Charities are not driven by same needs as companies

I write regarding Mike Berry’s editorial comment that called for larger charities to offer free HR support to smaller ones in response to the issues raised about the high number of grievances in the voluntary sector (Personnel Today, 17 June). Building the people management capabilities of any organisation requires a lot more than a bit of reactive employment law advice designed to head off employee relations issues.

What smaller charities need is not crumbs from the table of larger charities, but support (facilitated by membership bodies and capacity-building funders) to buy in, at affordable prices, expertise from effective HR departments in larger charities in relationships that add value for all concerned.

Broadway has worked in this way with many smaller charities with transformational results that have been evaluated independently. We have given our smaller partners the wherewithal to recruit only those staff that are not inclined to be aggrieved – the same cultural fit cited in a recent article about Google’s uncompromising recruitment standard being at the root of its number one employer status (Personnel, 2 June).

Charities are complex social businesses with more rigorous drivers for effectiveness and efficiency than a profit-hungry corporate business.

Helen Giles

HR director,

Broadway Homelessness & Support

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