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HR Consultancy and how it works

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HR consultancy is an invaluable service, but do you know what it is and how it works?

Were you aware, for example, that HR:4UK can come to your premises and deal with your HR issue on-site and in some cases resolve it in just one day?

Small to mid-size business owners do not always have the time to handle the day-to-day tasks – or indeed the expertise to manage complex HR matters.  Often, they haven’t got their own HR department and need someone to come in and look after the HR side so they can concentrate on running their business.

Employing people brings its challenges. Some meetings will involve you making some very tough decisions or managing sensitive employment issues requiring you to have some difficult conversations.

With HR:4UK’s consultancy service, you never have to handle a tough or sensitive HR issue alone as we can offer you 1:2:1 face-to-face support providing you with expert support in person at your workplace.

We can investigate grievances, hold disciplinary meetings and provide training, coaching and mentoring for difficult HR processes.

HR:4UK’s input gives our clients the confidence to hit the ground running.  We offer solutions gained through experience, laws and best practices – and because we know ‘no one size fits all’, our services are flexible and bespoke. We offer a fresh perspective – looking at any situation without clouded judgement and bringing consistency in process which increases compliance and reduces cost and risk to your business.

And, as well as supporting you with disciplinary matters, we’re also by your side when your business is going through transformation and change.   Our consultancy team can support you with restructuring or redundancy, acquiring or selling your business and with growing your team through succession planning and attracting top talent.

We talked to HR:4UK consultants, Vanessa Monroy, Angie Russell and Julie Spence who have years of experience in assisting employers with a wide range of issues – grievances, disputes, dismissals and redundancies, to name but a few. 

HR consultant Angie has much experience in handling disciplinary matters, but a big part of her role also involves helping employers avoid mistakes in the first place by providing staff training.

She said: “We usually deliver training at a company’s premises, but I recently did some via Skype. The employer, in North America, was looking for training in UK HR employment legislation for it’s UK based offices and had approached us for help.

“We provided two four-hour sessions over two half days to five staff and took them through the basics. The firm was keen that all staff members got the same message, so we delivered the training to everyone at the same time which worked very well.”

While all our consultants advise employers over the phone in the first instance, some clients need a higher level of on-site support.

Angie added: “Usually we are called in when a disciplinary or grievance has escalated to the appeal or dismissal stage and the employer needs HR help in preparing the case.  We’re there to take notes but we often end up doing much more than that, helping them to define the issues.”

And while Angie and Julie don’t tell clients what to do, they are there in an advisory capacity to provide professional input when needed.

Angie added: “I call my role “helicoptering” – hovering above clients from a distance but watching how they’re getting on so I can step in when required.”

Julie is often called in to assist smaller businesses who don’t have a big enough management team in place to hold a fair and impartial review. She added: “If there is, let’s say, a grievance against a manager but the firm is small and there is nobody there to hear it, HR:4UK can step in as an independent third party.”

Whether you’re providing consultancy to larger businesses with 500 plus staff or to small companies with just a handful of people, you need to understand their sector and how it works.

Angie added: “You have to know your subject and do your research, so you have a good grasp of the clients’ operational needs. Companies and organisations differ a lot and you need to be aware of their culture and governance.  For example, charities’ governance is from charitable commissions, which is quite different from how other businesses operate.”

Whether you’re advising a business on a disciplinary procedure, assisting with redundancy plans, or, on a happier note, helping an employer prepare for growth, there are certain qualities all good HR consultants must have.

Angie said: “First of all, you need great attention to detail – and you need to be patient. People don’t always ‘get it’ first time. You also need to be forgiving. People make mistakes – they don’t intentionally set out to get it wrong. And, of course, you must be impartial.

Julie added: “As an HR consultant dealing with people at an upsetting time you must be calm and be a good listener. You should also bring your experience to bear. Look at all the facts and try and encourage the employer to see the bigger picture.”

For more information on how HR:4UK’s consultancy services could benefit your business or organisation, please contact us on 01455 444222 or click here for further information

Angela Clay

A qualified employment law solicitor and our managing director, Angela has unparalleled legal expertise and decades of experience and knowledge to draw from. She’s a passionate speaker and writer that loves to keep employers updated with upcoming changes to legislation, and is a regular guest speaker on BBC Leicester Radio.