Leading for Performance – One day workshop

29th November 2016 – Brentwood

As a leader, your main priority is to get the job done, whatever the job is. Leaders make things happen by:-
• knowing your objectives and having a plan how to achieve them
• building a team committed to achieving the objectives
• helping each team member to give their best efforts

As a leader you must know yourself. Know your own strengths and weaknesses, so that you can build the best team around you.

Who is it for?
This one-day open Workshop is for you if you are new to Leadership and team management or want to refresh your existing skills. We will give you insight into your personal leadership qualities, identify any ‘blind spots’ and help you develop skills to lead effectively and achieve performance goals through your teams.

Why this course?
We are highly experienced in hands-on leadership and management roles across a range of sectors. As specialists in people development, we know how to help you learn new skills and improve your professional practice where it matters: in your own job.

Where and when is the course?
he next ‘Leading for Performance’ course is running on Tuesday, 18th October 2016 at Regus Offices, Jubilee House, The Drive, Great Warley, Brentwood, CM13 3FR. Car Parking facilities are free on site. Welcome coffee from 9.00am, course starts promptly at 9.30am and closes at 4.30pm. All materials, refreshments and a working lunch are provided.

Course Outline – You will learn about: –

• Your personal leadership style
• Leading and coaching teams
• Communicating effectively
• Monitoring and managing performance
• Managing workload
• Watching out for well-being
• Handling conflict
• Mentoring and role modelling

Course fee: £150 per delegate – discounts when 2 or more places booked (cancellation T&C’s apply).

Alongside this workshop we offer One-2-One coaching using Myers Briggs Assessments. An online assessment would be completed prior to attending the workshop with the report and the coaching allowing individuals to deepen self-knowledge and their understanding of strengths and areas for development as a leader and a colleague. This assessment and a 2 hour coaching session are charged at £200.

To reserve a place on this course or ask further questions about the programme please contact
Mandy Carr, HR Solutions on 01277848405 or

HR Essentials for Line Managers – One day workshop

Monday – 21st November 2016 – Brentwood

Managers require the super-human skills of a psychologist, social worker, counsellor, parent and colleague so it is no surprise that many managers struggle with the “people” aspect of their roles. More often than not we don’t provide them with the tools they need to deal confidently with day-to-day and more challenging employee relations issues?

Are you and your managers equipped for this part of their role?

Who is it for?
Whether new to line management or wanting to update your people management skills; this workshop will give your more confidence when handling day to day employee relations issues.

Why this course?
Delivered by experienced and commercially minded HR practitioners this course has evolved from many years’ experience across a wide range of sectors. It is delivered in an open, interactive manner allowing delegates to share views in a safe and confidential environment. Discussions and case studies are used along attendees own “hot topics” to enhance personal skills and knowledge to better understand the framework governing the employment relationship.

Where and when is the Course?
The next HR Essentials course is running on Monday 21st November 2016 at Regus Offices, Jubilee House, The Drive, Great Warley, Brentwood, CM13 3FR. Welcome coffee from 9.00am, course starts prompt at 9.30am and closes at 4.30pm. All course materials, refreshments and a working lunch are provided.

Course outline

The content will be topical and attendees will be invited to submit a “hot topic” that will be worked into the course programme.

1. Introduction to the employment relationship
2. Recruitment and Selection
3. Absence Management
4. Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures
5. Managing Performance
6. Terminating Employment
7. “Hot Topics”

Course fee: £150 per delegate – discounts offered when two places booked. (Cancellation T&C’s apply).

To support this programme we also offer One-2-One coaching using Myers Briggs Assessments. An online assessment would be completed prior to attending the workshop with the report and the coaching allowing individuals to deepen self-knowledge and their understanding of strengths and areas for development as a leader and a colleague. This assessment and a 2 hour coaching session are charged at £200.

To reserve a place on this course or ask further questions about the programme please contact Mandy Carr, HR Solutions on 01277848405 or email

Professional Sales Practice – One Day Workshop

15th November 2016 – Brentwood

• Selling in a competitive and uncertain marketplace demands skill and resilience
• Sales are won through consistent, proactive prospecting and excellent relationship-building

This one day open course is designed to address all aspects of the sales cycle: from initial lead generation through sales qualification, presenting, proposing, negotiating and closing, to contract delivery.

Who is it for?
If you find ‘cold-calling’ a chore, want to improve your sales conversion rates and values, and you’re ready to invest in your training as a sales professional, this course is for you. You might be new to a sales role, have some selling responsibilities as part of your role, or have sales experience but little professional development.

Why this course?
We are passionate about sales! This course has evolved from many years’ experience of sales and business development in a wide range of sectors. The features of our sales approach can be adapted to any marketplace and level of experience. We give individual guidance throughout the day so you will leave with a comprehensive Sales Toolkit and a clear plan of action for improvement to your own sales practice.

Where and when is the course?
The next Professional Sales Practice course is running on Tuesday, 15th November 2016 at Regus Offices, Jubilee House, The Drive, Great Warley, Brentwood, CM13 3FR. Welcome coffee from 9.00am, course starts prompt at 9.30am and closes at 4.30pm. All materials, refreshments and a working lunch are provided.

Course Outline

Introduction to the 5-stage Sales Method:
1. Lead Generation
2. Qualifying opportunities
3. Pitching and presenting
4. Closing
5. Account Management

Tools and templates:
• No more cold-calling! – Lead generation planning and prospecting models
• Listening and questioning techniques for qualifying the prospect
• Communication templates: email, phone, social media, web, proposal documents
• Negotiation skills, handling objections
• Key account management, growing the business, getting referrals, reviewing success

Course fee: £150 per delegate – discounts offered when two places booked. (Cancellation T&C’s apply).

To support your professional sales practice, we also offer Sales Aptitude Assessments, conducted prior to the Workshop. The online assessment helps you identify and understand your own personal sales development needs. In addition to the report, we provide one-to-one coaching as a follow-on to the course so that you can truly hone your skills and professional approach.

Contact Mandy Carr on for more information.

C# Developer required Brentwood, Essex

My clients are a leading specialist in card payment processing based in Brentwood, Essex. Working B2B we provide cost effective methods of allowing businesses to accept card payments – without major investment in infrastructure, systems or equipment.

As a growing business we need to recruit additional development professionals to take our IT systems to the next level. You’ll be asked to undertake maintenance on existing systems, as well as having responsibility for new projects and peer testing the output of others – but apart from that the role will shape around you.

Technical Skills
We would be keen to hear from Developers with at least 3 years’ commercial experience in some or all of the following:-
• C# ASP.NET/MVC Web and WinForms
• SQL Server Soap / JSON/ REST
• Nunit Git
• HTML5/CSS3 JavaScript

Applicants must be accustomed to building bespoke systems and applications, writing well-structured modular code and also know when to look for pre-written scripts and libraries to speed things along.

Industry Knowledge and Experience
Preference will be given to applicants with any of the following financial services experience and/or knowledge:-

• Card Payment Processing
• APAC 70
• ISO 8583, IS0 7816
• Security Infrastructure Systems – PCI DSS/ISO 27001/Encryption/SDLC

Personal Attributes
There are exciting opportunities for the right applicants so we’d be keen to speak to you if you:-
• Have a minimum of three years of experience in a technical role preferably within financial services or B2B environment.
• Are able to organise work with minimal supervision and meet project deadlines
• Are a confident communicator who enjoys the challenge of contributing to a busy team
• Have a “can do” attitude to work in which you are able to demonstrate drive and self-motivation
• Work well to deadlines and accurately under pressure, while remaining calm and positive
• Are detail-oriented, where accuracy and consistency are key
• Are a great communicator with a passion to keep developing your professional skill set

In return for your experience we can offer a competitive remuneration package without the need to commute into London.
If you’d like to find out more about these opportunities, please contact Mandy Carr on 01277 848405.

Sales Training Programmes

Sales Toolkits

• Selling in a competitive market place can be unforgiving
• There are no prizes for coming second

One way to dramatically enhance the likelihood of gaining the sale is ensuring that your sales team has above average skills. These one-day open Workshops are designed for Sales practitioners who want to improve their business-winning effectiveness.

Core Sales Skills – Tuesday 11th October 2016
If you’re new to sales or want to develop better techniques and close more deals, this is for you.

Build confidence by testing new approaches in a low risk setting. Covering prospecting, qualification, building value, proposing and closing, attendees leave with renewed self-assurance to succeed.

Professional Sales Practice – Wednesday 12th October 2016
This intensive workshop is for sales pros who want to further hone their skills and challenge themselves. Learn how to get even better returns on sales activity, learn new planning and prospecting tools, get more referrals and repeat business. Covering selling to the top, consultative selling, ‘killer questions’, key account models and data-driven prospecting.

Both programmes will be held in Chelmsford and cost £150 per person, per programme. Discounts are offered for multiple bookings and for attendance at both programmes

To attend one or both of these programmes or discuss running the programmes in-house
contact Mandy Carr on 01277 848405 or

Breakfast Briefing 7th July

I’d like to thank our clients who attended our breakfast briefing in the lovely setting of Hylands House, Chelmsford. The sun shone, so there were no soggy shoes walking from the car park.

Over tea/coffee and bacon rolls , Jan Skene, Louise Barker and I did a quick step through an HR update , an overview of our sales training  programmes and the relationship between marketing and  employer branding and recruitment.

Contact me if you would like a copy of the slides.

We’ll use the feedback we receive to plan another one after the summer and hope to see everyone again.


Employers face “years of uncertainty” after Brexit vote

Extract from Article on XpertHR

Employers are reacting to today’s news that the majority of UK voters have opted for the country to leave the European Union.

In the coming days and weeks, Cameron will have to decide when to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which gives the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal.

Once Article 50 has been triggered, a country cannot rejoin without the consent of all member states.

The decision means many employers with EU workers, or those who have offices in EU countries, potentially face the introduction of costly new policies, as well as major changes to the way the UK reacts to European court decisions in employment cases.

The Leave vote will also likely affect hiring intentions over the coming months as employers take a “wait and see” approach on what future migration policies might look like.

Uncertainty before the referendum had already affected the jobs market, with a survey by recruitment company Reed suggesting that 55% of employers thought a Brexit would put jobs at risk, and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) Report on Jobs showing a growth in temporary contracts compared to permanent hires.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said: “We need to ensure that British businesses continue to be able to get the people they need to fill the jobs available. Access to talent is absolutely vital to sustainable growth and prosperity.

“In sectors such as healthcare, education, hospitality, construction and manufacturing, workers from the EU are vital and any change to our immigration system needs to recognise that.”

According to Migrate UK, a law firm specialising in immigration law, thousands of existing EU workers may no longer qualify to work in the UK if they fail to qualify under the points-based system we currently use for workers from outside the EU.

Jonathan Beech, managing director of Migrate UK said: “All our clients already face big challenges and costs when hiring non-EU workers under UK immigration laws, which makes it hard to find the skills they need.

“The UK Government needs to urgently and comprehensively revise the current points-based system to offer different criteria to employing EU nationals compared to non-EUs, if we’re to retain the talent we need.”

Carl Richards, head of employment at King & Wood Mallesons, said that employers should expect business as usual pending the exit negotiations, but that in the long term, there would be “significant and wide-ranging legislative change”.

“Businesses that rely on non-UK EU nationals for a significant proportion of their workforce will need to make contingency plans for the longer term in anticipation of changes to immigration rules,” he advised.

“Employers may wish to communicate with their workforce about the referendum outcome and its impact on them, as the leave vote will no doubt cause significant anxiety within some businesses and sectors.”

Susie Munro, senior employment law editor at XpertHR, said that employers now face “years of uncertainty”, especially in relation to the position of EU workers in the UK and the status of case law based on European judgments.

She said: “The length of time it will take to negotiate exit terms means that the real impact on employment law will be decided at the next general election, in May 2020.

“If we have a government that wishes to take the opportunity to repeal EU-derived employment protections, it is likely that any action will, at least initially, be focused on specific areas such as harmonisation of contracts following a TUPE transfer and the calculation of holiday pay, rather than a drastic rollback of employment rights.”

Peter Finding, an associate at Withers, said that prime candidates for reform would be TUPE-related dismissals, the ability to harmonise terms and conditions after a transfer, a potential cap on discrimination awards and simplification around rights to holiday pay.

He added that some things would be unaffected: “Some employment rights, such as the right to join a trade union, are protected by the UK’s status as a signatory to the European “Adherence to the Convention does not stand or fall with EU membership so Convention rights are unaffected by Brexit.”

However, it will be months before we know for sure how UK employment rights would be affected, added Finding.

He concluded: “The Government has a range of options open to it and it may be many months before any real clarity emerges about how the relationship between the EU and the UK will continue into the future and how that will affect the legal framework.”

Brexit and Employment Law

Do you know where our Employment Legislation comes from?

No – then look at the following diagram that gives an overview of how our current legislation has arrived – and most importantly when and where it derives from!



As you can see a great many of our Employment Laws and Regulations pre-date some of those coming from Europe.

So will coming out of the EU make much difference – I don’t think so. Will European Governments and Companies trade with organisations that didn’t offer minimum employee protections?

My personal view is that there would be some tweaking but I wouldn’t expect too much to change if we vote for Brexit. You may disagree but only time will tell!!



Euro Championships 2016


The European Championships run from Friday 10th June to Sunday 10th July 2016


Have you given this any consideration?
Just in case you haven’t given this tournament any thought let me give you my top suggestions for consideration: –
1. Ensure that the policy on time off to watch key sporting events is clear
2. Where possible, be flexible when dealing with requests for annual leave to watch matches


Don’t forget … Don’t assume everyone supports England – remember Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland are there. European employees may have other allegiances as well – they may make requests for holiday or adjustments to their working arrangements.


3. Consider adopting flexible working hours during the tournament and, if necessary, put in place a system for ensuring that employees make up lost time.
4. Consider allowing employees to watch key matches at the workplace.
5. Remind employees of the policy on alcohol use in the workplace
6. Deal with employees who turn up for work under the influence of alcohol.
7. Deal with unauthorised absence through the disciplinary procedure.
8. Adopt a proportionate approach to minor performance and conduct issues.
9. Consider the potential impact of criminal allegations or convictions for football hooliganism on employment.


If you want any more information please contact me


Mandy Carr



Modern Slavery Act 2015

Following the implementation of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 all large employers face the unfamiliar task of publishing a publicly available modern slavery statement for each financial year ending on or after 31 March 2016.


Principally this covers all commercial organisations carrying out business in the UK with an annual turnover of at least £36 million.


However within their statement these organisations must show what steps they have taken (if any) to ensure that their suppliers also seek to tackle modern slavery. Therefore whilst your Company may not have to publish a statement in its own right, how will you respond if questioned by a key client or customer?


Therefore you might want to consider putting a statement on your website or introducing a policy setting out your position very clearly.

You don’t need to – but consider the commercial implications – could you lose a key customer or client if you fail to give them the re-assurances they require about your own internal checks and practices.


Section 54 of the Act states that the employer’s slavery and human trafficking statement might include information on:-

• its structure, business and supply chains;
• its policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking;
• its due diligence processes in relation to slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains;
• the parts of its business and supply chains where there is a risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place, and the steps that it has taken to assess and manage that risk;
• its effectiveness in ensuring that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in its business or supply chains, measured against such performance indicators as it considers appropriate; and
• the training about slavery and human trafficking available to its staff


If considering a statement my 6 top tips would be to include:-


1. State your commitment to tackling modern slavery
2. Explain your organisational structure and supply chains
3. Set out who has responsibility for anti-slavery initiatives
4. Provide a link to relevant policies
5. State what due diligence of suppliers is carried out
6. Explain how you train staff on anti-slavery measures and any awareness-raising programmes


Please contact me if you want a fully bespoke Modern Slavery Policy drafted for you.


Mandy Carr –

Training Course – Introduction to Leadership and Management

This one-day programme is perfect whether you’re a first-time manager or an experienced manager seeking a refresher course.


It is a fast-paced workshop where delegates self-assess their current performance against a range of essential management skills.


The day consists of presentations, questionnaires, discussions, case studies and role-play exercises covering a range of key management skills that will boost your ability to maximise performance, through setting, planning and monitoring performance objectives.

Recent Blogs


Mandy is outstanding HR expert who provided me with sound advice and management of the processes whilst working with Pioneer Pumps. I would not hesitate in recommending her to any organisation but especially SME's that may well be looking to navigate the challenges of a growing team.Simon Ruffles, MD Pioneer Pump Solutions Limited.

'HR Solutions has recently worked with our company on 2 projects. They provide a top quality HR service that a business of our size would not otherwise be able to afford. Following our initial meetings, they identified the relevant issues and provided practical solutions which could be implemented quickly and easily, enabling us to focus on our business priorities'.

'Mandy has provided a great support function to our company for a number of years now. It is imperative that we manage all HR processes properly especially when laws and policies are continually evolving. Working with Mandy, I am confident that we are current and staff are supported correctly. I am more than happy to act as a reference for Mandy'.

'We have used HR Solutions across a diverse range of employment issues. In addition to the routine of recruitment, induction, creating new employment contracts for managerial and hourly paid team members, to ensuring our policies remain current, HR Solutions has also successfully managed the introduction of annual hours and the complex issues of TUPE and termination. Throughout, we have found their speed of response, empathy with me and our businesses along with a rock solid grasp of the ever evolving raft of employment legislation, have served to be a total vindication to outsource our HR requirements to their expertise'.