Today’s blog sets out the benefits of investing in external HR support to help you grow and develop your business and I share my experience in the sorts of HR problems business owners face.  If you are undecided on whether this would be right for your business, this blog will help. 

The modern workplace is a dynamic environment where businesses must continually adapt to changing regulations, employee needs and market demands. And it’s understandable that when you’re working flat-out to build your business, finding new customers and increasing your revenue will take priority over creating HR policies and processes. Perhaps you don’t have the budget for an in-house HR Manager right now, so you plug the gaps as best you can, muddling through hoping for the best without feeling fully confident on best practice.

But here’s the really important thing you need to know – employment law applies to small and large companies alike, and by even having one employee, you will have legal obligations and a duty of care to that employee. Furthermore, if you get it wrong and end up in a tribunal, the costs of a tribunal and any awards given to an employee that wins their case aren’t reduced because you have a small business.  

When we consider that the average cost of defending an employment tribunal in the UK is somewhere around £13,500 plus VAT, it becomes clear just how important HR and people management is for a business to get right. This is a cautious estimate, too – and it’s a lot of money for a small business to lose, on top of the time, energy and stress that comes along with managing a case like this.

How Long Can You Muddle Along For?

In my experience a small business can muddle along for a while without expert HR support until there is a difficult people problem, for example: 

  • A key employee falls ill or leaves.
  • An employee is on long-term sickness and or wishes to return and needs reasonable adjustments and occupational health support.
  • Employees fallout with each other, or raise grievances about others or their terms and conditions of employment.
  • An employee does something that needs to be dealt with formally as misconduct or gross misconduct under a disciplinary procedure.
  • There seems to be confusion and maybe even conflict about task ownership, accountability and responsibility and the business isn’t really hitting its targets or working efficiently.
  • There could be one employee that is causing all sorts of difficulties in the business with their behaviour, attitudes and performance. 
  • The business needs to be re-organised or restructured due to economic challenges.

These are common issues that can arise for businesses of any size, at any time. It is not unusual for a difficult HR problem to be the catalyst for placing more focus on engaging the right support in this area, and interestingly, many of my clients report that until this point they have been lucky and had no (or just a few) HR issues, hence HR has not been a priority. The difficulty with luck though, is that sometimes it runs out.

So, it’s really vital then that businesses have the right tools, advice and resources in place to be able to manage HR issues as and when they arise, and have the right policies and procedures in place to reduce the chances of problems happening.

An ideal solution for small and medium-sized businesses, that don’t have the budget or need for a full-time HR Manager, is to engage the support of an HR Consultant, someone who can lift the burden from your shoulders and let you get on with doing what you do best – running your business. And that’s where me and my amazing team come in. With the right measures and support in place, the HR aspects of your business will begin to feel simpler, under control and much more streamlined, allowing you and your employees to thrive.

I really don’t want you to find yourself firefighting a complex and challenging HR issue and experiencing some of what my other clients have gone through in the past. A proactive approach to HR management and early intervention in HR problems are definitely key to preventing matters turning complicated quickly, and to help things run smoothly. 

How could working with an outsourced HR Consultant benefit you and your business? 

Here are five of the key reasons why this could be an excellent solution for your business:

One: Access to Expertise and Specialised Experience

HR consultants are experts, with a tried-and-tested understanding and knowledge of employment law, HR best practices and industry-specific regulations. We are specialists in our field, living and breathing all things HR. As the founder of Metro HR, I am degree-qualified, a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), a Platinum Accredited member of HR Independents and I commit time, energy and money to continuously developing my skills, knowledge, experience and sector profile.

And let’s face it, with more than 20 years’ experience, I have been around the HR block a bit. I can’t say I’ve seen it all as every day is a learning day, but given my vast experience of complex HR issues, I will have a greater depth of knowledge than someone in-house. This allows me to provide solutions tailored to you and your business, to your industry sector and to the unique needs and challenges that your business may be facing. This eliminates the need for you to know the answers to the issues that arise, and the worry of getting it wrong, which could be a very costly mistake.

Two: Time and Cost Effectiveness

Trying to deal with HR and particularly complex HR issues when it isn’t your area of expertise can be very time consuming, costly and distracting. It would be far more efficient to let me and my team handle the HR so you can spend less time on employment related matters and focus on your core business. We will introduce simple and effective processes, systems and procedures to streamline HR management and ensure record keeping is done as required.

Working with a consultant means you still have access to the right support that you need, but helps to reduce the overhead costs of hiring, supporting and bringing on-board a full-time employee. We don’t believe a small business needs a full-time HR person. Instead, we can provide flexible support fully tailored to your business and budget without the usual overheads associated with a permanent hire such as employer NI, employer pension contributions and costs of any other employee benefits and equipment. Consultancy can be dialled up or down according to business need, and if you get to a point in your business growth where you would like a full-time HR resource in house, we’ve got that too, our talented internal resourcer will help you recruit the right person for your team. 

Three: Independent and Impartial Advice  

As externally based professionals, HR consultants offer an impartial, unbiased view on the HR issues that your business is facing. we of course like to work and feel like part of the team, but as an external support we provide advice independently, confidentially, impartially and we don’t get involved in the office politics. We help to mediate on conflicts and challenging situations, and provide impartial advice on sensitive HR issues, helping to ensure fair treatment for all involved. We provide expert HR advice when you need it the most to help you head off issues and problems. Together we can plan HR initiatives with your eyes wide open to the HR legislation and the bigger picture.

 

​​Four: Legal Compliance and Risk Management

As trusted experts in our field, we can help you to minimise the risk of tribunal claims and non-compliance with employment law.  We will guide and mentor you to ensure you understand and meet your legal obligations and follow best practice in your people management and planning.

By having a sounding board to discuss HR matters with, you are less likely to make costly mistakes when handling HR management and planning.  The costs of getting it wrong could be great. Our estimate of tribunal costs we mentioned earlier, that doesn’t include the awards given to the employee if you lose.

Five: Improved HR Functionality

Working with an HR consultant is a great way to feel confident that you have a solid HR plan in place to help you meet your business goals and growth plans. If you know you want to genuinely look after your people, and for your people to feel supported and valued, a HR consultant offers you the ability to improve HR functionality across your organisation.

For example, one of the initiatives I will encourage you to consider is to make sure that you have a performance review and 1-2-1 process in place to open up communication and engage employees. The number of complex HR issues are much reduced in organisations where regular 1-2-1s happen and employees and employers are given regular feedback, support and encouragement.

Is this the right fit for you? Here's how to find out more

If you are going to invest in some HR support there is no better way to do it than to invest in a high quality, flexible and tailored solution without lengthy contract tie-ins. 

Hiring an HR consultant offers many benefits to small and medium sized businesses, from specialised expertise, cost-effectiveness and an objective, bias-free outside perspective. Partnering with an HR consultant is an excellent solution to ensure that your business is supporting their people and staying on the right side of essential rules and regulations.  But don’t just take our word for it, you can see some of the fantastic feedback our clients gave us recently here.

The decision to work with an HR consultant should be based on your organisation’s specific needs, budget and long-term goals. We can help you to make the right choice for you and your business, and offer a range of solutions to suit your budget. If you’d like to find out more and take the first step towards getting the HR support your business needs, click the button below to book a free 30-minute, no obligation consultation call. We’ll identify what you have in place at the moment, listen to whatever you’re struggling with right now and help you to determine what you need to move forward with confidence.

Book your free 30-minute consultation now

Get started now - download my Free Self-Audit HR Checklist now

If you’d like to get started right away, a great first step is to download my Free Self-Audit HR Checklist to help you assess where you are right now with your HR, as well as where you have gaps and might need some help.

Click the button below to download your free copy:

 

Download your free Self-Audit HR Checklist now

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