I am often asked: “what is a virtual HR Department and how can it help Small and Medium sized Organisations (SMO’s) manage their business more efficiently?” To answer that question, I need to explain how a virtual HR Department operates, To explain the workings of a virtual HR Department I will refer to a local, say, Warrington branch of a big PLC. The Warrington branch, which has, for the purposes of this explanation, 15 employees. An organisation of that size couldn’t justify employing its own HR expert and investing in an HR infrastructure. Usually the HR responsibility will be taken on by a Manager as part of their other duties. However, crucially, the manager will be supported by the Head Office HR Team. The Head Office HR Team are likely to offer HR support in most, if not all, of the following:
- Advice and guidance on employee management matters including Employment and Health and Safety law and company HR and Health and Safety policies.
Drafting all Employment and Health and Safety policies, procedures, and documentation such as letters, contracts and pro-forma documents such as risk assessments.
- Access to the Company Intranet, or shared drive to allow all managers or employees (depending on the permissions associated with the document) to download the employee handbook containing HR and Health and Safety rules, policies and procedures, or to download standard documents such as offer letters, reference requests or contracts of employment.
- Access to the company HR software so all employee records, job and pay history, training records, holiday and absence records to name just a few can be managed in one place. Most good HR systems have a self-serve function and mobile apps so employees can submit holiday requests, time sheets, etc. either from their desk top PC or smartphone
- All employee records and files are stored on the company’s document management system. This ensures all employee files are securely stored, and backed up. Consequently, as well as the retrieval of files being simple and quick, the files are also safe and secure in the event of a business catastrophe such as a fire.
Clearly, for an SMO to offer all of the above, which would require employing HR experts, and subscribing to appropriate HR software packages, would, in most circumstances, be unaffordable. However, a subscription to the People Based Solutions virtual HR service, will, for a small monthly subscription, give the SMO access to an HR infrastructure that will enable them to undertake their HR administration efficiently and cost effectively. At People Based Solutions we offer our clients the opportunity to tap in to our professional HR framework, which will enable them to reduce the cost of HR administration and take advantage of our cloud based HR services.
Our clients can use their virtual HR Department :
- To ask for help, advice and support on any HR or Health and Safety matter. They can access that help either, over the phone, using the dedicated HR helpline; via e-mail, by sending an e-mail to our dedicate e-mail helpdesk address; or online, by accessing our helpdesk portal.
- To have 24/7 access to our cloud based document library, where they can download standard or bespoke HR and Health and Safety documents, including letters and reports that have been drafted specifically for them.
- To have 24/7 access to our cloud based dedicated Employee Record Keeping and Information software, where they can manage all their employee record keeping. They can also carry out HR administrative functions, such as holiday recording, employee clocking, time sheet management, appraisal and induction, regulatory and legal compliance checking, monitoring company property issued to employees and more.
- To have 24/7 access to our cloud based Document Management System, where they can digitise all of their employee records. This will make searching documents quick and simple, and will ensure that employee records are stored safely and securely for business continuity and disaster recovery purposes.
The “cloud” has created a vehicle for People Based Solutions to offer a cost effective virtual HR department to SMO’s. Through our virtual HR department, our clients can tap into our extensive HR expertise, and to use our software to manage their transactional HR and monitor and control their workforce performance in an extremely cost-effective way.
The People Based Solutions Virtual HR department combines our HR and Health and Safety expertise, along with our cutting-edge HR software, and our cloud based services to deliver a cost-effective HR solution for our clients.
This article was written by Sean McCann, Chartered FCIPD, the Managing Director of People Based Solutions an HR support company that specialises in delivering outsourced HR solutions via a virtual HR department to small and medium sized businesses. If you would like to know more about how we can help you manage you transactional, operational and strategic HR systems, policies and procedures click here to get in touch