Katy Williams is a Human Resources Business Partner at SVC and an experienced HR Consultant. Here she explains how she works with small to medium sized businesses of all sectors to help them deliver success and ensure HR best practice and legal compliance.
I have always had a great admiration for people who start up their own business, are business owners or in senior roles. Managing people and running a business can be a challenge in so many ways.
It takes real courage and dedication to take the leap and set up your own business and there are countless business owners out there with a great passion for what they do and the skills to make a success of their business.
However, running a company has many challenges and the skills needed to start a business are not always the same as the ones needed to manage your workforce.
When it comes to getting the HR considerations of a business right, there is a very specific set of knowledge and experience required to ensure you look after your people effectively, fairly and in a way that is compliant with employment law.
This is where my role as a human resources consultant can make all the difference and add real value. It is my role to work in partnership with a business owner (such as the MD, Financial Controller, Senior Managers, or other Managers) to share my knowledge, expertise, independent thinking and problem-solving skills, and sometimes it can be just the physical presence of being an extra member of the team to help provide support, guidance and reassurance.
Helping businesses and their staff in this way is a job I truly cherish, but initially it wasn’t where I expected my career to end up. In fact, I completed a Law degree at university, and it was in my final year at university that I studied employment law, and this was when I decided I wanted a career using my employment law knowledge and to have a role working with all types of people. After university I began working for a national brand in their HR department and never looked back, I just knew HR was the career for me.
I worked in HR Generalist roles for many years to gain experience and exposure in all areas of HR and then I decided to specialise in employee relations for a few years for an international company working on large scale restructuring and redundancy projects, handling all types of employee relations cases.
I then worked for an HR consultancy in London. I fell in love with consultancy as I found discovering solutions for the variety of situations I encountered and the range of clients I had opportunity to work with truly engaging, motivating and rewarding. My career path of working in different sectors allows me to share these experiences and my knowledge with all the clients I now work with.
Having worked in HR consultancy for over 11 years now, I have worked alongside businesses in many different ways. Sometimes this involves providing very specific expertise around a particular employment issue, such as a disciplinary or grievance situations. Equally my role can be more general, like providing ad hoc HR generalist advice, reviewing, and updating a company’s HR policies, drafting all types of contracts of employment or creating a bespoke Staff Handbook. I can also provide HR training as well as personal development coaching on areas like confidence and assertiveness in the workplace, self-esteem, resilience and the imposter syndrome.
Depending on the size and needs of the company I’m working with, the role I play in the business might be limited to cover an agreed project within a set timeframe, or my services can be delivered on a monthly retained basis, which allocates a specified period of my time each month and can be used by a company to stay on top of whatever HR requirements they have.
Changes to employment law and the expectations on employers can result in the need for regular updates to policies and procedures, so without the input from an experienced HR professional documentation can quickly become outdated and leave a company vulnerable and exposed to legal challenges.
Staying up to date with the latest requirements and the most current working practices is at the heart of my work as a HR consultant. As a client, this expertise is always at your disposal. I can be there to manage a situation with you, bringing my experience to help take away the anxiety you may be feeling. This gives you the freedom to concentrate on your passion of running your business and making it truly successful.