I’m Barry Kaye, Chief Operating Officer, AKA chief of staff at Telcoswitch Group. So I joined Telcoswitch about two and a half years ago looking for an HR partner and was introduced to Donna. We had a good conversation. She came to visit, decided that we were right for each other. The size of my business in terms of head counts at that time was about 12 staff. We’re up to about just shy of a hundred now across the group. But Donna keeps assuring me that we are still the right size for her, and she is the right size for us.
When I joined the business, there was no HR in place at all, in terms of contract, employment contracts, that we would use or any employment advice, be bog standard templates from the internet. And I knew that the visions and aspirations we had at the time for the business, which are coming to fruition now, will continue to come to fruition, meant it was necessary to have a proper outsourced, or a proper HR function. And being too small at the time, felt it was necessary that we outsourced that function. So Donna and her team have been fabulous throughout. So initially there was, I suppose, what we called an onboarding process. Take everything that we have in terms of documentation, and contracts, in whatever form they are, where necessary, and if necessary, bring those up to standardised template. That was the starting place. Initially helping us, we went through a rapid recruitment process. Initially, new employment contracts, standardised contracts from their introduction of all the sorts of HR policies, which we were all kind of aware of, but didn’t quite know what’s necessary. So now we have a vast staff handbook and an HR portal.
Whenever I’ve needed Donna, over time, as I think every business does for ultimately necessary redundancies, even things as simple as statutory sick pay for longterm leavers, ensuring that we adhere to processes for that, maternities, settlement agreements, needs must occasionally, not too many of those, and all other HR type functions. My recommendation would be absolutely yes. They just navigate the minefield. So I don’t need to worry about any kind of regulation at all.
What I love about DOHR and the team is you pick up the phone, if nobody answers, a message will be taken, and somebody will call you back, and they’ll call you back quickly. I have great relations. Being a small team, I’ve got to know everybody. They know me. I’m a bit crazy. I send them smiley emails every week to thank them for driving them nuts. Just really ultimately a really professional, well-informed organisation to work with. Just make HR simple so I could focus on other things. It takes a huge headache away. It really does.
I used to use to prepare contracts insert names, addresses, but, truth be said, they were just boiler plate contracts. And I didn’t really know what I was preparing or what I was committing to in terms of, in terms of clauses that I would put in there. And realising that I can’t offer two people the same job while different holidays and different salaries and such like. So it’s a hugely important function to have, not so much for the questions that I raise, but the comments that come back saying, “Barry, do you know, you can’t give the same person with the same experience doing the same job a different salary?” It’s like, no, I didn’t know that kind of thing.
Also, talking more about the aspirations for our business as we grow, we’re going through a phase of acquisition at the minute. So there will be new sorts of, I suppose, opportunities or functions necessary that we need in terms of, to bring people into the business, organisations, combining contracts, master contracts, and such like, and that will be the next stage of our growth, and hopefully Donna will help with that too.