Midlands Family Business Conference: HR and recruitment

Laura Kearsley

Ahead of the TheBusinessDesk.com’s Midlands Family Business Conference, we caught up with our headline sponsor to discuss the key areas that will be addressed.

Laura Kearsley is a partner and solicitor at leading East Midlands law firm, Nelsons, and specialises in employment law. She has experience in developing HR services for clients and can support family businesses on a range of matters including recruitment, restructuring and settlements.

Sometimes the benefits of a family business, such as being a close-knit and trusting team, can also present challenges, particularly when not everyone agrees.

However, equipping your business with the best recruitment tools and seeking HR advice when needed can ensure that family relations remain harmonious even during difficult times. This means that when changes occur, such as family members leaving or new employees joining from outside the family circle, these can be dealt with seamlessly.

Settling disputes

Disputes can be significantly harder in family businesses with emotions often running high. To ensure that these disputes are dealt with swiftly and therefore do not spill over into home life, having HR procedures and policies in place is crucial.

At Nelsons, we take a whole business approach and look at ways to prevent a dispute from occurring in the first place. For example, having a the right shareholder agreement or partnership documents can ensure the continued and effective running of the business. Furthermore, it’s important to make sure contracts of employment are in place for all employees so that everyone knows their role and the expectations that come with it.

In the event that a dispute cannot be resolved, our team works hard to keep litigation as a last resort. Especially with family businesses, it’s good to look at alternative ways to resolve disputes, for example mediation, rather than opting straight for the Employment Tribunal or Court.

Bringing in outside talent

While going into the family business is a great way to build a career with people you know and care about, it should not be assumed that all generations will intend to follow the same path. There are certainly benefits to building a business with partners or relatives, for example shared ambitions or finances. However, it might be that at some point specific skills are needed to take the business to the next level.

Integrating talent from outside the family is a big step for businesses to take but it can be a crucial one for continued growth and success. If it’s the first time doing so, professional advice can help to successfully integrate newcomers and ensure positive progress.

Mind the gap

Employee changes are inevitable, even within family businesses. Perhaps an area that is sometimes avoided in discussions is the possibility of family members leaving the business in pursuit of other ambitions or maybe taking time off for other responsibilities.

We will discuss how these changes can be accommodated and family members supported to leave and potentially rejoin at a later date.

Obtaining additional HR and recruitment support can be a great way to strengthen the family culture, with an advisor being able to fully embed themselves into the business to understand the values and spot areas of potential.

Furthermore, having external support offers an unbiased viewpoint for the family business, which can be important to keep a neutral perspective on important decisions. The right recruitment and HR expert can ensure all the basic functions are met as well as provide bespoke advice to suit the specific needs of the family business.

Join us

The Midlands Family Business Conference will take place on Thursday 23 November at Holywell Park in Loughborough and will highlight the unique place that family businesses hold in the Midlands economy.

The event will be fully interactive, giving every delegate the chance to shape the conversation through a panel discussion and a series of round tables – as well as featuring a high-profile keynote speaker.

For more information visit Midlands Family Business Conference.