Why engaging with a HR consultancy firm can save you money

Kim Dalton, HR Manager from Ward Williams HR
Kim Dalton, HR Manager from Ward Williams HR

Listen to our podcast here

What is an HR consultancy firm?

“So for all intents and purposes, the model we work with and offer is that we act as the HR Team and Department for our clients. Many small/medium sized businesses perhaps don’t needs a full time HR person or people on site and so we take on that role. We carry out all hr and employment law requirements, which includes the administration function”.

How does this save money?

“So if we look at it from 2 aspects, firstly using us is more cost effective than employing a full time HR person or team, whilst still getting the level of service you need. Many of our clients are of a size, where they do not need a full time HR Manager on site, but have the security of knowing they can tap in to our services and use us as much as they need. That isn’t to say we leave our clients to their own devices, we are very much proactive, working away and ensuring documents are all compliant, and updated with legal updates and legislation changes.

It also saves money in the long run, it is unfortunate that sometimes a client engages with us because something has gone wrong, but if you invest in the HR support from the get go, this can prevent employee disputes and claims. We always say a business’s most valuable asset is its people, so it is important to get it right from the start, and part of that is ensuring you have the correct, contractual documentation in place.  As businesses grow, its vital that they ensure the HR support is in place”.

What sets Ward Williams HR apart from other consultancy firms?

“We have been established for nearly 11 years now, and are proud to say we have worked with and supported many of our clients since day one. We really get to know our clients, their business, what they do, and who their staff are, many of which we have recruited! Our services cover everything from cradle to grave, from job adds, to on boarding right through the whole life cycle and development of an employee. We offer support on a strategic level, with Sally our MD often attending board meetings. Our biggest USP tends to be the fact we offer an indemnity protection service, whereby providing our clients have followed our advice, and used all of our documentation then in the event things do go wrong, and there is a claim on the horizon, our clients legal fees will all be covered…..

Many of our competitors also offer a self-service model and a call centre type service, so you might call with a query and speak to a different person each time, and then be provided with a template for you to use and populate. We don’t work like this, we think it is open to error…

Our clients know each and every one of our team, and will know we are all up to speed with the issue in hand. We also populate all the documentation for our clients, so there is no room for error”.

How do you support different clients with different needs?

“As I said earlier, we really do get to know our clients and their businesses, and we take on the HR responsibilities so they can get on and do what they’re good at! We have a variety of different clients, from fashion designers, retailers, engineers, GP practices, and whilst their business models are different, employment law is employment law. We offer a wide range of services, and whilst our annual retainers are most popular and cost effective, businesses do engage with us for one off projects on adhoc occasions. That said, we help businesses grow and often help recruit an HR team when they get to a level that they do need an internal department. On these occasions, our clients still use us to support the hr team as we have such a longstanding relationship with them and understanding of the business, that it is beneficial to utilise us to support the hr team”.

So talk us through what you do in terms of a bringing a new client on board?

“So when a client first engages with us and before we provide our quotation, we always like to arrange a meeting, either on their premises or off site at ours, to get a feel as to what they need, what their business does, and the support we can help with. 9 times out of 10 a business comes to us with a problem that prompts them to review their HR practices, so we look at what they need in terms of a certain issue that may need resolving and then on a wider scale. Once on board, we review all of their documentation (if they have any) and overhaul it, or merge it with our up to date approved templates. Often clients don’t have anything, so we really start from scratch in building their contracts of employment, and handbooks. Whilst these must have the basic employment law clauses in, it is really important these are also bespoke and tailored to the client in terms of specific clauses and requirements, they might need to refer to certain health and safety regs, or worktime time rates, expenses etc, so we take the time to get an understanding of their bespoke practices, whilst ensuring it at least meets the statutory requirements.

We would then produce all new contracts for the staff, and depending on the client’s needs and service level, would go in and meet the team and go through the new contracts with the staff”.

If you would like to find out more about Ward Williams HR, or ways in which we can help to boost productivity in the work place. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch 01932 830 664 or email kim.dalton@wardwilliams.co.uk