Why Outsourced HR?
All businesses irrespective of size have to deal with a range of employee issues. As a business owner, you cannot be great at everything and for that reason it is sensible to outsource areas of your business to qualified professionals. Businesses already accept that outsourcing their bookkeeping / accounts and payroll is a sensible decision and, in many businesses, marketing also makes sense, so why not HR?
Many business owners will say that they have never had an issue, or my employees are like friends and that may be true however, you are extremely lucky if you navigate your way through without an issue biting you on the backside! When that happens, you wished that you had put in place relevant contracts, policies, procedures and you had, over a period of time, created a culture of respecting and following those policies and procedures. If you wait for the issue to occur it is often too late. If you proactively work towards a professional working environment (even if they are your friends or family members) then the large majority of issues are prevented.
It is the proactive prevention of employee issues that makes good HR support. In many ways great HR support goes totally unrecognised as it appears that “you never have an issue” whereas in truth there are a whole load of proactive discussions (formal and informal) and carefully composed letters and emails that have occurred to ensure that the issue did not escalate. Less competent HR support acts merely as a firefighter, continually addressing issues that have blown up and preparing responses to tribunal claims. As a business owner if you only interact with HR support when it goes wrong then you are merely putting a band aid on a wound that requires stitches!
In small to medium size businesses your budget may not allow you to recruit a fully functioning HR team or even a HR professional with enough breadth of experience to fully support the business. Specialist areas such as employee relations, performance management, managing employee sickness and complicated welfare issues are difficult to resolve without the expertise and knowledge to do so. In many cases, even less complicated issues that have been allowed to escalate can result in the Company finding themselves having to refer cases externally to lawyers and this incurs high advice costs and if left to this stage almost certainly incurs costs to resolve the situation with the employee.
Outsourced HR support offers a number of advantages over introducing an in-house function or directly employing a single HR head.
- Managing Litigation Risk: HR support will ensure that your backside is covered when it comes to compliance. Whether you like it or not, the law dictates that you provide written employment terms and at least follow best practice statutory guidelines. If you don’t do this then you will automatically lose any employment claim that is brought against your company. You cannot be the expert in everything! HR professionals never profess to be a great plumber / accountant or marketeer!
- Makes you and your business more efficient: As a business owner it is common to end up dealing with people problems rather than working on developing and improving your business. Good proactive HR can free you up from a whole load of negative issues to allow you to do what you are good at. Good level support also makes you look like a highly effective leader of people and improves your reputation as an employer and overall company!
- Employee development: A professional working environment creates a culture where employees thrive and go the extra mile. Can you imagine a business full of people that almost care as much as you do!
- Cost savings: Ultimately outsourcing HR is way less expensive than employing a qualified HR professional and will also save you significant amounts of money through early resolution of issues, reducing legal fees when it goes wrong, reducing staff turnover, recruitment costs etc….
There are different ways to approach outsourced HR support.
There are hundreds of providers out there and getting the correct one for you is critical. We have produced a guide to buying outsourced HR Support that you can access here https://online.fliphtml5.com/ywlrr/isfq/
To summarise, some of the larger providers such as Croner, Peninsula Citation will provide a cost-effective service that provides you with access to a handy portal and template documents. A helpline is available should you need it. Our advice is that this solution can work well if you have an individual who is competent with HR matters in your business as they can utilise the tools and may know how to adapt template letters and analyse and use the generic advice given on the portal or from the contact centre operative.
There are also a number of lone working HR consultants. They can often provide a very personal service however they can sometimes lack the range of experience and expertise to be able to fully advise on all matters. Being a single point, they sometimes also have problems offering support 365 days of the year (if required) or being flexible enough to attend site should that be required.
At Harwood HR Solutions we adapt our outsourcing model to suit your specific requirements and charge you no more than you would pay for a typical generic template-based model! You will get a dedicated senior level HR professional who has legal support. Our wider team is also available for specific projects and challenges ensuring consistent availability and a highly personalised service. Our support is made available to you by telephone, email, text and even in person on-site should you need us there.
View this blog being discussed here https://youtu.be/cef2PsoDRoI
If you need HR support from a company that understands the needs of your business, contact us today. At Harwood HR we can support your business, help you to grow and promote your employees’ talents. Our UK-based team offers a range of HR support services and advice for SME businesses, including outsourced HR support.