Retaining Key Employees

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Retaining key employeesMost business owners have been there!  A key employee whom you thought was happy in the job resigns (for whatever reason) and you’re left with a gap in your organisation which is going to be tough to replace.  Losing this key employee can also expose your business to certain risks which is why it’s so important to have a strategy in place to reduce this risk. Read More

Filling Your Team with Top Talent

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 Recruit in haste, repent at leisure

As a professional business owner, you understand that filling your team with top talent is critical.

However, you also know that open positions and mis-hires result in lost revenue but you don’t have the time to source and develop talent yourself. Read More

Change won’t happen until people do…

By | recruitment

Organizations decide they’re going to change all the time. Especially during times like we’re experiencing today, when recruiting is tough, engagement is a challenge, and retention is a top priority. Organizational change doesn’t just because an acknowledgement was made that change needs to happen. Human nature can mean that people both want and resist change in equal measures.  Fear of the unknown, hanging on to the past- sound familiar?

Managing change on the personal and organizational level requires new thinking, new models for change and new frameworks and tools to enable the smooth implementation of the desired change.

Change happens when the organization creates a process and a set of tools that yield the desired outcomes, mitigates resistance, increases adoption, and drives the organization faster.

So how do organizations create that process? Well, I ran across this acronym that might help. AKDAR

  1. Awarenessof the need for change
  2. Desireto participate and support the change
  3. Knowledgeon how to change
  4. Abilityto implement change
  5. Reinforcementto ensure change sticks

Think of ADKAR as a linear process and you need to accomplish one step before you can move to the next step. If your organization is going through a change initiative and you’re thinking about implementing a model like ADKAR or any model for that matter, it would be important to get employees ready. Even introducing a change model is change. Here are three ways to get the organization prepared.

Communication: Managers need to set expectations, using a variety of communication methods and styles. Not only is it important to communicate, but to do it frequently and effectively.

Training: This can be a combination of delivery methods such as classroom, refresher, just-in-time.  Training needs to be more than simply telling employees “this is the way it’s going to be”. It needs to be effective and inclusive.

Reinforcement: Everyone needs to set the example for the new expected behaviours. Both managers and employees should recognize positive behaviour. Managers and employees should expect to be held accountable.

While we can rely on the steps in change process being consistent, change takes place by the person. So, the length of time in each step could be different. Add to that the fact that change is always happening- any given moment, we are all processing several changes: big, small, and all in a different stage of the process.

At times, dealing with change can sound so simple. But it’s really not. Organizations should find a change management model that works for them and train employees how to use it. Because change isn’t going away anytime soon.

To find out more, call HCHR today on the number below:

International Womens Day

Recruitment Nightmares by Business Owners

By | recruitment

recruitmentWhen it comes to HR Professionals, we always have a huge series of nightmare scenarios that we often share with our clients so that they can avoid falling into some of these human resources traps. These horror stories can range from tales of losing tribunals because the correct procedures weren’t adhered to; through to examples when an employer is sued for not taking harassment or bullying seriously in the workplace.

But if you ask any HR professional what is the worst nightmare story you have come across, it will inevitably be with regards to recruitment.

One HR colleague told as a recent seminar about how a CEO of a global manufacturer, faked an MBA from a leading US University. The employer had not run a background check on this individual which in turn led to a nightmare for the company in terms of credibility as an organisation when the truth came out!

Candidate Screening

In fact, a study conducted last year in the US, revealed that a massive 85% of businesses surveyed discovered lies or misinterpretations on the resumes of potential job candidates; whilst 77% admitted that screening of candidates revealed issues that would not otherwise have been identified.

We know that the above nightmare is an extreme example of poor recruitment practice but, at HCHR and other human resources consultancies, we regularly come across businesses who have avoided spending time and on money on a robust and effective selection and screening process of new candidates only to find they have the wrong person, with the wrong qualifications and experience in the wrong job.

Recruitment Process

So, what do you need to do to avoid a similar situation happening in your business? Firstly, you need to determine your selection criteria (and make sure that the line manager and whoever else is involved in the recruitment process is on the same page when it comes to the job description, roles and responsibilities and the selection process and criteria).

The next step is to make sure you have appropriate and well thought out questions to ask your potential candidates. Again, make sure everyone involved in the recruitment process is aware of the questions. And if managers haven’t been involved in recruitment for a while then it would be well worth sending them on a refresher course ahead of the interviews.

It’s also very important that you don’t rush the recruitment process. You may be up against the clock to get a new employee on board but the saying ‘recruit in haste and repent at leisure’ has been born from real-life experiences. Rushing the hiring process can result in poor recruitment decisions; it’s well worth taking your time, and interviewing a whole set of new candidates if necessary, to ensure you do get the right person for the job.

And finally, as mentioned earlier, it is vital to carry out a comprehensive background screening process, particularly for senior posts. We’re not saying that you should screen potential candidates in order to catch them out; but rather to confirm the experience and qualifications that have already been discussed.

Even if you follow this recruitment and screening process, you could still end up hiring someone who turns out not to be right for the job in question. Your aim should be to lessen the chances, and the subsequent costs, of a poor recruitment decision.


If all this sounds too much for you and your in-house team, then the best way forward is to seek advice from an experienced HR consultant. Unlike a recruitment agency that will charge a hefty fee and a percentage of the initial salary, and then simply send you a load of cv’s to sift through yourself; an HR recruitment specialist will assist and guide you through the process and can even become part of the recruitment team for specific jobs.

To find out more about HCHR’s specialist recruitment services, call us today on the number below:

Office Christmas Party

Human Resources – We Kiss the frogs so you don’t have to!

By | recruitment

Outsourcing human resoourcesMost managers have a tough job and a full plate. They’re responsible for their department’s planning, organising, leading, and controlling; they’re also responsible for hiring. But managers themselves are often hired and promoted for their technical expertise, not their ability to recruit and manage others.

This means that organisations need to consider their recruitment strategy and how to recruit effectively. There is of course the agency route; endless CV’s sent to you in the vein hope that one is the “right organisation fit”. However, you still need to complete the recruitment process and the agency’s 20% of salary fee on top of management time doesn’t soften the blow.

Complexities of Recruitment

Recruitment is more than just sifting through CV’s.  Interviewing is hard and complicated, it’s far more than simply asking questions. Of course, managers can go on interview skill training but that won’t necessarily make them expert recruiters.

At HCHR we take our responsibility to hiring on behalf of clients very seriously.  So to help you in this process, we’ve come up with a list of considerations for business owners when they are recruiting:

  1. The cost and impact of hiring decisions. Recruiting isn’t cheap and a bad recruitment decision can have an impact on everyone in the company. Managers should understand what it costs and, before the recruitment process starts, should calculate the cost per hire.
  2. Their role of the manager in the recruitment process. Often managers are asked to interview without understanding the entire recruiting process including key elements such as sourcing, candidate experience, selection, screening, etc. There’s so much more to the process than the interview. Hiring managers would be better interviewers if they knew what happens before and after. They also need to know how to extend a proper job offer.
  3. Job description. Let’s face it, the job description is just a snap shot of the role.  Before beginning the recruitment process this needs to be reviewed and updated. Recruiters need to make sure the job they communicate to candidates aligns with the job description that is provided to their potential new employees.
  4. Understanding the law. When recruiting, recruiters need to know and understand what’s legal to discuss, how to effectively select candidates and take good notes. Even if the company has an excellent recruiting technology solution, it’s possible there will be times when taking handwritten notes might be necessary. The legal information required can vary by industry and country.
  5. How to evaluate a candidate. Not enough time and effort is spent on the selection part of the hiring process. We spend so much time sourcing and interviewing, only to spend 10-20 minutes on the all-important selection. If that’s all the time needed, then great. But objectively evaluating the skills and qualifications of a candidate is essential.

In light of the above, it’s usually advisable for businesses to outsource the recruitment process to a company, like HCHR, that specialises in recruitment and will act as your in house HR function throughout the whole process.

And remember…recruit in haste … repent at leisure.

Office Christmas Party


Recruitment and Retention for Small Businesses

By | recruitment

recruitment and retentionEmployee recruitment and retention is a key issue facing many businesses and effective, professional advice on this matter can be hard to find.   For small businesses in particular, the staff turnover can be very high due to a number of factors; so these businesses are constantly looking for ways to encourage staff members to stay for longer periods of time.

Finding out why people are leaving is vital so a business owner can put in place measures to try to stop high levels of staff turnover.   The simple solution is to ask them directly ‘what their reason is for leaving’ when they hand in their notice.  You can use an exit interview form which allows you to ask a range of related questions. The individual may not feel comfortable telling you their reason, and this is where an organsiation like HCHR comes in.  An individual will be more comfortable and inclined to share the real reason that they are leaving with an independent, third party rather than someone employed directly by the company.

Staff Turnover

When it comes to a small business that can only pay staff the national minimum wage, then you may expect a high turnover, as some people will always be looking for a job that pays more money and won’t hesitate to leave when they find one.  However, you can plan for this expectation. Planning significantly reduces the impact on your business, as you will have a strategy in place to recruit new staff and include the costs within your budget.

Unplanned losses of good trained and experienced employees can be devastating for a business in terms of costs, loss of productivity and knock on impact on the remaining staff. Knowing why people leave is really helpful to prevent it happening again.

What’s more, when someone hands in their notice, in many cases it’s best to let them leave immediately.  Their efficiency and productivity, once they’ve handed in their notice, won’t be anywhere near as high as before, so you could be better off letting them go straightaway and finding a replacement as quickly as possible to pick up the workload.

Recruitment and Retention

It’s not always money that drives people to leave their job; sometimes it’s due to personal circumstances. Understanding why they joined your company in the first place (recruitment) and the reason whey they are leaving (retention) will give you better picture of what is important to that employee.  In other words, combining recruitment and retention information can be very powerful when it comes to managing employees’ expectations.

It is essential that when you are recruiting, that you take on the right people for your business. There is little point in recruiting somebody on minimum wage when they have previously been earning considerably more.  They will probably be using employment at your organisation as a stop gap and will leave as soon as they find a higher paid position.

When it comes to recruitment, it is important that the job is the correct fit for the individual and vice versa.   It is a fatal recruitment mistake to employ someone in a rush or in desperation.  From the potential employee’s perspective, they’d be happy to take just any job until something better comes along, so will accept a post that may not be ideally suited for them in the long term.  The business may need to take someone on urgently to pick up the workload,  following the departure of a staff member, so will take any candidate who fits the job description.  This person may not be right for the job, despite their qualifications.

Recruitment Process

When it comes to recruitment, businesses need to take a broader look at every possible candidate and not just rely on skills and qualifications. You should not ignore these attributes which will be crucial in some jobs;  but a business  should also look at other factors such as how they behave and interact in the interview, how far away they live, etc.

The individual may have the skills required for the job but does the job meet the needs of the individual?  This is important to prevent the employee leaving within a short period of time when something more suitable comes along.  Gaining an insight into a candidate’s needs is a skill in itself and it is always best to involve a recruitment specialist if you and your team are not experienced in these matters.

Businesses should also have in place an induction process when a new employee starts the job so that they have a clear understanding of the organisation and their role within the company.

Getting Recruitment Right

Getting your recruitment right is important to avoid wasting time and money.  Many businesses recognise this and so highly value the services of recruitment and human resources specialists such as HCHR.

We usually advise that for one vacancy, it is best to interview at least 10 candidates.  Some businesses may not have the time to follow this advice and so they employ us to conduct these interviews on their behalf.   At HCHR, we have extensive experience in helping small businesses in their recruitment process, ensuring that the most suitable candidates are appointed in line with both the business and the individual’s requirements.

Recruitment can be an expensive investment for many businesses so it is important to get it right first time to make the most of that investment.  By seeking specialist advice from experienced professionals can help to ensure that the turnover of employees is not so high.  Some businesses do not want to incur the costs of using an external business to carry out their recruitment, preferring to manage the process themselves.   They may however need help in planning and managing the recruitment process with advice and guidance on what to look for during interviews for example.

For more details about HCHR’s specialist recruitment services, call us today on the number below:

Recruitment and retention

Management Recruitment & the 5 things to look out for

By | Human Resources, recruitment

Management recruitmentNo matter what industry sector you are operating in, if you are enjoying any form of growth, then you will need access to gifted recruiters in order to ensure that you recruit the best managers possible.  This approach should be part of your management recruitment strategy.

As an independent HR Consultant, working as an extension of my clients’ management teams, this is where I can come in; one of my specialties is in hiring and unfortunately …sometimes… firing!

My focus when going into any business​ is about incrementally building a team of professionals and leaders who will outperform where we stand today and be prepared to solve problems that we have not even thought of yet. I hire only ​ the best for my clients​; and this requires searching and ​ pursuing talent.​

Professional Management Recruitment

There are some key traits that as a professional recruitment expert I look for in candidates who set the benchmark for best-in-class talent acquisition:

  1. They understand  what the business is about, its demands and that the role that they are filling is imperative to their client’s business function.
  2. They are relationship builders, building relationships with each part of the organisation, and earn trust of their managers and their peers
  3. They are problem solvers as they realise that what is most important is the customer. They do not accept the status quo, and they are willing to point out challenges and obstacles, even when it is an unpopular choice.
  4. They are creative.They are leaders, innovators, and are skilled professionals​
  5. They are top performers.They have strong results that can be quantified, and they continue to grow in their career. They have data and analytics to show their success and continue to strive for improvement.

Measuring Success

As a recruiter, I want to hear about how you, as a manager, measure your success and how you change the game if results are not where you want them to be.

The supply of managers​ and leaders in talent acquisition is not limited; it is the demand for the best talent that makes these positions difficult to recruit. Once a potential match is identified, the pursuit begins. The hunter becomes the hunted. The challenge comes in the approach. Adept talent acquisition professionals have a similar toolbox, strategy, and skill set. When your talent pool is more qualified, more educated, more adept at strategy, and at a more senior level than your own, how do you engage them and create reciprocal interest?

The answer is authenticity. Authenticity is the most essential skill that will allow you to find the best and brightest. When I have conversations with people, (please note that I do not say interviews), I have no expectation, no sales pitch, and no desire except to seek to understand. There is no “sell,” no “close,” and there is only an exchange of information. There is a delicate balance that must be maintained; you represent the organisation but you also hope that this is an equal match for what the candidate hopes to achieve in their career.

Building Personal Connections

My experience has demonstrated that truly qualifying the needs and desires of your candidate will help you to speak with the clarity that compels them to listen and consider a potential change with an open mind.

I may be responsible for hiring, but I am not solely a recruiter. I am a matchmaker and a talent acquisition advisor. My role is not transactional; it is an exercise in building personal connections.

The reward comes when your newly hired manager is engaged and excited about their opportunity, wanting to make a difference in an organisation. The penultimate reward is watching them flourish and grow in their career.

If you’re a growing business, looking to recruit potentially talented managers of the future, then call me today on the number below:

talent acquistion

The Cost of Your Next Employee

By | Human Resources, recruitment

Take a moment to think about it ……whenever you hire a £10.00 per hour employee, it is the same investment as if you were to buy a £350,000 house! (Your monthly cost would roughly be the same; 40 hour employee = £1,600/mo. wages; 30 year mortgage loan payment = £1,600/mo.)

And this is precisely why you need to choose your next employee as carefully as you would a new home.

  1. When you buy a house, the first thing you look at is “curb appeal”, but you’d never buy based on just that. (Same goes for job applicants and first impressions.)
  2. You would never buy a house that didn’t meet all your basic needs. (Likewise, never employ anyone who doesn’t have the required mental and physical capacities, attitudes, personality, and skills you require.)
  3. You would also consider the neighborhood the house is in and pay for a professional house inspection. (Never hire without undertaking professional references.)
  4. You might buy a “do-er upper”; something with potential. (You’ll maximize your ROI if you hire for attitude and train for skills.)

While both “purchases” represent an ongoing outflow of about £1,600.00 per month, the employee comes with all kinds of added costs, including training, management time, etc.,

This is precisely why managers should “shop” carefully, evaluate every hiring decision as well as the long-term liability and ask if the cost of the new asset will be more than paid for by the returns delivered.

and always remember the HCHR mantra “recruit in haste repent at leisure”.

If you want to find out more about how to manage  your employee recruitment, call HCHR today on the number below for a free half hour consultation:

The True Financial Implications of Recruiting New Staff

By | recruitment

Outsourcing human resoourcesAs the UK has emerged from the recession of the late 2010’s, more and more businesses are looking at growing their workforce to meet the steady increase in demand for their products or services.  But what are the real implications of recruiting new staff?

A strengthening economy represents opportunities for growth.  However, if business owners are to succeed in this improving climate, then they need to be sure that they have the staff in place, with the relevant qualifications and experience to meet the organisation’s workload.

The reality is that it is still a pretty good time to be taking on new employees, with well-qualified workers happy to take on roles at a lower salary than would have been expected around 10 years ago.

But that significant, headline salary could end up being the least of a business’s financial worries. There are many other costs associated with the recruitment and employment of new staff.  Savvy business owners will take into consideration these costs vs their bottom line or projected targets before they even begin the recruitment process.

The real cost of recruitment

The actual costs begin even before you start recruiting.  Firms can in fact spend up to £5,000 recruiting an average employee, with these costs going up according to the seniority of the position.  In fact, large corporates have been known to spend up to £50,000 recruiting for senior management roles.

The majority of these costs include advertising costs and agency firms.  Business owners also need to take into account the time it will take their HR department or senior managers to sort through CV’s and interview potential candidates.  The whole recruitment process, if run correctly, can be extremely time consuming and can also impact on productivity.

An alternative is to employ the services of a professional recruitment consultant to manage the whole process for you.  There is of course a cost involved when it comes to the services of a recruitment consultant.

The traditional model is to charge a percentage of the salary package. hchr offers a cost effective alternative ,which is to charge by time rather than fixed fee.  When deciding  on a recruitment strategy it is important to weigh up a the management time you would have to put in yourself to find the right employee.

All too often we hear employers complaining that agencies waste their time. This will not be the case is you choose to use an HR consultant like hchr who is experienced in recruitment, who are essentially working for your business and not their own agency, so their priorities are completely different. What’s more, an HR consultant experienced in recruitment will have an objective overview of the candidates and be in a posiiton to run assessment centres, for example.

Remember there is no quick fix with recruitment so chose carefully, invest quality time upfront to clarify the role and ideal candidate; and when you invest in outsourced recruitment be sure that the recruiter will take responsibility for and manage the process.

Heather Cooper, Director at hchr ltd, explains the benefits of using a professional recruitment consultancy to manage their costs:


Much more than the salary

New employees, particularly those recruited into senior roles, will also want to know what further benefits they will receive in addition to their headline salary.

Again, when it comes to senior roles, employee benefits can also represent a heavy financial burden to a business.   When we refer to benefits, we mean costs such as final pension salaries, additional holiday entitlement, medical insurance and company cars.  These all come at a cost.

Organisations will enjoy tax relief on some of these employee benefits but these costs will not be entirely offset.   Employers who offer good benefit packages do take the edge when it comes to attracting and retaining better quality candidates as well as having a positive impact on productivity.  But these do no need to considered as a real cost to the business when recruitment is first discussed.

Tax and National Insurance Payments

Recruiting and appointing new staff will also add costs to your company tax bill.  You will have to pay Employer’s Class 1 National Insurance Contributions on payments made to all employees over the lower earnings limit.

Businesses also have to pay PAYE which needs to be administered by your in-house financial team or your accountant.  Either way, there are costs in terms of time involved by staff or additional accountancy payroll fees.

Training New Staff

Finally, businesses who are serious about taking on new staff, will need to factor training time and costs into their financial plan.  These costs will, of course, depend on the role and the experience of the candidate.

Some training costs can be tax deductible but the employer will still need to take into account the time, and so lack of productivity, if staff are involved in delivering training; or the costs of outsourcing the training to a specialist organisation.

Business insurance for Start Ups

Start-up businesses who take on staff for the first time, will also have to change their business insurance policy to ensure they have Employer’s Liability insurance cover.  This is in fact a legal requirement for any business which has one or more employees.

In summary, before even considering taking on a new employee it is vital that business owners consider these inevitable outgoings very carefully.

When considering the costs of recruitment it is always important to consider the cost of not recruiting.  Is it fair or efficient to rely on staff pitching in to deliver?  How is this approach impacting on attendance and productivity and the image of the Company?  In our experience the cost of chaos is expediential, insidious and often hidden.

For help and guidance on management your business recruitment processes and the costs involved, contact the team at hchr on the number below:



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