Case Study:

Becoming an Employer | Training, Coaching & HR Set-Up for Social Enterprise

Becoming an employer for the first time - Case Study on coaching from Grassroots

First-time Hiring Coaching and Recruitment Support

Grassroots Consulting recently completed a fantastic mini-project to assist a Stockport-based social enterprise in becoming an employer – getting HR-ready and confident in its legal, financial and HR obligations. We loved working with this inspirational female business leader to create new jobs growth, help them meet increasing demand and support such a fantastic initiative that benefits our local community!

Founded by a female entrepreneur with a background in banking and finance, this ambitious social enterprise provides financial advice and education to local residents, aiming to improve their financial resilience and awareness of available support. With an increase in project work and funding, they had an urgent and immediate need to recruit a part-time advisor, as well as several ad hoc support workers over the coming months.

Lacking the necessary HR knowledge, our client was concerned about the legal and financial implications of becoming an employer, as well as the potential impact of making a bad hire. Grassroots Consulting, recommended for our work with SMEs and micro-businesses in Stockport, provided a bespoke solution to address her urgent business needs, provide coaching and training to build knowledge and confidence, as well as ongoing support to deliver a successful recruitment process.

Coaching on becoming an employer for the first time

The Challenge

Following an initial discovery meeting, we identified that the social enterprise faced multiple challenges. This included the founder having no prior knowledge of HR and concerns over compliance with employment legislation, and feeling apprehensive and anxious about the legal and financial responsibilities she would face. She was also concerned about the negative impact of not getting the recruitment process right, including the risk to her small business of making a bad hire – both in terms of time and reputation. As the new work she’d secured started to come in, it was becoming increasingly urgent to tackle this issue and get a new person started quickly.

The Solution

Grassroots Consulting developed a tailored approach to address these challenges and ensure the social enterprise was prepared for its new role as an employer. This included delivering a comprehensive one-on-one coaching session covering an introduction to employment legislation; the legal, financial and HR implications and requirements for employers; as well as practical guidance regarding the initial hiring process and ongoing management of a new employee.

We then assisted with the immediate recruitment process to find the right person to join her team and set a great platform for future hires. Having already advertised the role and received a good response, we stepped in to assist with the shortlisting, screening, interviewing and support the decision-making process. This including setting assessment criteria linked to job competencies, reviewing CVs and pre-screening applicants, arranging interviews and templates for candidate communications, designing an interview matrix of competency questions and further training on interviewing technique. We supported the offer process and provided all necessary recruitment documentation, including a formal offer letter, contract of employment, new starter form, reference request letters, and an induction checklist.

Finally, we worked with the client to produce a suite of legally compliant HR policies and procedures to create a bespoke Employee Handbook, customised to their business needs and employer branding – covering everything from flexible working and health and safety policies, to disciplinary & grievance and GDPR procedures. We also assisted in setting up a secure HR database to manage employee records.


The Outcome

We’re delighted that the tailored support and comprehensive guidance from Grassroots Consulting led to significant positive outcomes for the social enterprise. Firstly, the founder was able to make her first successful hire, who joined the team last month and has been a much welcome addition! Feeling confident in her understanding of employer obligations and the recruitment process, she has now commenced recruitment for additional roles to support ad hoc projects over the next few months. She now has a solid foundation of HR knowledge and tools, enabling her to navigate the landscape of being an employer independently.

Grassroots Consulting remains a trusted partner, ready to support the social enterprise’s future growth and the invaluable work it delivers to the local community.

We’re also pleased to say that this short consultancy piece has since led to similar commissions with other SMEs, highlighting the effectiveness of customized HR coaching in empowering new employers to confidently manage their HR responsibilities and achieve their business goals.