HR team averts job cuts with consultancy service

A private sector HR department is bringing in revenue and limiting redundancies during the economic downturn by working as a consultancy.

Ruth Ovens, HR director for manufacturer Wilts Wholesale Electrical, told Personnel Today her team was providing advice on issues such as contracts and employment law to two organisations.

“We started last month providing services to a charity and a publicly listed business, both with only a few hundred employees, and neither with dedicated HR areas,” she said. “Our targets are companies with small or no HR departments who need help. We arm them with information and provide necessary support.”

Prior to the economic downturn, Wilts Wholesale Electrical had plans for expansion, but these had to be revised and Ovens was left looking for ways to limit cost-saving initiatives. Currently, Wilts Wholesale Electrical employs 700 staff in 70 branches across the UK.

Ovens expects the consulting projects to bring in more than £12,000 of revenue in its first year.

“When you can bring hard figures in, the financial and managing directors love it, and in hard times every penny counts,” she said.

“We’re a good team doing the top 10 things HR should be doing, so we’re well set up in terms of best practice.”

At the Personnel Today Best Place to Work in HR Awards, Wilts Wholesale Electrical scooped three trophies: Leadership, Employee Engagement, and Reward & Recognition.

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