Hannah-Jane Dobbie. A new HR consultancy service for SMEs has been launched by Azets, the UK’s largest regional accountancy firm and business advisor to SMEs with offices across the UK, including many in London and the South East. The firm is currently already hiring additional staff to meet demand for the service. Hannah-Jane Dobbie, Head of HR Consultancy at Azets, who is a fully qualified Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and who has advised clients on HR matters for many years, explained why Azets has launched the service.

PEOPLE POWER: Hannah-Jane Dobbie, who is Head of HR Consultancy at Azets, will lead the firm’s new HR service as it launches in the South East and expands nationwide

A new HR consultancy service for SMEs has been launched by Azets, the UK’s largest regional accountancy firm and business advisor to SMEs.

The firm is currently already hiring additional staff to meet demand for the service.

Initially focused on advising on HR matters to SMEs in Kent and surrounding counties who do not have their own HR teams, Azets intends over time to expand the service across the UK.

The new venture aims to help SMEs meet their core HR needs, including bespoke advice and support on a wide range of HR-related issues such as setting up an HR function as well as all aspects of employment from strategy to recruitment, disciplinaries, grievances and onboarding including contracts of employment, compliant policies and handbooks.

It will also offer advice on redundancies, reviewing HR procedures and processes to ensure compliance with employment laws and regulations and will help identify any potential issues.

Azets’ new HR consultancy service will provide support across all aspects of the employee lifecycle, including in relation to restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, TUPE regulations, drafting of contracts and agreements, mediation and performance management.

The new service also offers psychometric testing and bespoke soft skills training, which can be tailored to a company’s exact needs.

Hannah-Jane Dobbie, Head of HR Consultancy at Azets, who is a fully qualified Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and who has advised clients on HR matters for many years, explained why Azets has launched the service.

“Our clients have told us they would welcome a ‘hands-on, one-stop shop’ service like this from us, as Azets is already an expert and trusted advisor in accountancy matters relating to employment for SMEs, including payroll.

“For some time we have already been providing support for some clients but the time has come to launch HR as a separate service line for businesses we work with and some we don’t in the region,” she said.

Azets has recently recruited Samantha Aldridge, an Associate CIPD member who has nearly a decade of HR experience, to assist Hannah-Jane and HR Consultant Katie Fryer to run the new service.

Azets has also recruited Beth Emery and Rebecca McGeachy to join the team as HR Consultants for the new service.

Samantha joined Azets as Senior HR Consultant after working in HR in-house roles in the legal industry as well as providing HR consultancy advice to SMEs from a wide range of industries in the South East.

She is an HR generalist with extensive experience in helping SMEs with employment matters, particularly around people policies and procedure and, increasingly, global mobility.

Rebecca has 20 years of UK and international experience in such sectors as retail, legal, railways and local government, including payroll, benefits, wellbeing, HR systems, processes and analytics.

Azets anticipates making further appointments in the near future as the service has already been warmly welcomed by Azets clients.

Hannah-Jane said: “Employment laws and issues can be complex and SMEs often just need some guidance as to changes in legislation as well as with specific problems.

“Azets is well placed to offer our existing clients and others who would benefit from advice regarding HR, and our outsourced HR Services Team offers them tailor-made help.

“We aim to reduce the ‘worry factor’ and provide sensible practical guidance and pragmatic solutions, to keep SMEs compliant and focused on getting the best from their staff.”

She added: “It’s hard enough setting up and running a business without also having to worry about the complexities of people issues, continually review updated employment legislation and follow HR best practice

“We can help interpret and negotiate employment law for each unique situation so that SMEs can focus on what they do best – running their business.”

The service is available on a retainer-based package or a fully outsourced HR function basis, or can provide ad-hoc support on an hourly rate or fixed fee basis for one-off projects.

Whichever option clients choose, the Azets HR Consultancy team liaises with other departments in the client’s business, such as Payroll, Employment Tax and Financial Planning, to ensure they receive seamless service that is fully aligned to their organisation.