HR advice for UK businesses – where and when to seek it, and how much to pay

Last checked and updated on 26 July 2022

If you’re a UK business owner, then at some point you’ll need to seek HR advice. But where should you go for it? What are the benefits of seeking external HR advice? And what types of HR advisor are available to you?

In this article, we’ll answer all these questions and more. So whether you’re just starting out and need some general HR advice, or have a specific issue that needs resolving, read on for tips on how to get the help you need.

What is HR advice?

HR advice is guidance and support on employment law and best practice, tailored to your business’s needs. It can cover a wide range of topics, from recruitment and contracts, to employee relations and performance management.

What are the benefits of seeking HR advice?

There are many benefits to seeking external HR advice:

  • Avoiding potential problems: By seeking guidance, you can avoid potential issues before they arise. This can save you a lot of time, money and stress in the long run.
  • Getting expert advice: When you seek human resources guidance, you’re getting expert help from someone who is qualified and experienced in dealing with HR issues. This can be invaluable, especially if you’re dealing with a complex issue.
  • Peace of mind: By seeking guidance, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re doing everything you can to protect your business. This can give you the confidence to focus on running and growing your business, safe in the knowledge that your HR is in good hands.
  • Efficiency: You’ll be able to resolve issues quickly and efficiently, without them impacting on your business’s productivity.
  • Fewer distractions: You’ll be able to focus on running your business, safe in the knowledge that your HR is in good hands.

Seeking external HR advice vs. handling HR issues in-house: what are the pros and cons?

There are both pros and cons to handling HR issues in-house, as opposed to seeking external guidance.

The main advantage of dealing with HR issues in-house is that it can be more cost-effective in the long run. However, this is only the case if you have a dedicated HR team or individual who is experienced and up-to-date with employment law.

The main disadvantage of dealing with HR issues in-house is that it can take up a lot of your time and resources, which could be better spent on running your business. It can also be difficult to resolve complex issues without expert help.

If you’re unsure whether to seek external HR advice or handle the issue in-house, it’s always best to speak to an expert for guidance.

What types of HR advice are available to UK employers?

There are a number of different types of HR advice available to UK employers. These include:

Type of HR adviceWhat is it?
General HR adviceThis type of advice covers all aspects of HR, from recruitment and contracts, to employee relations and performance management.
Policy developmentThis type of advice can help you to develop policies and procedures that are compliant with employment law. It can also help you to ensure that your policies are fit for purpose, and meet the needs of your business.
Employee relationsThis type of advice can help you to resolve issues with employees, such as disciplinary or grievance issues. It can also help you to prevent these types of issues from arising in the first place.
Recruitment and selectionThis type of advice can help you to identify the best candidates for your vacancy, and ensure that you’re complying with equal opportunities legislation.
Training and developmentThis type of advice can help you to identify the training and development needs of your employees. It can also help you to design and deliver training programmes that are effective and meet the needs of your business.
Employment law adviceThis type of advice can help you ensure that your business is compliant with employment law.
Health and safety adviceThis type of advice can help you create a safe working environment for your employees, and avoid potential accidents and injuries.
Types of Human Resources advice compared

How much does HR advice cost?

The cost of human resources help will vary depending on the type of advice you need, and the advisor you choose. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay an hourly rate for most types of HR consulting.

It’s generally advisable to budget for at least £500 for a one-off consultation.

If you need ongoing support, then you may be able to negotiate a fixed-fee arrangement with your advisor. This could cost anywhere from £500 to £5000 per month, depending on the level of support you need.

If you’re looking for general HR recommendations, then you may be able to find an advisor who offers a free initial consultation. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your needs and budget before deciding whether to proceed.

For more specific or complex issues, you can expect to pay a higher hourly rate. However, this will be offset by the fact that you’ll be able to resolve the issue more quickly and efficiently than if you were to handle it in-house.

How to choose the right HR advisor for your business

When choosing an HR advisor for your business, it’s important to consider a few factors:

  1. Their experience: Make sure that the advisor you choose has experience dealing with businesses of a similar size and type to yours.
  2. Their reputation: Check out online reviews and testimonials to get an idea of the advisor’s reputation.
  3. Their qualifications: Make sure that the advisor is qualified, and belongs to a professional body such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
  4. Their fees: Make sure you’re clear on how much the advisor charges, and whether they offer a free initial consultation.
  5. Their location: If you’re based in the UK, then it’s best to choose an advisor who is also based in the UK. This will make it easier to meet in person, if needed.

Are there any risks to consider when seeking human resources advice?

There are a few risks to consider when seeking HR advice. These include:

  • The advisor may not be qualified to give HR advice, and could provide inaccurate or out-of-date information.
  • The advisor may not have experience dealing with businesses of a similar size and type to yours, and may not be able to provide relevant recommendations.
  • The advisor may charge a high hourly rate, which could be costly if you need to use their services on a regular basis.

Human resources advice can be a valuable resource for UK businesses, and can help you to avoid potential problems and issues. By following the tips above, you can ensure that you’re getting the best possible advice for your business.

FAQ

Do I need to have a problem or issue to seek HR advice?

No, you don’t need to have a problem or issue to seek HR advice. You may simply want some guidance on best practice, or how to avoid potential issues in the future.

Can I speak to a HR advisor for free?

Yes, most advisors offer a free initial consultation. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your needs, and decide whether to proceed with their services.

Who can I speak to for HR advice?

You can speak to any number of different people for HR advice, including:
• Your local Chamber of Commerce
• A qualified HR advisor
• An employment law solicitor
• A trade association
• The Citizens Advice Bureau.

I’m not based in the UK, can I still speak to a UK-based HR advisor?

Yes, you can still speak to a UK-based HR advisor, even if you’re not based in the UK. However, it’s worth noting that they may not be familiar with the employment laws in your country.

Do I need to use a specific HR advisor, or can I speak to anyone?

You don’t need to use a specific HR advisor, but it’s always best to speak to someone who is qualified and experienced in giving HR advice. This will ensure that you’re getting the best possible advice for your business.

What should I do if I’m not happy with the HR advice I’ve been given?

If you’re not happy with the HR advice you’ve been given, then you can speak to another advisor for a second opinion. Alternatively, you can raise your concerns with the person who gave you the advice, and ask them to explain their reasoning. If you’re still not satisfied, then you can make a complaint to the CIPD, which is the regulator for HR professionals in the UK.

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Important – The information provided in our articles is intended to be for general purpose use only, and not advice for you or your business. We strive to publish accurate information, but encourage you to fact-check and seek expert guidance. We recommend that you always speak to a qualified professional to get advice about how to operate your business under your specific requirements and circumstances.