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“ Our story starts a few years ago. We were told of organisations which provide an ‘all-you-can-eat’ ‘one-stop-shop’ Human Resources Support. They offer an advice line, staff handbook, writing services, templates to create your own HR documents and documentation galore. Most importantly, however, is the underwriting of the service to cover your legal costs – assuming you follow their recommendations ‘down to a tee’. You’ve probably heard of such companies and some of you may still use them.

We can’t complain too much about them, but I can’t think of any reason to recommend them. Just being ‘acceptable’ isn’t enough, is it?

For a start, just because you have contracted to a third party’s ‘all-you-can-eat’ service, doesn’t mean you have lots of free time on your hands. To the contrary; there was a great amount of work involved in setting up the service. All of our existing documents had to be re-written and in some cases approved and re-signed again by members of staff.

When we had to go through “processes” with members of staff, we had to continually phone the helpdesk and were never able to speak with the same person. They would also send across basic templates that I had to complete? Was that not what I was paying them for?

And then, when we had a serious HR issue, they were quick to encourage the easy route, even if it wasn’t the best for the company. Or even worse, restrict us from doing anything at all!

Very early on we received negative feedback from staff members who complained that our HR communications had become almost ‘Dalek-like’. Cold, formal, instructional. Our warmth and humanity was lost...

I then bumped into Sally and the team from Ward Williams HR. It was a no-brainer, to be honest. We retain WWHR with a commitment to the amount of time we need Sally or a colleague to be in the office each week. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just the big contractors that offer the insurance to cover your legal costs. Ward Williams HR provides that too, but most importantly, Sally and the team handle everything. Documents are written in the style of our organisation and given to me ready to sign.

Sally is seen by staff as a member of our organisation, because that is what she is. She’s in the office, and is not some remote, cold voice on the end of a phone, but someone whom people can actually have a “water-cooler” chat with.

We are all busy with our jobs. We are travelling. We are snowed under. I feel that the route we took before actually created more work for us than it saved, or at least that’s how it felt.

With our friends at Ward Williams HR, I worry about nothing. OK that’s not true, but certainly when it comes to people in our team, I really have nothing to worry about. We have the best, right in there, working with the teams, and I haven’t had to re-write a template for three years now!

WWHR know our business, the culture, the people and where we are taking the business. In a nutshell they share our vision. Their support and guidance ensures we have the right people in the right place. We made an excellent choice. ”

Julian Bashford, CEO

Vocality International Ltd