Death of the small HR practice as we know it?
Starting local – going global, this innovative solution from the UKs CIPD
Just a week after XpertHR announce their strategic alliance with Dovetail and their 30 second to track in house HR advice, The CIPD launch the 30 second solution to any HR problem with free custom solution if the answer is not in the database. Great news for freelance HR professionals too – read further down.
Background to totalHRapp
It seems that as the world is ever changing, and employers are getting smaller, so the need for HR departments is also changing. We have moved from a world of activity towards knowledge and now communications and collaboration. Will collaboration be the new business model of the future?
An example of this chance can be seen in the UK Statistics from the office for national statistics as they show that:
[Small and Medium Sized Enterprises] SMEs accounted for 99.9 per cent of of all private sector businesses in the UK, 59.1 per cent of private sector employment and 48.8 per cent of private sector turnover
Almost 60% of all employees, and this is increasing.
The reality is of course that whilst smaller businesses employ people and need to comply with UK and EU employment and safety legislation, most do not have a professional HR person working full (or part) time on the payroll. And this is not just a UK challenge – it’s hitting every developed market.
The FSB [Federation for Small Business] suggest that less than 5% of these firms have a dedicated resource, with a few having a nominated administrator responsible for basic admin. only 10% of SME’s have an independent HR professional on retainer, with less than 30% having support from an insurance backed advice provider. This means that many UK employees are at risk of poor practices. Equally UK employers are at risk of expensive tribunals.
These statistics are hard hitting.
He explains that CIPD will re-focus on SMEs to try to help them to build the right kinds of skills and practice to support their businesses.
His key focusis also the international market
Cheese said in one interview that the only quick and sustainable way to address this need, was to go beyond educating managers of small businesses of the significance HR professionals could bring, Business Link failed to do that in over 15 years. A new approach is necessary, and that people undertaking these (admin) roles should have access to sensible and cost effective, professional HR guidance. Just in time support from seasoned professionals, at a app price of just 9.99 a month!
The international angle and global co-operation to one standard is a landmark move.
The “HR manager in your Pocket”
Little did the HR world realise that what this meant was the launch of an app – theHRInform, a service for business providing HR information., based upon the successful
The implications of this new app is that unlike what the CIPD have done before, this is clearly aimed at line managers. The subtext of the app being – the HR manager in your pocket.
The idea is simple, you put in your problem, and through a series of smart questions you are taken to an appropriate easily digestible “How to”. In the event the app cannot find a solution, you can enter a text chat, or request a call back from a telephone based operator. Then when the issue is resolved, that solution is added to the app. To the customer this will feel like a smooth process, highly customised, the reality is of course this is live R&D.
It is said that this is to ensure that the app remains up to date and current. It also means there is an ongoing research and development solution.
this [totalHRapp] is a game changer for small business owners.
I have no doubt it will be the number 1 app managers install in 2013
John Allan Honary National Chairman of the FSB
[totalHRapp] is a radical approach to an ongoing challenge –
we will be recommending it to our members when available
Simon Walker Director General of the Institute of Directors
It seems the driving force behind this initiative is not the UK market, but the growing international one. With many British institutions seen as central in successful growth, the CIPD believe they can harness its brand to meet the needs of a diverse market on every continent.
Setting up locally – Great news for freelance HR professionals
The CIPD has set up a pagefor local HR practices to work with the CIPD in providing bespoke and country specific solutions. This is great news for local HR professionals, and one which will drive the demand for CIPD chartered professionals on a global stage. It seems that once n HR practice has a region, the CIPD will help them grow both the market and their share. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. It is understood that for each piece of custom advice a fee of 199 will be paid. For some this could prove lucrative
This is a great initiative and I am glad our members will be involved. We have been aiming for closer working relationships (with the CIPD) for some time now. Our join move into Asia will be productive.
It is understood that the CIPD are in talks with several bodies and organisations in a range of countries, however have rules out co-operating with SHRM in the first phase of the roll out of this project.
Past history has shown that the leaders lack a sense of international perspective
Great news for business owners…
Great news for owners of small businesses, but what about the future of HR professionals? Is there a role for the “average” HR professional?
Well yes, as the CIPD have said they are looking for partners to work from the comfort of their own home, with hours to suite, being available to respond to these custom problems. Using the same process as global suppliers UK HR consultants can sign up at. This looks to be an excellent way to start/ grow your own practice. If the retainer rates are any thing like what is being proposed, its a great for all partitioners.
In the current climate with significant numbers of people unemployed or facing redundancy, many are setting modest consultancy practices to solve this. There is a real risk this app will remove the need for freelance consultants in HR, at least in the conventional sense. Those in the sector can opt to be part of this service and will need to develop innovative solutions.
To be fair the app is great for managers. Having had access to this app for a short while, it is comprehensive, interactive, social led – solves real business problems fast – and at just £9.99 a month its a real bargain. It is a very different approach to anything the CIPD has previously launched.
Caught in an off guard moment, Johanna Ratcliffe – Digital Communications Manager, the CIPDs “social media guru” said
It’s great to have been involved in such an innovative product. We have applied all we have learnt from our successes in the social space into a commercial product, I’m really excited about it. It’s a real first.
First come – first served
We are led to believe that Chartered Members will be the first option of the institute for these services. Applicants will be taken on a first come first served basis. In areas where there are not enough CIPD members then non- members will be considered.
How small HR practices and independent HR professionals that are not a part of this system will compete only time will tell.
Get the app
At the time of writing, There is no sign of an app in the itunes or Google Play stores
Author: Terry (Tell) A. Fib
is a well know journalist and writer on HR and leadership issues. He usually specialises in work and news that takes place in April of each year.
News embargo – not to be communicated after 1 April 2013