Intro Series Part 2 – What is HR? What type of work do we do?

CatherineStapleton_3This time last year I created a website for Stapleton Consulting. At the time I had the intention of producing interesting updates and sharing information on all things employment related.  As a recent new comer to self-employment, 2017 was a good year for learning and getting work done.  However, 2017 came to an end and I never managed to publish any updates or establish a social media presence.  There are many reasons for this but now that it is 2018, I am not going to let another year go by, particularly when this year is already showing signs of being one of change for the employment landscape, thanks to the Labour Government putting their bill for changing trial periods, rest and meal breaks and union involvement.

In June Stapleton Consulting will be two years old!  So, before I launch into an update and begin blogging about HR tips and tricks, I would like to use my first blog series to answer the questions I often get asked after telling people what I do – Why did you go out on your own? What made you keep doing it? What work do you do? What is HR?  What of kind businesses do you work with?  What services do we offer and how much?

So here goes……Part Two 


Part two – What work do we do?  What is HR?

I get asked these two questions a lot.  And when asked, it reminds me, as a HR Manager or HR Advisor, I took for granted that my colleagues and others knew and understood what HR was about, how it adds value and the type of work it covered.  Yet small business does not usually have this resource available as it can be considered a ‘cost centre service’.

To set the record straight human resources, (or HR as its commonly known as), covers most things relating to the employment relationship such as:

  • Compliance and Employee Relations
    • Employment agreements and other associated paperwork
    • Consultation and key HR process management (i.e. disciplinary, reorganisation, restructuring etc)
    • Payroll advice and interpretation (e.g. application of the holidays act)
  • Recruitment
  • Pay or Remuneration
    • Incentive pay
    • Performance based pay
    • Market Intelligence
    • Employee benefits
    • Payroll
  • Employee performance management
    • Performance reviews
    • Metrics and reporting
    • Performance based pay
    • KPI development
  • Employee development and inductions
  • Workplace culture and employee engagement
    • Internal communication
    • Non-financial employee benefits
    • Health and wellbeing
    • Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – why should they work for you?
  • Workforce planning
  • Internal change management
    • Job scoping and redesign
    • Reorganisation of departments and business functions
    • Process improvement advice/support
  • Health and Safety Engagement

Like accounting or information technology, HR is an internal support function that can be involved in all aspects of the business.  This is because to advise and help businesses through change process, for example, we have to understand the employees, their roles and the relationships they have with other departments, team and colleagues.  Very few jobs in a business get to develop such an in depth understanding and then apply it to a change process or use it to inform candidate selection process.

At Stapleton Consulting, the team work across most areas of HR, as we are HR generalists.  With over 10 years of HR experience doing recruitment, inductions, managing disciplinary processes, giving payroll advice, developing policies, doing performance reviews, and setting up HR systems, I can say I have worked with managers and business owners in almost all of the above listed areas.  I do have my specialties that get me excited though – remuneration and performance development are my top two, if I had to choose.

Due to our Consultants working in other employment -related roles and specialties, before joining Stapleton Consulting, we are also able to offer specialist skills in health and safety, and payroll.

I also often get asked if we do employment agreements or if I have been to court.  It is at this point, I explain that while HR Consultants are experienced in employment relations and the law, do not confuse Stapleton Consulting or HR Consultants as being qualified Employment Lawyers.

Employment relations is an incredibly grey and tricky specialty to navigate at times and the landscape can change rapidly due to the way legislation is interpreted through case law.  We are knowledgeable of employment law and its application, but we do not profess to be lawyers.  We will often partner with an employment lawyer for the tricky employment relations issues or seek out their advice for employment agreements.

Check out the third blog post of our introductory series – Who are we and our team


Have we got you thinking about HR, H&S and Payroll in your business.  Get in contact now.

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