Categories: HR Date: Feb 21, 2015 Title: Adding value to your business with professional HR services
Handy Croissant member Theresa Marks of Add HR recently used a range of case studies to illustrate how her professional HR services add value to the businesses she works with. Add HR provides practical, no-nonsense HR support and works with customers to develop a service package precisely tailored to their needs.
Handy Croissant member Theresa Marks of Add HR recently used a range of case studies to illustrate how her professional HR services add value to the businesses she works with.
Theresa started with the example of a recent US-based client. They have 30 staff worldwide, including 10 in the UK. Initially they just wanted contracts, policies, recruitment and problem resolution. There was no full-time role, but they wanted someone who knows what they are doing. They asked Theresa, “Is this the sort of thing you do?” Theresa answered yes. “If I was to sum up what I offer businesses in six words they would be, ‘HR services to suit your business’”.
Theresa then looked at some of the typical challenges she might be asked to help with:
In Theresa’s experience, when people ask for help with Terms and Conditions, this has probably been caused by a catalyst. For example they have an issue with an employee and the find they don’t have provision in their current policies to deal with the issue. Theresa can audit and rewrite your Terms and Conditions taking into account current best practices and employment legislation. Things to consider include “express” terms and “implied” terms (i.e. the obvious things such as you must come to work and you must work diligently), and whether you want to include only statutory benefits or have enhanced benefits. Terms and Conditions must be given to an employee within two months of their start date. Theresa mentioned that you can get basic Terms and Conditions documents from the internet. However, these are not likely to be of much value – in fact Theresa mentioned the case of a client who had done this. Theresa took a look and by improving them was able to save the client more than £1,000 in unnecessary costs.
This should contain all your policies – some of which are legally required (e.g. Health and Safety) and others of which are best practice. Key policies would include: Equal Opportunities, Health and Safety, Disciplinary and Grievance, and Anti-bribery and Corruption. Theresa mentioned some “Dos and Don’ts”: Do get the employee to sign off receipt of the Employment Policy Handbook; Don’t make them too complicated – make them visual where possible.
Recruitment is an area where Theresa is often asked to provide support to businesses. Recruitment can be time-consuming, costly and easy to get wrong. “Why should you believe a person’s CV?” asked Theresa, “Anyone can have a well-written CV.” As a result, it is essential to be able to drill down. Theresa recommends using situational-based interview techniques; use What? Where? How? and When? questions. For example, in an interview for a Sales position where the candidate’s CV talks of £100K of sales, ask questions such as, “What was the state of the account when they took it over? Who else did they take into meeting to close the deal? What obstacles did they overcome to get those sales?”
Theresa also advises prospective employers to take up the references provided by candidates and to check for example dates mentioned in the CVs.
Then, once you’ve hired someone it’s crucial to provide clarity in the job description about the activities and the expected outputs and results, for example in the form of KPIs.
Theresa is called upon to provide solutions on a real “A to Z” of HR challenges.
Theresa’s typical clients are: owner managers or decision makers in businesses with 20 – 40 employees and no HR expert on site. They encompass service consultancies, restaurants, technology businesses, construction and engineering, accountants and solicitors, and charities.
They choose to work with Theresa because she is professional (CMICPD), pragmatic, affordable and a wide range of HR skills and experience.