When it’s about HR support, what is the scenario that comes to your mind first? Well, probably you will say the HR department, but that’s not quite obvious to be in that form. It can be a large corporation with a good number of appointed employees, but in case of a small company it is not quite essential of a big house with a large number of employees as it will cut a good amount to appoint an HR Manager alone. But sometimes a situation may arise when even a small company may need HR support and legal advice for employment law. At present, there are different organizations which provide HR support and advice independently. They are even equipped with large call centers those are linked to chambers of commerce, employment lawyers and HR consultants.
Now, you may say that you can have access to HR advice and support just sitting at your home by browsing internet, but you are actually ignoring an important point to think about. One thing the employers must be aware of – you need to understand the information correctly and then take your action appropriately in a planned way. Very recently a business owner wanted to fire one of his senior officers for poor performance. Instead of talking with him directly, he sought a template document in a business related website to invite him to a meeting to sack him officially. If the business owner would have sent that letter to that member of staff, he would have to face a costly employment tribunal. Then what did he actually do? He contacted an HR consultant before taking his action and was guided correctly on how to proceed according to the law.
Now even bigger question is that – what type of HR support you will go for. It depends upon the company’s demands and economic conditions entirely. In case of a call centre, HR service provider may offer you telephone HR advice, but there are chances that call can be picked up by different call centre operatives and there will be support from different advisors which may not always be good. But if you go for either an independent HR consultant or an employer lawyer, you will get more personal service where quality is ensured. When you are consulting with the same person each time a HR issue will arise, you are actually building up a relationship with that person. The advisor will get to know the ins and outs of your business, employees, staff and everything elce. So in terms of the more problematic members of staff, the advice will be more tailored.
The budget actually decides what type of HR support you can afford. Generally, most of the larger HR advice providers charge a large annual amount for HR support and thus trap companies into lengthy and inflexible contracts as they have to bear higher costs for building and staff. Similarly, employment lawyers are traditional to have high fee structure as they are having good command over employment law. Most probably, the cheapest option could be a HR consultant with practical HR experience and good employment law knowledge. If they are CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) qualified, that means they have the standards to keep trust and are qualified enough to provide a good standard of advice.
What Specific HR Support?
An employer may require both services other than telephone and email HR advice. For example, they may have required the HR documentation such as contracts of employment, handbooks of employees, descriptions of jobs and scripts. Large HR service providers usually complete this documentation online that can be easily downloaded at any time. It is necessary to ensure the availability of back up advice and the appropriate and legal use of the documents. According to the requirement of a company, an independent HR consultant or an employment lawyer can provide a similar service charging a high cost.
Though a call centre can provide excellent HR advice by their consultants on the phone and via email, but they can’t provide any on site HR support. But from time to time in different situations, employers may require back up support of a HR consultant to assist them with hard situations like giving coaching with taking notes and disciplinary hearing or to assist in case of recruitment. Few of the lawyers provide this service, but a normal HR advisor would likely be interested to co-operate with his client.
So what are you thinking of? You have a good number of options depending upon the budget and the size of your company to consider when it comes to the matter of HR support and advice. But there is the most important thing to remember – when you are uncertain of the situation in case of employment problem and not quite sure of the consequences of your desired action, don’t hesitate to go for HR assistance. Maybe you will try to save your pocket from wasting a good amount of money behind consulting with an HR advisor or with a large consultant firm. But that one wrong step may befall you in big problems and with these employment issues, you can end up in employment tribunal that will cost you even bigger than your imagination.