How Our Retained HR Service Helps SMEs and Charities

HR Manager Nicola Dingwall works with clients who use Hunter Adams for outsourced HR support. Here she talks about the service we offer from a client’s perspective.

How we help SMEs and charities through our Outsourced HR service

Many of our clients are SMEs with no internal HR function or just a small in-house HR team. Whether you are a business owner, manager in a business or an HR practitioner; we find that our clients really value using us as a sounding board to discuss issues or queries openly and honestly in a safe space.  We are independent to our client’s business, so we don’t have the in-house knowledge of discussions that have taken place and actions that have been taken. With this in mind, when a client approaches us with an issue, the first thing we normally ask them is to tell us ‘warts and all’ about what’s happened to ensure that we truly understand the individual circumstances.

We sometimes have to play ‘devil’s advocate’, encouraging clients to take a moment of reflection in regard to actions that they are proposing to take. Hearing this advice from an experienced HR practitioner more often than not helps clients to take a step back and think about their situation in a different light. This ultimately reduces their risk and saves them time and money down the road.

The types of support we can provide

The type of support clients come to us for ranges significantly and can include: advice and guidance on day-to-day queries on topics such as family leave, absence, performance management and redundancy; drafting bespoke contracts of employment, employee handbooks and policies that fit with our client’s culture and ways of working, and; providing real-world tailored advice and guidance on employee relations matters, both commonplace and those with complexities.

Having worked as in-house HR professionals over the years within businesses varying in size and sector, the Hunter Adams HR team recognises that the advice we provide needs to be tailored to each client and their individual circumstances. We also know that things can change quickly, and decisions can be made; meaning that matters evolve. When this happens, our clients know that we are there to provide ongoing support to the point that the matter is resolved in a fair and compliant way.

What it’s like to work with the Hunter Adams HR team as a client

As a client of the Hunter Adams HR team, you’ll have an assigned focal point who will get to know you, your team, your business and your ways of working. You can get in touch with us when you need support during business hours and we’ll prioritise your needs based on the level of urgency of the matter. We aim to respond to all queries within 24 hours, whether the correspondence is by email or phone. Where it is more convenient to discuss a matter in more detail, we can also arrange a convenient time for a video call through online tools such as MS Teams, Zoom or any other video conferencing tools that our clients may use.

Some client calls can last five minutes and others may last a bit longer, particularly where we need to gather background information to ensure that we fully understand the facts. But rest assured, even if a call lasts a few minutes; the advice discussed can still have a significant impact on the next steps taken in a process. The advice we provide can help to result in an outcome that is fair, aligned with best practices and compliant with employment law.

We also don’t use jargon. We’ll tell you what you need to know by breaking down current employment legislation in plain English, as well as discussing the duties of an employer in conjunction with our recommended course of action so that our clients fully understand it, as well as the risks and possible implications.

After seeking advice and guidance with us, we aim for our clients to be better informed and understand the best course of action to appropriately manage the matter at hand.


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