So you have taken the risk to leave that job which gave you little satisfaction in order to pursue your dream and start your own business. “Fortune favours the brave” as the Romans used to say! You need to boot string your startup. Initially saving costs by doing as much yourself is the smart way to start a business. However, you get to that stage where you are growing and need some support. It could be accounting or Marketing but what about HR? When do you need HR and what should you be looking for in an HR outsourcing services provider?

One-Off projects versus a retainer service?

So should you take on a company on a retainer basis or just get help with one-off projects? The answer is it depends? When you start a business, and particularly when you have fewer than 5 employees, the need for ongoing support will probably not be necessary. So, if you need any help, it probably makes sense to find a provider that draft tailored contracts of employment and staff handbooks. But when you hire your 6th, 7th or 8th employee this is the time to start thinking about making an investment in the service. Every person you employ is a variable and whilst you hope that all employees will perform well and conduct themselves to the standards of your business inevitably you will have issues. This is when having a trusted advisor to support you to getting the right outcomes for your people and your team is critical. 

How do I find the right HR provider for my London Start-up?

Another tricky question and we at Optima HR, as you would expect, are biased in our views and would of course say that you should chose us!!!! But seriously here is the advice I would give any business looking for a HR provider.

  • Find an advisor not a transactional service – There are lots of places where you can get contracts or policies. The value of working with a good organisation is if they are able to give you clear advice on how to manage difficult situations. For example if you have an employee that is not performing in their role then you need an organisation that can clearly detail the steps to managing them up or managing them out of the business. You will need to feel the person that you are dealing with has both the experience and understanding of how to support you. 
  • Find a HR company that could come onsite if you need them – Most of your interactions and support will be by video conference, phone or email. But there may be times that you have a complex issue and will need onsite support. It could be to chair a disciplinary or grievance meeting or to help with a complex employee issue. Look for providers that are close enough, and are willing, to come onsite if needed.
  • Try before you buy – If you can start working on one off HR projects with a HR company then you can understand how they work and see if they are a good fit for your business before engaging with them on a retainer basis.
  • Avoid companies that try to commit you to long retainer contracts – Stay away from companies that offer cheap prices on long contracts. You get what you pay for in life and if the service level is not there it will be expensive and long for you to exit the contract. At Optima HR we want our clients to be happy and have confidence in our service which is why our retainer packages are on rolling monthly contracts.

If you are a business based in London, the Thames Valley or Berkshire or and looking for one off HR projects support or ongoing outsourced HR then you can contact us through our website www.optimahr.co.uk or alternatively you can call us on 0203 086 8387. We offer free 30-minute HR consultation on any HR topic.