HR plays a pivotal role in business; it follows the life cycle of an employee from recruitment, through growth and development to the exit process. Imagine a business where there is no dedicated HR practitioner – that’s a lot of paperwork to process and activity to track. And that’s when things go right; the nature of working with people often results in ups and downs, as not all employee relationships run smoothly. For a small developing business, HR is often overlooked, seen as an extra cost that just can’t be afforded. Alongside this sits the low confidence in the area, as when a business owner sets up a business they are passionate about, HR is most likely not on their radar. A service to aid employers in these processes could not only ease pressure but enable growth in the local economy.

A Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) report: ‘People Skills: Building ambition and HR capability in small UK firms’ was released on Wednesday 11th November to emphasise the role HR has to play in supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s). The report calls on Government to invest £13 million a year to provide HR support for SME’s; considering they make up almost half of the UK economy, an investment in this area is surely needed. The report highlights the need to provide people management support to SME’s in order to help them grow. The more support SME’s have, the more confident they become and are more likely to grow in staff numbers, which is exactly what we need to keep the economy thriving. Usually a ‘one man band’ will have no expertise of HR and will be more focused on running their business and making a profit rather than having time to understand and learn all the ins and outs HR entails. People Skills, a pilot scheme, was run by the CIPD between July 2015 and October 2016 in Stoke-on-Trent, Glasgow and Hackney; it provided up to two days’ worth of free HR support to small firms with 5 to 50 employees. This included face to face support, a dedicated telephone line, online information/templates and group training events. The pilot was hailed a success with more than 400 businesses benefiting.

Luckily in Wiltshire a similar service is already available via Impress HR. Through the Work Wiltshire website a range of resources and downloadable content can be found including contracts of employment, personnel file checklists, job descriptions and job advert templates, factsheets and much more. Face to face meetings can also be requested to discuss general HR queries, recruitment and apprenticeships.

For more information and to request support contact Catherine Brooks

To read the full article please visit CIPD news page.

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