Looking after your people while your business grows

Acorns & Oaks Outsourcing

Outsourced HR Services

You may not have, or need, an HR team yet, but you still have to ensure that you are managing the inevitable people issues. By outsourcing your HR, you can ensure that you’re getting professional advice in HR matters which protects you as the employer, and enables your business to review and improve your people practices. It also frees up your time to run your business. Plus, access to pay as you go HR software.

But it’s not all paperwork: engaged employees, great morale and an open culture keep your people happy and your business moving.  I can work with you to identify issues and make improvements.

Acorns & Oaks People Management

People Management

People Management can be very rewarding, but very time consuming.  It covers a range of legal and best practice areas which include employee relations, line management, disciplinary and grievance matters, performance management and appraisals, company culture, absence management, well-being to name just a few.

I prefer to work with my clients with a prevention over cure approach. By nurturing a great company culture, creating an open and honest environment, rewarding good work, dealing with issues in a timely and fair way and enabling diversity and flexibility you’re far less likely to encounter the bigger problems that lead to conflict or legal action.  Create and nurture an engaged team and your business will only sour.

Acorns & Oaks Processes

HR Policies & HR Processes

Taking on staff is a big responsibility, you need them to help make your business a success. By ensuring that you have your HR policies in place and have documented your HR processes, you will save time, money and a fair few headaches. By doing this with employee number one, you ensure you’re all set for when your business grows.

I can provide you with HR policies and HR processes (some are required by law), or if you already have them, review them to ensure they’re up to date. This will help keep your business running while you’re busy making it grow.

Acorns & Oaks Software HR

HR Software

I’ve partnered with a cloud-based HR software provider to enable me to offer a full-service to my clients. HR admin can take up so much time; messing around with a dozen spreadsheets, filing systems and documents all over the place.  This system, developed in the UK by a small business specifically for small businesses, takes away all of that leaving you to work with your people, not pieces of paper.  It’s great value, no long contracts with pay-as-you-go, is very user friendly and complies with GDPR and ISO standards.

More information is available here.

Acorns & Oaks Recruitment

Recruitment Services

Your people will make or break your business.

Getting the right person for your business is critical, but recruitment isn’t easy and can be time consuming, frustrating and costly. I can take this over for you as much or as little as you like – from defining the role and job description, advertising, CV sifting, interviewing, managing candidates to offer.

Just one hire can take weeks to achieve, meanwhile, the work still needs to be done, it can impact the rest of your team or perhaps you’re putting off hiring because you just don’t have the time. Before you spend £000s on recruitment consultants, let’s have a chat about how I can help you save time and money.

Acorns & Oaks Onboarding

New Starter Onboarding

Once you’ve found that perfect new team member, you need to follow up with reference checks and security checks (if applicable) – have you checked for skeletons in the closet?

Most importantly, making the right impression from day one is critical to retaining staff. It is in your interest to ensure they have all the tools they need to succeed; you don’t want to have to start all over again because you weren’t prepared. I can take over the onboarding process for you by managing your new starters; from them accepting the job offer to day one, as well as providing an induction plan to see you through the first few weeks.

Acorns & Oaks Exit Interviews

Exit Interviews

Many businesses, big and small, do exit interviews with staff leaving the business as matter of course these days.  For some it’s a tick-box exercise; the information gathered disappears into a file somewhere never to be viewed again, for others it’s conducted by someone too close to the person leaving; in some cases, the line manager or business owner themselves – neither of which are likely to garner truly honest feedback.  I can provide a completely independent, impartial and anonymous service, gathering vital information from exiting staff which will then be passed back to the business and can be used to develop stronger people practices.

Mediation and Grievances

Work can be a stressful environment filled with a fabulous mix of different people and different personalities. With that there can be times when conflict arises, it’s almost inevitable, but how you deal with it is critical to reduce the disruption to your business and the people working within it.  I can intervene and provide support to help resolve these issues.

The Benefits of Using Acorns & Oaks

Because no-one can do it all.
  • Professional people management/HR support

  • Hands-on consultant who understands your business

  • Remote or in person support (or both)

  • Flexible approach to suit business need

  • Retainer or project based

  • Affordable services with small business focus


“Maria is a great person to have if you “need sorting out”. She has the ability to rapidly identify and implement effective solutions, bring value and enable an organisation to grow. She communicates well, wanting to make sure not only her personal interactions are good, but also supports and advises senior managers on effective communications with the organisation.”

Stevan Zivanovic , Breaking Through The Barriers Ltd

“We were particularly busy earlier in the year and needed to add resource to our team, most critically we needed someone we could trust to work remotely. Maria stepped in seamlessly; working with us three days a week, she quickly understood our business and was deliver operational improvements which enables our business to run more effectively, saving us time and money, as well as improving stress levels into the bargain. I’d definitely call on her services again.”

Julie Osborne, Managing Director, Osborne Thomas Limited

“I had an HR issue that I had never had to deal with before and, although ignorant of the procedures, I was aware that the consequences of getting it wrong could be very serious. I therefore asked Maria for help, and her knowledge and advice were invaluable. She understood my concerns and, as well as setting out the legal requirements in detail, she offered practical solutions that meant the issue was dealt with before it became a major problem. I will definitely be turning to Maria for assistance in the future, she offers great support in a number of areas that most small business owners do not deal with on a regular basis – an extremely useful and financially effective service.”

Linden Weller, Managing Partner, Dennehy Weller

“Acorns & Oaks were referred to me when I needed help with a staff disciplinary matter. Maria was quickly able to understand the situation, provide appropriate outcomes and paperwork, as well as attending an onsite meeting at short notice. Having Maria there to advise and mediate on a difficult situation was a huge help. She is professional, yet personable and I’d happily recommend her to others.”

Siddiq Miah, BusinessWise