As a business owner, particularly of a start-up or SME, it can be easy to find yourself wearing all the ‘hats’ in the office – receptionist, accountant, PA, tea-maker – the job description is endless.
Being a business owner myself, I know that being a Jack of all trades is a useful attribute when you’re starting out and it’s tempting to take the DIY approach rather than pay someone else. Indeed I have outsourced areas that I know I shouldn’t do myself because of skills and time.
However, there are some circumstances when delegating to a professional can not only save you time and money in the long run, but it can also help avoid landing yourself in hot water!
And, you’ve guessed it, HR is definitely one of those services! Yes, you might only have a small team, work with family, or view your staff as more like friends than employees, and in the ideal world, it would all be OK and you’d all work perfectly harmoniously without any problems. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and it’s so sad to see families split because of work-related issues that could easily have been resolved early on.
Just one instance of bad people management or unintentional failure to comply with employment law can be disastrous, causing ill-feeling within your workforce and creating potential legal issues.
“Outsourcing your HR could be an affordable way
of safeguarding and revitalising your business
– as well as avoiding many sleepless nights!“
Ensuring you operate within the law
Dealing with employee issues can be challenging and stressful. Whether you’re hiring, firing, or setting your holiday pay and maternity leave policies, HR is a complex issue requiring qualifications and experience. Most business owners are unlikely to have the necessary skills and detailed knowledge of the law and trying to understand the minutiae can take up valuable time.
Working with a professional can give you peace of mind that no important details are being overlooked; both employer and employees are being treated fairly; particularly reassuring at a time when employment tribunals are on the rise.
A neutral intermediary
Many small, medium and family businesses are very tight-knit. So, it might feel like a big step to hand over people management to an ‘outsider.’ But while such close working relationships are an asset to an organisation in many ways, they can actually make it trickier to properly manage difficult situations.
A good HR acts as an independent conduit between you and your employees. They will get to know the whole team, taking time to build a rapport and prioritising confidentiality above all else. They’ll strike the balance between being a trusted adviser and an impartial third party who can mediate between parties in a way that’s satisfactory for everyone involved – often resolving small issues before they can turn into big problems.
A fresh pair of eyes
As mentioned before, it can be a little disconcerting to invite an ‘external’ person into your business. However, an HR adviser can bring a fresh perspective to your organisation and suggest ways to improve efficiency, or further develop and manage employee performance. They can help to streamline operations, meaning a better work/life balance for all.
They’ll have a wealth of ideas to offer based on best practices they have experienced from working with a variety of different businesses and cultures.
Managing your risk
We HR consultants have seen it all, good and bad. So, we know the potential difficult scenarios that could arise in the future and how to navigate them. Many small businesses cannot afford the expense resulting from badly handled redundancies, terminations, or an investigation. In fact, most just would not survive.
Having an experienced professional on your side to guide you through the correct procedures is invaluable. Think of an HR as a shield, protecting you from challenging situations and preventing unnecessary complications.
They can also take care of some of the more difficult chats or meetings – much easier when you’re impartial and brought in to do a specific task.
The cost of a full-time or even part-time HR officer can be prohibitive for many SMEs. It’s also unnecessary in most circumstances.
Most SMEs usually need some help to set up; contracts, an employee handbook, or terms and conditions.
Then, they may need help as they grow or change; ad hoc HR assistance, restructuring and building teams with the right people in the right roles, employee engagement, onboarding new starters, training business owners, assisting managers with employment issues, supporting fair processes with disciplinaries and grievances, ensuring absences are kept low, tracking staff performance with appraisals and performance management, and mitigating risk by giving employment law updates.
There is no ‘one size fits all’. Flexible options such as pay as you go or a retained monthly fee can provide all the services your business needs, as and when you need them. It could also save you as much as 85% on an HR manager’s yearly salary.
In summary, HR consultants can act as a safety zone helping to prevent your business from making a costly mistake. They can provide you with new ideas without worrying about personal relationships orwhat people in the organisation might think about the results and how they were achieved.
They will ensure everything is explained to people clearly and information give at the right time.
Choosing to work with another company to outsource HR might be just what your business needs to make the most of its resources and to stay competitive.
Contact us for a free chat about how we could help you and lighten your HR load!