Case Studies

Our client industry groups include

  • Building and Construction
  • Digital, New Media, Marketing and Brand Management Agencies
  • Engineering
  • Health care
  • Local authority and third party providers
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional Services
  • Retail – UK and international brands
  • Transport
  • Telecommunications
  • Third sector – Not-for-Profit and Charities
  • Utilities and Waste Management
Accordingly these case studies reflect:
  • The broad range of culturally-diverse clients for whom we provide a service - many of whom face different economic pressures;
  • The breadth of the work undertaken - although some of the problems are of a similar nature, the solutions often differs when taking into account the diverse nature of the client’s operations and their culture;
  • The scope of our HR skills, knowledge and experience (strategic, development and operational), business acumen, commercial awareness and the need to be flexible, creative and resourceful in satisfying client demand.

Consultancy and Interim assignments

We are engaged on a Consultancy and Interim basis, and where work has been on an interim nature, it is set out towards the bottom of the page.

To provide structure in setting out these case studies, we have adopted our employment cycle model as shown in more detail on the HR Consultancy Support page. Work on an interim contract may be more general and may not necessarily fit into one of the categories below.

Employing People

Selection and recruitment

By taking an HR approach to recruitment, working as an integrated part of your management team - rather than a Recruitment Agency - we are able to assist clients in selecting high performance individuals, regardless of seniority.

First time recruiter

Our client is the MD of a Health & Safety Consultancy specialising in legionella controls

We were engaged to work with and coaching the MD in recruiting key skills when undertaking his first key appointment into his business. Recruiting for the first time can be daunting; knowing what to ask - and what not to ask, given the legislation that governs this area of HR activity – as well knowing the process to follow in selecting the best available for your organisation. We work with our clients in guiding them through the process – increasing their confidence, so they will be able to recruit without our assistance in the future.

By following the Six Simple Steps for Successful Recruitment (shown below) he would be able to follow these key principles when recruiting in the future

Our client is an independent holiday tour operator, specialising in the budget sector, based in South Yorkshire

We were engaged to recruit a Financial Controller, reporting to the MD and responsible for the running the finance function. A fully qualified CIMA Accountant, with experience of implementing major change projects and upgrading the finance function.

  • Drafting job description and person specification;
  • Advertising the position online, reviewing CVs and selecting candidates for interview;
  • Developed competency-based interview questions and candidates assessment tools;
  • Conducting first and second interviews;
  • Making an offer; obtaining references and other due diligence;
  • Arranging induction and ensure integration into the business.
Our client is a leading provider of hazardous waste solutions, with 3 sites operating mainly in the midlands and north of England

In support of changes to working practice, we were engaged to recruit Telesales Executives for their Midlands office, which included drafting the job description, person specification and competency-based interview questions; attracting applicants through placing the job on-line; selecting those for interview; conducting interview and making an offer.

Psychometric Assessment

Our Client is the country’s leading health care provider

We were engaged undertake a range of psychometric assessment activity with candidates selected for senior management / director positions within this organisation. This included the on-line facilitation of ability / aptitude tests, personality profiling, manager and team building assessment and providing detailed feedback reports to the client and the candidate.

Contracts of employment / HR policies / Employee handbook

We have been engaged by a variety of clients for the purpose of

  • Developing appropriate employment contracts – Managerial, full time; part-time; temporary; annual hours; zero hours - reflecting their terms and conditions of employment;
  • accompanied by bespoke Disciplinary and Grievance procedures and / or an Employee Handbook;
  • Providing a variety of HR policies and procedures and administrative pro-forma in support of the business development;
  • Developing accrued holiday entitlement tables, showing the holiday entitlement for starters (part-time staff and zero hours staff) and leavers during the holiday year.

Different Contract Types / Contractual Arrangements

Our client is a property maintenance services provider for the various local authorities in West Yorkshire

We were engaged to provide guidance on the contractual differences between Contractors’ engaged to provide services and those employed for a job of work.

  • Drafted Contract for Services for Contractors – tradesmen and white collar workers;
  • Drafted contract of employment for employees;
  • Drafted their Disciplinary and Grievance procedures;
  • Drafted appropriate HR policies and procedures to assist in the management of staff -sickness absence; holiday;
  • Developed an Employee Bonus Scheme to encourage productivity, service and quality;
  • Provided a range of HR pro-forms, in support of business development.

HR Starter Pack

Our client: a niche retailer with a strong online presence and one store in West Yorkshire, employing some 10 people

We were engaged to

  • Draft contracts of employment: Managerial, full, part time and temporary staff;
  • Draft their Disciplinary and Grievance procedure;
  • Provide guidance on the employment of Young People;
  • Draft their Health & Safety Policy;
  • Draft Performance Management Appraisal Documentation, including Employee Briefing Notes and pre-appraisal preparation forms – employee and employer;
  • Provide a range of HR pro-forms in support of business development;

Managing People

Policy development Our client is a leading provider of hazardous waste solutions, with three sites operating mainly in the midlands and north of England

We were engaged to assist with the following

1. The development of a Retirement Policy, recognising the objective justification for retirement at 65years on health and safety grounds for certain employees;

2. The sourcing of an Occupational Health Provider and the development of an Occupational Health Policy and Procedure, designed to assist in the management of 1) those absent from work and 2) those declared unfit for work as result of routine medical examination; introducing routine medical examinations and report for Operatives and HVG drivers; Fit Note provision; the management of long terms sickness; retirement on the grounds of ill-health.

Disciplinary / Dismissal

Our client is a leading provider of hazardous waste solutions, with three sites operating mainly in the midlands and north of England

We were engaged to manage, support and accompany Line Management when undertaking investigations into alleged misappropriation / misconduct issues, disciplinary hearings and later appeals; provided notes of the various meetings; drafted letters at various stages of the process and advised as to employment legislation.

Grievance

Our client is a family assessment unit, offering residential and community based assessment programmes

We were engaged to assist with the handling of a grievance, when an employee claimed her Manager had breached confidentiality as to reasons for her recent absence from work. Her claim was compounded as (at the time) the employee was at risk of being made redundant and had raised an appeal as to her selection. The organisation was at risk of claim for unfair selection for redundancy; sexual and racial discrimination. Supporting the Line Manager, and advising as to process and prevailing legislation, we satisfied the first claim by interviewing those concerned and taking appropriate action with the Manager. The second claim was dropped after further explanation as to the Redundancy Criteria and the employee having the opportunity to influence elements of her grading.

Returning to work after length sickness absence

Our client is a family assessment unit, offering residential and community based assessment programmes

We were engaged to advise and support the Line Manager in the management of long term sickness and the return to work of an employee. The employee was repeatedly absence from work for lengthily periods of time, claiming to suffer from a work-related emotional condition. We sought permission to contact her Doctor to obtain a report as the nature of the illness, the presenting symptoms, and how these may prevent her from attending work; how the matter was being treated, when we could expect her to return and how could the Company support her upon return. In addition to writing to the Doctor, we were in regular contact with the employee, offering support and understanding. The Doctor provided the information as requested, and within a short period of time the employee reported as being fit to return to work. This was facilitated with an 8 weeks’ phased return to work programme, with payment for hours worked. The employee has since resigned to work elsewhere.

Organisational development

Our client is a provider of gas detection solutions for a wide range of industrial and commercial applications

We were engaged to assist the Owner / MD in the development of an Action Plan, designed to improve and measure greater effectiveness of her Board, in support of the achievement of the business plan. This included improving communication, reviewing roles and responsibilities, setting KPIs, changes in key personnel and reviewing the potential new business / funding opportunities.

Organisational change

Our client is a national / international retailer, with a multi-site UK presence; 11 sites (own store and concession units); head office, distribution centre and customer service. Headcount = c150 FTE; 11 retail sites own store and concessions, HO, including Distribution Centre and Customer Services

Engaged for the purpose of delivering HR improvements in support of business objectives:

  • Reducing operating costs;
  • Improving operating practices;
  • Enhancing productivity;
  • Enabling the business to grow;
  • Drafting and implementing employment contracts for specific categories of staff;
  • Drafting and implementing a comprehensive Employee Handbook, including up-to-date policies and procedures.

Organisational change

A charitable status Trust, with a property of local and historical interest, transformed with lottery funding into a site of historical and cultural importance, open to the public

We were engaged to assist the CEO with changes to her management structure, aimed to increase effectiveness and reduce costs, through role definitions and re-structure - redundancy of full time Manager; recruitment of three part-time Managers, each with areas of key specialisms.

Developing People

HR Training workshop - a bespoke 2 day in-house programme Our client is a family assessment unit, offering residential and community based assessment programmes

We were engaged to write and deliver a two day training programme for the Line Managers, designed to establish a common level of understanding and approach in handling the operational HR issues. The scope of the training was identified through discussion and understanding of the operational issues and where changes were necessary to drive service levels improvements. Day one included recruitment and selection; induction and managing probation; managing sickness absence; handling grievances; handling discipline. Day two included performance management (conduct vs. capability); appraisal, setting and reviewing of SMART objectives and KPIs; resignations and exit interviews.

The delivery of management development programmes

Our client is a British low-cost airline, based at Leeds, Bradford airport

We were engaged to revise and deliver modules for their in-house management training programme, after the resignation of their Training Manager. The programme’s activity involved Managers from across, and at all levels within, their business and included introduction to management; performance management and appraisals and team building activities for the Finance Director and his senior management team, using MBTI – administration, feedback and profiling individuals and team.

Delivering training events on behalf of another organization

1. Our client is a provider of accredited training for the public and private sector

We were engaged to write and deliver modules for their Health and Social Care Programme; delivering to Senior Managers in the NHS and associated authorities as they undertook a programme of further education in support of role enhancement, promotion and job security.

2. Our client is produces and manages conferences, seminars and other events for business, public authorities, charities and other organizations

We were engaged to write and deliver a one-day training workshop for a team of 9 HR practitioners, located at separate manufacturing units across the country. The training was designed to provide a common understanding and standardize the practice in handling HR issues, and included employee engagement and motivation.

Management development

Our client is a brand and content marketing agency based in Leeds employing c.40 people we were asked to develop a series of guide (as outlined below) to aid business growth and to assist with management development

1. Guide to Recruitment and Selection – the development of organisational values, and their use in competence based questions as part of any recruitment and selection process;

2. Guide to Performance Management – designed to assists managers and staff in the introduction of performance appraisal, with performance objectives linked to bonus (individual weighting) and overall performance linked to pay; performance measured against organisational values, competence and team working.

3. Guide to Pay and Performance – designed to assist the senior team with the management of the annual salary review process; market rate comparisons; employee benefits reviews; provision of individual schedule of the cost to employ; the setting and weighting of performance objectives and their review for bonus earnings; arrangements for probationers.

Performance management / appraisal

Our client is an independent niche retailer, with two units in West Yorkshire

We were engaged to advise the MD / Owner as to how the he could introduce an appraisal scheme into his business, designed to aid business development, productivity and profitability, through increased employee involvement, role inter-changeability and the identification of training needs. We designed a Performance Review and Plan, specifically for his needs, as well as an Employee Briefing and provided notes for his introductory / training meeting.

People Leaving

Business review / cost reduction Our client is an independent niche retailer, with two units in West Yorkshire

Working with the MD / Owner to reduce costs across business, included legislative process of consultation in two retail units, losses through voluntary redundancies and hours reduction programme, greater productivity in workshop planning and better development of key primary and secondary skills - net saving c.£50k.

Compromise Agreement - Dismissals

1. Our client (The Chair of Trustee Board) requested that we draft a Compromise Agreement by way of settling the terms under which the CEO left the organisation; drafted the Agreement, liaised with his Solicitor in agreeing terms, including a testimonial reference; agreed severance arrangements and liaised with Finance Manager with regards the severance payments.

2. As a matter of policy, our client settled the terms under which all employees left their business with a Compromise Agreement – dismissals for misconduct; ill-health retirement; redundancies; mutual consent leavers. We supported this stance by drafting the respective agreements (each of which differed in their terms; restrictive covenants, financial inducements). We liaised with the employee’s solicitor and drafted suitable references, where requested.

TUPE / Fixed term contract

Our client is a Community Interest Company established by and working in close partnership with the charity Shared Lives Plus

We were engaged to advise our client as to the legal implications and process to follow with the following: an employee, working under a 2-year fixed-term contract, providing services in a NHS location, is denied the opportunity to transfer under TUPE when the local authority decide to bring the role in-house at the end of the contract. We compared the existing job role (as undertaken by the client’s employee) and that advertised by the local authority and established the roles were the same. Accordingly, we made presentations to their HR and legal team asking them to review matters, whilst extending the employee’s contract and continuing to deliver services. Eventually, the principles of TUPE are agreed and the employee transferred to the employment of the local authority.

Redundancy

Our client is a US based independent retailer, specializing in making custom Laboratory Notebooks, Engineering Notebooks, Conference Books, Journals and Log Books to client specifications

We were engaged to advise and manage the redundancy their European Sales Manager; advised in accordance with UK employment legislation; provided briefing notes for the various stages of consultation; drafted letters; agreed severance terms and liaised with their payroll provider.

Redundancy / TUPE / closure

We were engaged to assist the Board and CEO in preventing closure of the organisation. This included financial modelling; revised staffing structure, taking into account service level agreement and client demands; staff briefings; a programme of voluntary and compulsory redundancies; providing Redundancy Selection Criteria, attending in support of individual staff consultation meetings and appeals; providing outplacement support; exploring the potential of merger – TUPE / ETO, comparison of terms and conditions of employment; managing the closure, meeting with Insolvency Lawyers / Practitioners; submission of Form HR1 and all other legislative considerations.

Outplacement support / Career transition

Our client is the Production Director of a small, international manufacturing business in West Yorkshire seeking outplacement support and career transition advice to assist him in becoming an independent consultant

INTERIM ASSISNGMENT

HR Consultant (Interim) – part-time Aug to Nov 2015

Our client is a not-for-profit social enterprise, working on behalf of schools, colleges, local authorities, prime and area-based contractors and employers, offering high quality, impartial information, advice and guidance services to young people and adults, together with related learning, employment support and training services

In addition to routine day-to-day activities

  • Undertook a highly sensitive investigation into a breach of the National Careers Service (NCS) Contract in which insufficient evidence had been provided to support output funding claims, resulting in the termination of employment of a senior manager;
  • Executive Team building event, using a range of techniques, including MBTI, OPQ32 and Communication Styles Questionnaires, designed to enhance effectives and greater team collaboration;
  • Customer Services team building event, using MBTI individual and team profiles, designed to enhance operational effective with this newly created team working in three external locations and HO; individual feedback discussing development activities;
  • Introduction of OPQ32 as part of an internal selection interview process.

Head of Corporate Services (Interim) – part-time Oct 2015

Our client is one of fifteen innovative health networks set up to create and harness strong, purposeful partnerships between patients, health services, industry and academia

Reporting to the CEO, and part of the Executive team, providing coverage for the Head of Corporate Services (during a hiring gap), with responsibility for Finance, Facilities, Communication and Marketing and Executive Secretarial teams;

Consultant HR Director (Interim) – part-time Oct to Dec 2014

Our client is a fast paced, rapidly growing and award winning telecommunications provider based in Leeds, employing c.50 people

Reporting to the CEO / member of the Senior Management Team, we were engaged to re-establish the presence of a HR function.

  • Established a process for recruitment, through engaging a recruitment preferred supplier list; development of job descriptions and person specifications; interview questions and testing; referencing; verification of qualifications;
  • Commissioned a Recruitment Pack, with press cuttings and other marketing materials to add attraction and recruitment;
  • Developed job offer administration;
  • Developed a range of contract types – NED; labourers; technical staff;
  • Set up of electronic and hardcopy personnel files;
  • Managed the annual salary review; obtaining industry / regional salary comparisons; modelling; implementation and administration;
  • Introduced a probationary review process, documentation and briefing notes;
  • Introduced a monthly Payroll Return, to action starters, leavers and changes, ensuring information presented in a timely consistence format;
  • Revised the Employee handbook; developed an annual holiday matrix (calculation of accrued entitlement); introduced a holiday booking process; introduced a sickness absence reporting process and record keeping procedure;
  • Revised terms and conditions of employment, with the introduction of company sick pay;
  • Set up a consultative group to recommend a range of employee benefits to be implemented across the business;
  • Set up a consultative group to develop an induction programme for all new starters;
  • Managed the employee relations activity – disciplinary and appeal.

Consultant HR Director (Interim) – part-time Mar to Jun 2014

Our client is a manufacturer of chairs and sofas, based in Batley employing c. 300 people in their factory and shops

Reporting to the MD, and as part of their Board, we were engaged to 1) undertake an employee retention project, involving a staff satisfactory survey and action plan of findings 2) to conduct a HR audit and recommend changes to their HR structure and operational effectiveness, resulting in restructuring the factory management and reporting and the implementation of a range of HR initiative aimed to increase employee engagement across the business.

HR Consultant / Trainer (Interim) - part time Jan to Jul 2014

Our client is a heavy engineer business providing refurbished ammunition packaging and surface coatings services, including abrasive blasting and metal spraying. They employ c.100 people on their site in Yeadon, Leeds

Commencing January 2014, we were engaged to support development and implementation of standard operational procedures, with the revision of the employee handbook, involving consultation with the Supervisors and Team Leaders. The revised employee handbook included action to be taken with excessive absence, poor timekeeping, poor performance and breaches of the rules and regulations.

This, in turn, led to a Supervisory training programme, where for one afternoon each week (February to July), we would present to the group on how to conduct investigations, disciplinary hearing and how to prepare / produce associated administration; performance matrix – primary and secondary skills; audit and the basis for a subsequent pay award; performance management and appraisals; improving communication, with the introduction of a format for employees briefing; MBTI for individuals and team profiles; management and leadership styles.

As an outcome, the business is able to demonstrate better timekeeping; reduced short-term absence; reduced labour turnover and robust employee relations activity, with a consistent approach with all disciplinary (and dismissal) decisions. In addition, any breach of the rules has been handled fairly and consistently, without recourse to employment tribunal.

There is an increased confidence in the Supervisory team, and it is easier for the Team Leaders / junior Supervisors to manage employee relations activities. There is a better working atmosphere evidenced by a more open and honest workforce, coming forward with ideas on system improvements and productivity gains. There is an increased level of interest and commitment from the workforce, with a measurable increase in output.