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Name: Marie Rudolph
Title: Director of HR
Organisation: Sensory Spectrum
Industry: Business Consulting Services
Organisation size: 200-500 employees

Sensory Spectrum is a globally recognised management consulting firm that specialises in understanding the sensory-consumer experience in industry, academia and government.

With facilities in New Jersey and North Carolina, Sensory Spectrum’s 200 employees serve clients representing Fortune 500 companies, major universities and government procurement agencies around the world. The firm recently took over a client’s sensory lab in Michigan and now also has employees in a facility there.

Faced with the challenges of a quickly growing company, Director of HR Marie Rudolph needed an HR partner that could provide guidance she could use and communicate to others.

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The challenge

Finding dependable HR guidance to overcome new challenges

Marie Rudolph is the director of HR for Sensory Spectrum. She came to the role with no formal HR training or background, and she’s had to learn to navigate issues ranging from hiring, training and policy development to performance documentation and immigration requirements on the job.

Marie needed to stay up to date with regulations impacting employee practices, including issues related to the Affordable Care Act, and felt frustrated with the time required to seek information and conduct research on her own.

Managing the managers at Sensory Spectrum was also a challenge. Marie knew she needed them to be timely, precise and accurate when documenting employee issues, particularly when related to disciplinary or termination decisions. Those managers, while well intentioned, did not always have background or expertise in HR.

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In addition to regular use of the resources to access information and find answers to daily HR-related questions, Marie knew she could put the of the HR & Compliance Centre and resources to work for key HR initiatives that needed immediate attention.

The results

1. Ensuring good HR practice and compliance

Rapid growth tends to test the mettle of even the most experienced practitioners, and Marie has been able to stay afloat.

According to Marie, having access to in-depth HR guidance and resources through the HR & Compliance Centre has had a significant impact on her ability to execute her duties, and more importantly, prepare for what’s to come.

The HR & Compliance Centre has provided Sensory Spectrum resources to ensure it is meeting compliance requirements. In addition to larger projects, it has helped the organisation answer the tough HR questions that crop up regularly.

When hiring an intern who required H1B sponsorship to full-time employment, Marie turned to the HR & Compliance Centre for a template to help develop a policy. She customised and streamlined the policy to fit the company’s needs and sent it to outside counsel for review.

It was, she says, the first policy she did not spend days researching. And, with Brightmine content written by more than 400 attorneys from 70 of the country’s top employment law firms—and edited by an in-house team of legal editors and HR professionals—she was confident she was on the right track.

Sensory Spectrum has historically been very lenient about remote work. But as the company grew, Marie recognised the need for consistency and well-documented records for decisions related to remote work.

Marie felt Sensory Spectrum’s informal approach to performance review needed structure. Without formal ratings, she knew there was no basis for comparison and, consequently, no tangible measure of employee or organisational performance.

Through research using the HR & Compliance Centre, she developed a process to track yearly employee scores and provide directors with the support and information they needed to create effective development plans. She says that both the forms and the processes were easy to create using the HR & Compliance Centre resources.

Marie says she will be looking for directors and managers to step up to address HR-related issues among their staff members.