HR outsourcing solutions for service providers looking to succeed

Managing an agency offering consumer services in today’s environment can be tough, especially with the increasing role of technology and a heightened demand for exceptional customer service.

As an expert in your field, you are well equipped to manage your daily workload. Managing your own organisation however, requires a different type of skill and often a lot of time. There are many challenges involved with running an agency of any kind, but managing staff was found to be the most difficult aspect by many employers.

The importance of HRM

Most agencies are formed not because of a passion for staff management, but as a result of a passion for the job itself. It can be a complicated task to assess which areas of staff management you require support with and for that reason, this task is best left to skilled HR professionals.

The crucial role played by effective HR management cannot be underestimated, as your people are the service and the face of your brand.

Your employees are your most valuable assets and with the right HR processes in place, you can ensure their optimal performance. When your employees are utilising their skills and knowledge to the best of their ability, this directly influences your business’ success and you can see positive results almost instantly.

Sector specific challenges

Many agencies operate in sectors that face many unique challenges. Rigorous legislative requirements, the employment of foreign workers, staff retention, recruitment and the management of numerous part-time employees are just some examples of such challenges.

Flexible working and family friendly policies

Many individuals require some type of flexible working or part time working hours. This makes it crucial that we tread extremely carefully when ensuring that we have fair and consistent policies in place, so that no one is put at a disadvantage – intentionally or otherwise. You must make sure that any procedures relating to aspects such as flexible working and parental leave requests are organised in an easy, impartial way. 

Remember that the responsibility is on the business to adhere to the law – ignorance is not an excuse and mistakes can be costly! 

One slip up in regards to equality and you would see the average small-to-medium agency having to make uncapped payments for discrimination claims, potentially bringing them into financial ruin. The highest discrimination claim award won last year was £456,464.00, which was £437,312 more than the average amount for 2017 (£19,152). Very few businesses would survive after paying for such a steep award, and those that do will be left with a blemished reputation and weaker bank balance.

Right to work documentation

Checking and organising the right documentation can be an onerous task which leads to heavy fines when done incorrectly, making it all the more important that you appoint specialist help to ensure you have made no mistakes.

Management of staff

Managing staff in agencies involves a unique set of challenges you need to be aware of.

Many industries offering services are known for having a high rate of staff turnover, which is only exacerbated by the shortage of good employees available in the market. This in turn, results in the poaching of valued staff if you are not careful.

Contract of employment

One way to address the issue of staff poaching is ensuring that your employment contracts are not formatted in a standard “off the shelf” way, but are instead tailored to contain the relevant contractual clauses. These clauses should put some restrictions on employees in the event that they choose to resign and join a competing company.

We find it incredibly useful to investigate other ways of increasing your employee retention rate and combatting staff shortages.

Staff members can be fickle, and will often move on to a competing employer for the slightest additional benefit. It’s important that we understand our current marketplace thoroughly, not just from a commercial perspective but from an employment perspective too. 

Employment brand

How attractive is our brand to the type of candidate that we want to attract? Do we offer competitive benefits and perks?

These are two of the most frequently asked questions by agency management in regards to their employment issues – and rightfully so as they are important things to consider.

When you work with HR outsourcing providers, you can be confident that you are advertising vacant positions in the most efficient way. Emphasising which benefits you offer compared to competitors will make you stand out amongst job seekers and this ultimately makes recruitment and retention easier on your behalf.

Induction processes

The same can be said for the “on boarding” (induction) process. Investing in an efficient induction procedure will result in a much faster transition period for new starters, leaving you with a happier and more motivated new recruit.

Supporting a new starter who may be struggling to adapt is of equal importance and you should have necessary policies in place to help you manage this situation in a timely, cost-effective manner.

My advice

The best HR outsourcing solutions will assist your business with all aspects of people management, in order to ensure you are getting the best possible results out of your staff. If you are considering going down this route, one thing that I would strongly recommend is working with a provider who has experience in the estate agent industry. The day-to-day issues your company faces will be different to issues faced in another industry, and you want to be confident that you are working with a provider who understands the specific challenges faced by you and your staff.  The more your provider is familiar with your sector, the better the solution or advice will be.

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