Every so often we feature one of our consultants and highlight their story to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into life at Smart HR. As always, if you’re looking for a flexible HR career that’s adaptable to wherever you are in your professional life, contact us today. Without further ado, please meet this month’s spotlight consultant, Kris Ritter.
Name: Kris Ritter
Years with Smart HR: Just over one year – Started March 17, 2015
Professional Background in One Sentence: HR professional with almost 15 years of experience working primarily in the nonprofit sector.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Most days I’m able to get up, take the dog for a walk and get my daughter off to school before I head out to a client site to work for part of the day. I work with clients in DC and VA, so it’s not unusual for me to cross the river and be working in both places during the course of a day. With that said, I can usually ensure that my day ends and I’m on the road before rush hour hits – a huge blessing! Other days I keep my schedule clear of meetings and I’m able to do focused work from home, which is really fantastic.
What about the Smart HR model really appeals to you?
There are a few things I like about the model. I appreciate the autonomy I have with my clients and how I am able to manage the work and priorities directly. This works really well for me personally and professionally. I also enjoy being an integrated part of the team with my clients. Smart HR’s approach to having their consultants a part of the organization and not an “outsider” makes a huge difference in how I do my job, the relationships I’m able to cultivate and ultimately the level of service I’m able to provide. I really love that.
Why did you make the move to Smart HR?
Having been an independent HR consultant in the past, I knew the value of working for, and with, an HR consulting company as opposed to the “go it alone” approach. When I left my last fulltime HR role near the end of 2014, I knew I wanted to get back into consulting, but I was pretty picky with which consulting firm I wanted to work for and with. I spent a lot of time interviewing and researching and ultimately found Smart HR to be the best fit for me.
Did you think you’d be doing what you’re doing now five years ago?
Absolutely not, haha. It’s hard when you’re working in a traditional 9:00-5:00 p.m. role (or 7:00-7:00 p.m. as is more often the case in this area!) to imagine a scenario where you can have more flexibility but still be able to earn the income you need. I feel very lucky to be in the position I’m in.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
I really enjoy working with small to medium sized nonprofit organizations and helping them work through challenges. Working with mission driven people really seems to elevate the conversation and makes me feel good about the help and support I can provide.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself in college?
Don’t be in such a rush to get to the next thing…. And maybe take a gap year (which wasn’t a thing back then!) to backpack around Europe.