Human Resources Management interview with SPERO HOUMEY


BostonSolux focus: You are the Founder and Manager of HSI Consulting; you are also the international consultant and Senior-consultant in Human Resource at your partner BostonSolux. With the expansion of HR consulting in Africa, why a new structure in management and human resources consulting?

Spéro HOUMEY: Our reflection comes from a dual observation. On one hand, what can we bring as a component of the diaspora in Africa, and on the other hand, what is our contribution alongside businesses in Africa? BostonSolux, HSI Consulting partner is installed in Togo since 2009. BostonSolux relies on the expertise of a multidisciplinary team of more than 10 years of experience in the field of IT Solutions, Consulting and Project Management as well as Training. It also has a team of experts in labor law, social security law and human resources. In this respect, we assist businesses while promoting the rights and development of employees for the best growth of the company.

 “We offer a range of trainings courses, to update knowledge but also as personal source of motivation for Managers and human resources staff.”

For Small Businesses that are not able to have a personnel department, we provide them with an administrative support and necessary guidance for the management of their staff.

For large companies, we believe that BostonSolux is the ideal partner because we reinforce the service of personnel and we offer a range of training, to update knowledge, but also as personal source of motivation growth of Managers and human resources staff.

BostonSolux, as I said earlier, is a partner of consulting firms like HIS Consulting, H&M Associates Consultants in Brussels and K.B Consulting in Paris.

BostonSolux focus: So what added-value do HSI and BostonSolux bring to the Togolese and African companies?

SpéroHOUMEY: Our added value is the pledge for quality services. We rely on a team of experienced professionals and a follow up beyond our contract is guaranteed for all services.

BostonSolux focus: Specifically, how do you intervene in business?

Spéro HOUMEY: Our interventions are implemented through various formulas. On one side, we have basic contracts as the one by which we provide legal assistance of the management of the staff and the basic training of human resources managers or staff.

On the other hand, we have contracts on demand, depending on the company’s request; as for example, a placement of a human resources manager in a company while being coached during the length of the contract. Otherwise, we place a salaried manager, coached and controlled by Bostonsolux, and its partners. Under the terms of the contract, the manager goes to the company’s payroll.

BostonSolux focus: you have an ambitious program, but how can you credibly declare as goal, the security and development of employees, in countries where the social dialogue does not exist or is just undeveloped?

Spéro HOUMEY: Indeed, it is at this level where the project is ambitious. I would better say how to declare the fulfillment and security of a worker, while ensuring the development of the company?

In fact, we have learned this philosophy in the ILO’s founding texts – International Labor Organization- and the African philosophy of dialogue; what is known, elsewhere, in the form of social consultation.

Do we have to wait to copy the « bright » ideas from elsewhere OR do we have to process natural synthesis between what makes identity and our projection in the changing world? We chose the second option.

The African philosophy helps us understand situations and resolve conflicts; brief, to resolve situations seemingly unsolvable. Why not to implement these methods in the work of our development, through social relations in a company? The company gains as a result, as this contributes to its economic development. The employee gains in respect, security and fulfillment.

This is our challenge and our contribution to the development of Africa.

BostonSolux focus: So why not turn to the Government, as generator of this new approach?

S.H.: Let’s not be fooled. When some think that Africans are not part of history or modern world, we take offense. Why wait for the government, whereas the government itself appeal to the private investors often international?

Why not act first, and then inform the Government, if possible or necessary, and later, solicit it as a sponsor.

And also, does the Government have the necessary experience to implement this approach without soliciting international institutions? However, it is not these institutions that will teach us how to apply the African philosophy, the art of compromise, based on listening, the interactive verbal communication and negotiation, as conflict resolution method or the basis of social unity, in daily life as well as in a company.

We believe that we must act, and with hard work, demonstrate our competences to then solicit the Government as institutional sponsor for our development.

BostonSolux focus: Specifically, which method do you use?

S.H.: The methods we use are developed during our services. It would be difficult to denote them in a few lines. On the hand, I can inform you of the 3 major axes of our services; the social and psychological management of the personnel, the personnel administration, the personnel training and social development.

1-The social and psychological management of the personnel makes it possible, starting from recruitment, to define the function and its objectives, as well as the means to evolve towards the future. It’s about integrating the new employee in the company or ensuring the development of the senior salaried employees in the growth of their company. It also makes it possible to ensure a permanent communication between the company’s crucial bodies, in order to prevent conflicts. This function is provided by the consultants in recruitment, and selection and the human resources support of our partners’ offices.

2-The personnel administration covers the management of different aspects of social legislation experienced daily by employees, directors and service requesters. The social legislation covers all about the labor law:  length of shifts, personal days, interim work, part-time work…, employment contracts: probation clause, notices, wage, social security…, social documents, Welfare at work.

It also concerns the management of salaries, the control of the wage data and documents. This dual level management is a matter of consistency. Why process the same data twice? Payroll management (wages, benefits…) and HR management (work conditions…) use the same data. Why separate them, whereas integrating them provides an advantage of time saving and cost reducing? This function is provided by the legal support or socio-legal advisors and the HR Support of our consulting offices and their partners.

3- Personal training and development are implemented through a wide variety of interactive seminars and training in social legislation and management of the personnel. Our method consists of covering the size of “HR management task”, because often, we misunderstand the concept of human resources management which is different from the management of the staff; hence the slogan, “Advise first to avoid problems later”. For often, companies tend to consult when issues arise.