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City of York Trading Case Study

Business Planning 

City of York Trading (CYT), trading as Work with York and Work with Schools, is a recruitment agency handling temporary, permanent and seasonal jobs on an adhoc, part and full time basis, with clients across many different industries and sectors, including schools.

Having previously been part of the City of York Council, CYT had been operating successfully on an ‘arms length’ commercial basis since 2011.  However, with the industry and business landscape changing, it wanted to diversify its client base, increase its current market share and expand its reach geographically

Having designed and embarked on a new strategy to take it through both business expansion and growth to 2020, CYT identified the requirement for specialist HR expertise that it did not have in-house.  Petaurum Solutions were selected to present a plan to ensure that the HR aspects of its new business plan could be achieved legally and successfully.

CYT’s staff comprised some who had TUPE transferred from City of York Council in 2011, some who had TUPE transferred from a recent acquisition and others who were directly employed by CYT on its own terms and conditions.

CYT had developed its “One Company” vision which required a solid people-related baseline on which to grow the staff, increasing headcount along the way.  Given the make-up of the workforce, there were a range of different job descriptions, role profiles, contracts of employment and policies that needed to be harmonised, modernised and embedded.

The Project: CYT asked Petaurum Solution to present:

  • A new standard suite of role profiles that would align to the 2020 Vision
  • A new contract of employment that would be standard for all staff
  • A new job offer letter
  • A communications plan for staff that would, by a fixed date, carry out consultations with staff to bring all staff onto the same terms and conditions, with a standard role profile and working under the same set of policies.

CYT were ‘the face’ of the project, undertaking all communications, taking the lead in all presentations and face-to-face meetings and they themselves reviewed and developed the new set of policies.

Petaurum Solutions’ role, together with the development of new documents, was to advise on the consultation process and issues arising and to be available to assist CYT leaders with consultation meetings where issues were raised that required a deeper level of HR expertise.

The key phases of the project were:

  • Evaluation of all documents relating to both the staff and the current policies, profiles and job description for their adherence to new and current legislation and their capacity to support the 2020 Vision.
  • Developing proposed solutions, including:
    • A new role profile template and suite of completed role profiles that were more clearly aligned to the 2020 Vision.
    • A new set of Terms and Conditions, that would be applicable to all staff, including a revised job offer letter.
    • A proposed consultation process that would meet legal standards, both in terms of TUPE transferred and directly employed staff.
    • A presentation that included the 2020 vision but also focused on the way in which staff would be impacted, for use by the Senior Management in both their presentation to the Executive Board and to the staff. This was key to retaining the trust and confidence of staff through the journey and ensuring that CYT’s values of being Ethical, Responsive, Approachable and Consultative were at the forefront of engagement with staff throughout the process.
  • Implementation:
    • Petaurum Solutions’ team reviewed and devised a new Role Profile that cut down the number of tasks for each role, and that would grade all tasks in ranked order of alignment with CYT’s strategic aims. In addition, each task was assigned an associated success factor.  The template profile was also flexible in that, as the organisation grew and expanded and opportunities for development and advancement grew, the timescales, training requirements and advancement path could be added to each profile.
    • The team devised a new flexible set of Terms and Conditions that included optional clauses to fit the seniority and detail of each role. This was supported by a new job offer template that removed any contractual issues from the offer, assigning them either to the new T&Cs or the new policies.
    • The team presented a detailed consultation plan and process with supporting documentation.
    • The team developed a presentation based on the HR aspects of the 2020 plan for use by the MD in various meetings and presentations.

Outcome: Although the original timescales changed owing to unforeseen factors, the Project was delivered on time (revised timescale) and to budget.  All staff all were legally and positively consulted, and the consultation ended successfully with all staff signing new Terms and Conditions and working with their upgraded role profiles.

What the Client Said: We are extremely pleased to have selected Petaurum Solutions to support CYT on this challenging organisational change programme. They provided insightful HR consulting advice both in planning the approach to the programme and throughout the consultation process with our employees.” Read the full City of York Trading testimonial here

What we Said: “This was a great opportunity to support a business with strong leadership and an engaged team and help them to implement the changes they needed to make to underpin their growth and future success.  The business now has a solid foundation of people processes that are aligned to its business objectives and aspirations, providing them with a scalable platform for the future”.

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