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HR Services delivered as and when you need them

HR Services delivered as and when you need them

HR support – remote or local?

I am mindful to write this week about the various types of HR advice and support that can be offered to small and medium sized businesses.

In my simple mind, I would put these into three categories. First, is the call-centre approach, second is the support provided by firms of solicitors and last, but by no means least, is the very bespoke and personal service provided by HR firms like Turnstone.

Most businesses have a firm of solicitors that they will use for a variety of legal issues but many will not use them for HR advice and support. There are a small number of solicitors in this area that will provide HR advice and whilst this is always good legal advice, the levels of service fall somewhere between the call-centre and the bespoke, personal approaches referred to above. In fact, I would say that solicitors are closer to the latter than the former.

However, it is the differences between the call-centres and the Turnstone HR -type approach that I really want to address here.

The call-centres are generally big, national organisations based the in likes of Manchester or London. Their key drive seems to be signing up as many client companies as possible and serving them in a very generic and remote way. When you, the client, ring up with an HR issue such as a potential disciplinary matter, having quoted your company reference number to the anonymous individual on the other end of a telephone, you will almost certainly receive advice that is generic and which is not specifically related to your actual problem.

They will then send you a draft letter to use and, in the majority of cases of which I am aware, these are also generic and leave you having to tweak to suit your particular issue.

This generic approach is fine if you have someone in your organisation that is sufficiently experienced and has a level of HR knowledge to correctly complete the process. However, in most SMEs this is not the case. Further, you will rarely speak to the same person twice and you will certainly never meet the people who are giving you advice face-to-face.

That is why Turnstone HR exists. It is our rationale to work with our clients on a day-to-day business; to understand their business objectives; and to hold their hands through any or all people-related issues that they have.

We write very specific letters for our clients. We actually sit around the table and support (or indeed conduct, if that is the client’s preference) throughout grievance or disciplinary investigations or disciplinary hearings. We provide bespoke advice on restructuring of companies to try to avoid redundancy scenarios and, if redundancies cannot be avoided, we work hand-in-hand with our clients to ensure that due process is followed and we even assist in conducting the consultation meetings where appropriate.

This personal approach prevails whatever the nature of your employment-related problem.

One other thing that companies should bear in mind is that often, the large national call-centre companies will tie you in to lengthy 3- or 5-year contracts. At Turnstone HR, we sign our clients for one year only; thereafter, it is a rolling contract that either party can terminate with just 3-months notice.

Why? We want our clients to be with us because we add value to their business; because we have developed a good working – and personal – relationship with them; because, therefore, we understand exactly what they need. Not because they signed a long-term, agreement with no get-out clause.

“There is evidence to suggest that good HR practice and people management in SMEs are key factors in strong business performance and can lead to increased productivity.”

- CIPD people Skills Project 2017


01229 821270
Turnstone HR
3, Dane Avenue
Cumbria LA14 4JS

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Company Registration: 09093934

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