HR Advice

HR Advice – How To Recruit, Inspire And Retain The Right People


I have been giving HR advice for many years and time and time again the same frustrations bubble to the surface.

One of the main frustrations I come across is business owners struggling to recruit the right people. If you’re struggling to meet your business goals it may be because you’re not recruiting the right people. This means you could be suffering from something I like to call ‘People Disease’. People disease can be things like absence problems, high staff turnover, performance issues and lack of passion.

In this video, I explain how you can cure people disease and recruit, inspire and retain the right people.


During my many years working in HR, I can tell you that if you’re suffering from people’s disease, don’t panic, so are many other business owners. In order to get to the bottom of peoples disease, I conducted a survey asking business owners what people problems they were facing in their business. My survey identified three core problems.

Problem number one, struggling to employ the right people. Now, recruitment is very costly and it often takes up a lot of time. Which means that sometimes when you’re in desperate need for someone, you recruit anyone which can later result in employee dismissal, time and costs. So definitely recruit against your values and wait for the right person, it will be worth it in the long run.

Problem number two, employees not doing things the way the business owner would like them done. As a business owner, this can be really frustrating when you’re having to spend your time putting things right. The best advice I can give to you is to communicate, tell your employee what you want from them and set up formal procedures for everyone to follow.

Finally, problem number three, employees not having the same amount of passion as their business owners. In order to grow you need a team of passionate people who fit into all of your values and are really motivated, people who will go the extra mile without being asked.

The good news to all of this is that there is a cure to people disease and it’s called culture.  If you need HR advice and would like to find out more about workplace culture and recruiting, inspiring and retaining the right people, get in touch today.


HR Culture

HR Culture – Setting people up to fail


One of the things that I talk about a lot within HR culture is progression.

It’s great to have a plan in place for your employees to progress not only for you and your business but also for them. Giving employees aims and incentives such as promotions will always help retain employees and increase their productivity and appreciation.

However, progression and internal promotions are only great if you actually take the time to give your employees the necessary training to do the job as expected. Otherwise, you are setting your employees up to fail.

Below I explain how I witnessed a past colleague be set up to fail through an internal promotion first hand.

When I used to work in manufacturing I had a colleague who was exceptional at his job. So good in fact that the company I worked for decided to give him a promotion and made him manager of his engineering department. However, he was set up to fail, he was not given the proper training to develop his management skills. As a result, he failed, became depressed and didn’t want to come to work.

The bottom line is, always offer progression and promotions in your workplace. It’s a really good value to adopt for both you and your employees. However, just make sure you are backing the promotion up with the proper training and skills required. Without this training, you will be putting your employees under added pressure and can actually result in losing them meaning you have to go through the entire process again.

Our advice would be to develop a proper career path plan for your employees. Tell them exactly what they have to do to achieve these goals backed up with the required training. If you would like to know more about HR culture and employee training, get in touch today.


HR Consultant

HR Consultant – Protected Characteristics


Following on from our last blog, this blog will discuss ‘protected characteristics’ in more detail.

Protected characteristics are vital to a HR consultant and employers alike. These protected characteristics are there to protect both employees and also prospective employees from different types of discrimination. In this video, I discuss what these characteristics are, where they came from and how we can protect our companies from any claims against them.

If you have been employing people for over ten years then it’s very likely that you would remember that we used to have things like sex discrimination, age discrimination and race discrimination. However, in 2010 all of these discriminations laws were bound together and was put into something that is called the Equality Act. Since then, these discrimination laws within the equality act, have been known as protected characteristics.

It’s really important for an employee to know exactly what these characteristics are, and in fact, there are nine. The protected characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Civil Partnerships and Marriage
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Pregnancy and Maternity

It is vital for you to know them as if you have an employee who is covered by any of these characteristics then you will need to make some reasonable adjustments for that person. For example, if you have an employee who has a disability you would need to make adjustments within the workplace to ensure that they can carry out their role without being discriminated against.

If you have any other questions about protected characteristics or feel you could benefit from some advice from a HR consultant please get in touch today.


How Can I Make An Employee Stay With Me Once They Have Finished Their Training?


The team often get asked…

‘How can I make an employee stay with me after they finish their training?’

The short answer: Unfortunately you can’t.

I understand how frustrating it is, if you’ve spent a lot of time and money on training someone up, then at the end of that training, they decide they want to leave.

But, they do have a contract of employment with you, hopefully, and in that contract of employment it will tell them what their notice period is. There isn’t really anything you can do to stop someone from leaving. Once they’ve decided they want to go, then they will go.

What you can do, however, is…

Protect yourself a little bit by setting up a training agreement. The training agreement will actually state how much the training costs, and then what the consequences are if that employee decides to leave. You need to decide yourself whether you want them to pay back the full amount of money, or whether it’s a percentage of that money. You can actually have it stating if they leave within two years, or  twelve months or within six months, then the percentage can decrease as the time goes on.

How Can I Make An Employee Stay

Now with a training agreement, you need to make sure that you have it as a separate document and not something that’s included in the employment contract. You also need to make sure that you issue it to a member of staff before they actually start the training, so that when you talk to them about doing the training they have an understanding of what the consequence will be and that there’s a requirement for them to sign this training agreement up front.

It’s no point leaving it until the training is finished and then the employee decides they’re back to leave, and then you want them to sign the training agreement – that’s far too late.

Also Read: Do I Have To Pay An Employee Who Books Doctors Appointments During Working Time?

So if you’re going to be sending a member or staff on some training and it’s going to be quite costly and you want to protect yourself against that, and try to reclaim some of the money, then you can make sure that you set up a training agreement before they start the training.

If you’d like help with your HR Support or need HR consultation

…or if you’ve got any questions, please give us a call on 01980 622167, drop us an email, or contact us.


Do I Have To Issue An Employment Contract Before The Person Starts Work?


We’re often asked

“Do  I have to actually issue an employment contract to a member of staff before they start work?”

Well, the answer is no, you don’t have to…

You legally have to make sure that they have within eight weeks of them starting work, but its not great if you do it that way.

  • What we always recommend is that you make sure that you issue a contract and offer letter to someone before they start to work.
  • The reason for that, is because then you would know that they’re going to accept the terms and conditions that you’ve got.
  • So you’ll make sure you lay out when their start time is and what their salary is and any rules and things that apply, if they get a sick pay or don’t get sick pay.  So everything will be really clear before that person actually accepts that job with you.

Employment Contract

What we see sometimes is that people think:

‘Well, I’d like to wait and see if they are going to be any good before I offer them a contract’

But even though you haven’t given them a written contract, verbally they have a contract they’ve accepted and, if they start work, then they are under a form of contract, which means, the employment law will actually kick in from day one.

Our advice is

‘Make sure you’ve got your contract set up from the beginning’

We do get people sometimes who say:

‘I’m not prepared to accept those terms’

…or they try to change the terms if you give them after they’ve started. So make sure that you issue a contract before that person starts. That will save you from headache for later on!

Find out more about How to Manage Employees’ Probationary Period.

Do You Have A Bullet Proof Employment Contract?

Contact us, if you have more questions regarding employment contracts, HR Support or, HR consultancy.  Don’t have a contract to give staff?  We can help. Call 01980 622167 or email