Interview with Jean-Marc Fonteyne

Portrait de jm fonteyne

A new player came a few months ago on the Human Resources consultancy scene. Meeting with Jean-Marc FONTEYNE, its creator, who has held senior HR positions in France and abroad in groups with a strong reputation.

Question: Hello Jean-Marc! You have just established a human resources consulting firm. How is it different from what is already on the market?

Jean-Marc Fonteyne: I am first and foremost a human resource professional. My HR career over 25 years in two large companies gave me the opportunity to engage and support a huge variety of people and to face many operational and strategic challenges. This is what has influenced my personal approach as an HR professional. And this is also what differentiates ACER RH, by turning to us, our clients can be reassured that they will work with experienced HR practitioners.

Q: Other elements of differentiation?

Jean-Marc Fonteyne: We offer the services I wish I could have accessed when I was an HR Director. Sometimes, it helps to be able to escape from the day to day demands of the role and to engage with a discussion partner informally without the constraints of a formal consultancy contract. And on some issues, it can really be helpful to discuss with people who are external to the company. Our ambition is to become this trusted, discreet and generous confidant.

Q: You said generous?

Jean-Marc Fonteyne: Yes, I believe that being generous with my time and expertise will bring benefits in the long run.  As another example, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to get reliable information about competitor employment practices, to the point that companies have to spend a fortune to buy benchmarking studies (e.g. on compensation). Our background and our independence may allow us to be a focal point for several companies from the same sector wanting to exchange in a win-win spirit.

Q: Something else?

Jean-Marc Fonteyne: Our positioning. We develop solutions that are customised and, above all, practical. Theories and models are helpful but only as a first step. Our clients need results and to implement changes that have a positive impact. We tailor our advice and solutions to what our clients need. Finally, we believe that HR has a significant role to play in any organisation as a business partner.

Q: We understand you are an HR consultancy but why ‘ACER’?

Jean-Marc Fonteyne: ACER stands for “Guidance (Accompagnement), Advice (Conseil), Expertise and Recruitment)” and that odescribes our company very well. It is also a Latin phrase meaning “sharp, subtle”, that is what we want to embody on a day to day basis.

Q: Who are your customers?

Jean-Marc Fonteyne: Our clients are looking for human resource advice. We focus on strategic projects for major companies but we also want to support smaller organisations in their HR challenges, and at the same time helping them develop their expertise.

Q: A few words on the expertise of the firm?

Jean-Marc Fonteyne: We classify our services across six disciplines: Strategy, Performance, Process, International Mobility, Management and Recruitment. As far as recruitment is concerned, we focus on the following businesses: construction, services, offshore engineering and support functions, where we can bring significant added value.  However, our primary specialty is the human resource function.

Q: Tell us about your “performance” expertise, what is it about exactly?

Jean-Marc Fonteyne: The steering issue is omnipresent in companies. It needs to go through an assessment activity to identify gaps and corrections needed. ACER RH provides a method for assessing HR activities against an updated repository of 112 different activities, divided into 7 areas that are: HR Steering, Recruitment and induction, Administration, Employee relations, HR development, International mobility and HR management. This allows us to deliver an objective assessment to identify gaps and propose improvements.

Q: What are your beliefs about human resources in a company?

Jean-Marc Fonteyne: : I think a HR policy must above all be consistent (each component must be complimentary with all) and fair to generate understanding and engagement of people. I also believe that the HR function, must meet organizational and performance criteria.

Q: Where are you today?

Jean-Marc Fonteyne: We are a young company but a young company with plenty of experience! This proves that it is possible to be both young and experienced. More seriously, we have just completed work on our visual identity that led to the creation of this lively and human oriented logo. We will soon unveil our website that we are proud of. It will be both a showcase (who we are, our expertise etc.) and a blog to host our own publications, and more generally all items we think might be of interest and relevant for our visitors.

Q: All the best for the future!

Jean-Marc Fonteyne : Thanks a lot, do not forget to subscribe to the ACER RH social network page to make sure you receive our publications.

ACER RH is a firm specialising in operational management of human resources. Its mission is to support business leaders and HR professionals in their HR mission.

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