For any business, no matter how big or small the company, people are the most valuable asset. For a small business finding and retaining quality employees who have the right skills and experience to fulfil their role is essential, especially when the work of one person can often be critical to overall business operations. It means the pressure is on for whoever is responsible for the recruitment and retention of people.
Whilst large organisations will have a dedicated HR function, the reality is that very few small businesses can afford the expense of employing a dedicated HR manager. The cost just cannot be justified. Many companies over the last few years have had to cut their coats according to their cloth and HR is one area on which many have to compromise by finding more creative approaches to dealing with people management. Ignoring HR can become a barrier to the growth and development of a business. Organisations that struggle to effectively recruit talented individuals, or do not have the resources to ensure employees are suitably trained and supported in their roles, face the possibility of their businesses going into a downward spiral.
One of Talent Gateways clients who has seen a significant improvement in business since taking the plunge and hiring a HR professional. The Clean Space Partnership provides ethical cleaning services to commercial clients nationwide (in London, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Brighton and across the Midlands and Gloucestershire.) The company prides itself on its ethical approach, using eco-friendly cleaning products and providing an integrated recycling service. But at the heart of the company is a commitment to looking after its ever increasing team of cleaners – essentially challenging the industry norm – with the belief that happier people means a higher quality service for clients.
By his own admission, Managing Director Charlie Mowat had always felt that HR was simply a box-ticking exercise. After recruiting a HR person in January 2014, Charlie has seen significant improvements in the business: “HR has added a lot more than I expected and helped me understand and appreciate the power of HR. Our recruitment process is much improved and we are seeing much greater levels of staff retention. Overall, since we’ve introduced HR into the business, staff engagement is the best it’s ever been during our 10 years of operation – it feels like a huge step forward in The Clean Space Partnership’s plans to grow.”
Charlie also recognises the additional expert knowledge that his HR manager can offer: “Employment law can be very complex and smaller businesses can’t afford to make mistakes when it comes to thorny issues such as disciplinary procedures and tribunals or even just ensuring a company meets its legal obligations to an employee on maternity leave. Having someone in the know within the company is invaluable.”
Charlie’s experience of introducing HR into his business clearly demonstrates the very tangible benefits. HR is integral to business development, enabling business leaders to focus on growth without drowning in the day-to-day running of the business. And it doesn’t even have to be a full-time position. A flexible working arrangement – with an experienced and high calibre HR professional, who knows how to use their hours most effectively – can and will deliver savings in terms of time and money spent on recruitment and staffing issues.
Talent Gateway works with businesses to provide Flexible Recruitment and Business support services. Contact us if you would like to discuss how we can help your business grow.