Personnel Today Awards 2020: HR consultancy shortlist

As we prepare to celebrate the Personnel Today Awards next week, it’s time to showcase those organisations that made the shortlists for each category. Here we profile seven organisations that are up for the tightly contested HR Consultancy Award.

The HR Dept

The HR Dept is a network of 67 senior HR professionals (licensees). They each run their own independent HR Dept consultancy businesses. Between them they employ a combined total of more than 200 HR staff as part of a unique UK-wide franchise model.

Not immune from the effects of the pandemic on their own businesses, the company’s licensees continued to provide outsourced HR support to more than 6,000 SMEs. The HR Dept set out to provide support and clarity for SMEs across the UK, regardless of whether or not they were clients.

As the Covid-19 crisis developed, the challenge for The HR Dept’s licensees was to quickly process the information provided by the government, so it could provide the clarity which SMEs needed.

The HR Dept experienced an influx of queries ranging from statutory sick pay to how to manage staff during lockdown. These came from clients, non-clients, and employees.

Tracey Hudson from The HR Dept South Warwickshire orchestrated an FAQ page, which included questions from across its network. This FAQ page developed to include industry specific information and the regular government updates. Before long it became the Coronavirus HR Hub hosted on its national website.

When the government announced the Job Retention Scheme and the term ‘furlough’, the HR Dept added a new section to the Coronavirus Hub explaining these frameworks in layman’s terms. The Coronavirus Hub also included recordings of the free national webinars its licensees presented, advising UK businesses on their options as employers. They provided expert practical advice which SMEs could implement immediately.

One webinar which was led by Ian Pilbeam from The HR Dept Edinburgh and The Lothians, focused on the Job Retention Scheme days after it had been announced. This ensured business owners had the information they needed as quickly as possible.

Other resources included My Furlough Development Portfolio. This, and other resources, provided employers with tools to ensure that the time was used effectively and would benefit their business in the long run. Other licencees helped fill in the gaps in the government’s guidance and raised issues with the scheme.



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