are highly tailored to each of its clients and concentrate on a specific functional area of HR that may be a gap or opportunity area, as well as taking opportunities, challenges, and risk mitigation throughout the employee life cycle into account. The team decides how to effectively advance the goals of HerrinHR’s clients through their most valuable resource—their people—by first focusing on the business and the client’s overall strategic plan.
The HerrinHR team begins consulting relationships by evaluating the client’s operations and learning about their market, clients, rivals, objectives, growth plans, etc. Then it takes a deep dive into their present and historical HR practices in all the functional areas of HR (talent acquisition, performance management, total rewards, etc.). This allows the team to put together a thorough analysis of the HR strategies and initiatives that it recommends be implemented in order to ensure compliance and optimal operations. Mallory shares, “Our clients receive a report outlining our recommendations as well as a timeline for each of those recommendations to be implemented.”
To meet the individual needs of each of its clients, HerrinHR offers a variety of HR services and outsourcing solutions. This offers a la carte choices, including general HR, consulting, inquiries, hiring, training (on HR compliance subjects, management and leadership subjects, unique subjects, and professional development subjects), fractional HR leadership, and employee benefits. Additionally, it features an HRO service through a partnership with Smarter Benefits Solutions called HerrinHR Alliance. This gives customers a choice to combine a powerful HRIS system, payroll processing, benefits management, and HR consultancy. Since HerrinHR has two different platforms for service offerings (a la carte or the HRO model), it allows clients to receive the services they need when they need them without paying for additional services that they may not yet need to utilize. Because its offerings are so robust, it gives the firm the opportunity to be a complete HR outsourcing provider to its clients as they grow and need more HR support.
A Unique Approach to Bringing Solutions
HerrinHR differs from other HR businesses in that it puts the business first and uses it to guide the strategies it creates for HR and the work it does. Additionally, it employs a considerably less expensive payment mechanism for its services, enabling smaller enterprises to access these crucial choices and manage their spending. Additionally, HerrinHR upholds its integrity and is selective in the clientele it accepts. Mallory asserts, “If we don’t feel we are truly the best fit for a client, we will provide them referrals to other service providers.” The team keeps what is in the best interest of the client as its top priority and works with other consultants and vendors in tandem, if and when needed, to achieve success for the clients.
Over the past ten years, there has been significant progress in HR technology, and HerrinHR is making the most of it. Through a joint venture, it collaborates with a fantastic technology partner to offer customers of its HRO platform a robust HRIS that includes applicant tracking, electronic onboarding and benefits administration, performance management, incident and asset tracking, business newsfeeds and notifications, a mobile app, and more. In order to optimize HR operations, run necessary reports, and access the data and analytics required to develop more successful people strategies, HerrinHR frequently receives access to clients’ HRIS systems who use its services but are not on its HRO.
Challenges of the Industry
A primary challenge that Mallory has faced in her career is one that many HR professionals can relate to, and that is not having a seat at the table. Early in her career, she believed that HR was an administrative function and an afterthought. Many C-suite executives once believed this about the function of HR in a firm, and they still do. But because she found this frustrating, Mallory decided to increase her own business knowledge, commercial aptitude, and business acumen in order to elevate her HR expertise to a strategic level. Learning to overcome that challenge and earn her seat at the table shaped how she sees HR and the level of excellence she requires in all of HerrinHR’s service offerings and deliverables for clients. She believes in employee-centric strategies that drive business results and improve the bottom line, and she approaches HR strategies in a way that keeps in mind the entire employee life cycle.
Advice from Experience
Mallory advises emerging leaders to have a solid understanding of their industry and carve out time for strategic thinking and planning so they don’t fall into the trap of focusing only on the daily operations that are necessary for HR. She also suggests continuously conducting internal analysis and external environmental scans, taking risks, and putting in the work. She asserts, “Invest in yourself and continual education, and be the best representative of your own personal brand.”
Vision as a Professional
For those who want to become better strategic thinkers, HR professionals who want to be respected as strategic business partners, and anybody else who wants to view HR and strategic thinking in a novel manner, Mallory’s new book Intentional HR: A Revolution in Strategic Thinking is for them. HR should be seen as a crucial strategic function, but she finds that corporate leaders frequently regard it as a purely administrative job. In Intentional HR, the interaction of strategic thinking, corporate leadership, and the human resources department are examined.
In the future, Mallory sees herself continuing to lead HerrinHR and the HerrinHR Alliance. The work she does is a passion of hers, and she strongly believes in the power of HR to make a positive difference for employees and employers. Mallory sees HerrinHR and HerrinHR Alliance continuing to grow organically, both in Texas and nationally, while maintaining the same standards of integrity and excellence the firm holds today.