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HR outsourcing – Larger UK SME case study

Newbury business moves from in-house to outsourced payroll and HR

Roc Technologies, an IT business whose head office is based in Thatcham, near Newbury, employ more than 200 people across the UK.

In 2021, prompted by the departure of their Payroll Manager, Roc decided it was time to take a wholesale review of their payroll and HR function. Leading the review and transition was Roc’s CFO, Richard Jefferies, who oversaw the function.

“It came to our attention that for a business of our size, employing an in-house HR and payroll function (5 FTE) was not a good use of our investor’s resources. With the departure of our payroll manager, it seemed logical to outsource our payroll function to James Cowper’s payroll team, however this also led to greater questions surrounding the overall HR function’s effectiveness. We had noticed that employee relations issues were taking a significant amount of the Senior Management Team’s time as well as incurring larger costs than desired.”

"we started questioning whether our HR function was adding value to our people agenda"

It was from here that we started questioning whether our HR function was adding value to our people agenda in the way we as a business required it to.

As a business we were quite sceptical at first as to whether we should look to outsource our HR function, however following a recommendation from JC Payroll’s MD Nick Butler to speak with his HR colleagues, outsourcing began to look like a good solution. By outsourcing our HR and payroll functions we have reduced our overall headcount by 4, and have more than halved our spend. 

"The process of moving from our in-house team to an outsourced one was smoother than we could have hoped for"

The process of moving from our in-house team to an outsourced one was also smoother than we could have hoped for, which was helped by the fact our outsourced HR and payroll teams had operated together for years.”

Soon Roc will be appointing an internal Head of People, who was recruited by JCHR’s HR team at myHRdept. Does this mean that outsourcing was not the right solution for Roc?

“Not at all,” continues Richard. “The outsourced payroll and HR team have proven to be extremely effective, and have demonstrated how quickly and cleanly complex employee relations cases can be resolved. We’ve just entered a new contract for our HR and payroll function, and with Roc rapidly evolving as a business, our investors and board felt that an internal people champion would be the right next step to take. JCHR will continue their support of our HR and payroll function by providing ongoing outsourced employee relations, employment law and HR administrative support to our Head of People & wider leadership team.

The input JCHR provided for the person specification for our new Head of People role was invaluable, and without it there was a risk that we may have recruited the ‘wrong fit’ of HR person for Roc. Once we agreed the specification, we were equally pleased to see an excellent shortlist of candidates, and we’re now close to our new Head of People starting with us.

"the increased focus on a value-added people agenda for the benefit of our colleagues"

Our overall expenditure for the function remains less than our original model, and the quality of input and output, including the increased focus on a value-added people agenda for the benefit of our colleagues, is much higher. We can honestly say that outsourcing payroll and HR to JCHR was a wise cost-to-benefit business decision, and the year gap between our old HR function and our new one, supported by JCHR’s HR team has proven to be invaluable.”

Our thanks to Roc for their permission to publish this case study and to Richard Jefferies for his kind words about JCHR.

JCHR have now recruited a Head of People, who will soon join Roc’s leadership team. Once in place, her focus on employee engagement, upskilling and people culture will be supported by JCHR’s employment law and employee relations team.

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