HB Humphries engage expert HR support for their long-established family firm

From design to production

Founded in 1946 and still managed by the same family, H.B. Humphries are leaders in the sheet metal fabrication industry. Success is based on employing an experienced team and continual investment in state-of-the-art workshop equipment. With a nationwide customer base, they have created products for the Millennium Dome, Chester Zoo, Docklands and the Silverstone Circuit.

Their sister company HBH Laser use laser cutting technology to give design options to customers that will save them time and money. Working alongside H.B. Humphries they offer a wide and complex range of products all under one roof.

A need for expert advice

Niki Brandrick is the company’s Financial Director and is granddaughter of the founder, Harold Burghley Humphries. Niki was aware that she already had some HR elements in place such as contracts and some policies but she was conscious that it wasn’t enough. With a growing team and ever-increasing employer responsibilities, she knew that she needed help.

“I knew that we needed expert advice to give us a consistent approach across the board. We had a need to ensure that we were covering all the topics that a business needs to consider when it comes to setting out and communicating its policies”.

The external accountant at H. B. Humphries recommended Keeping HR Simple. There was an immediate connection and Katherine and Niki clicked straight away. Niki has always been impressed with the hands-on approach and in particular, the fact that Katherine comes out at least once a month. The face to face meetings are an important element to be able to bounce ideas around and agree on the approach before talking to staff.

Katherine and the Keeping HR Simple team adopted a very methodical way of working that was easily accessible. They provided reassurance and confidence that nothing was being missed.

They reviewed and overhauled the HR documentation as a starting point, updating contracts and the staff handbook. This gave Niki and Fran, the Managing Director, complete peace of mind that everything was in place.

Katherine was available to meet with every member of the team, answering questions and explaining things if they weren’t sure. This enabled her to start building a good rapport with people

A continued good working relationship

The connection made with Keeping HR Simple 5 years ago is as strong today as then. Confidence is given by knowing that if there is an issue, they are there to provide advice and reassurance. Niki and the Company feel safe in the knowledge there is someone on their side who understands the business.

“HR is one of many things I do but it’s good to know that I have this area fully covered. Knowledgeable and willing to share her expertise, Katherine is one of the team, someone I know I can count on should a difficult situation arise.”

Katherine now meets at least once a year with each employee. Although they feel very comfortable approaching the Company’s Management team, having Katherine there gives them another option of someone to talk to.

Katherine has always been impressed with how quickly Niki and team take on board any feedback and implement any changes needed.

“They’re perfect clients. They ask for help when they need it, they listen and then they implement whatever it is they need to do. Not only that but they’re great at communicating changes made so the whole team understands not just what may have changed but why.”

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