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Company: MHA MacIntyre Hudson, London, United Kingdom
Category: Human Resources Team of the Year – Other

Entry Title: Not Just a Number: Making HR Count!

Team Essay:


In January 2017, MHA stood on a cliff-edge. It had doubled headcount (to 750 staff) and tripled turnover (to £60 million) since 2009. But with the bigger workload this ‘quantum-leap’ had generated, came the spectre of reduced morale, increased attrition, and lack of work-life balance for hard-working staff.

To head off this potentially destabilising situation, the HR department could not revert to prerecession, industry-norm practices to recruit, retain, and reward employees. The required strategy needed to be flexible, proactive and innovative, whilst also offering cost-effective and valueadded service to MHA. Challenging the traditional perception of HR as an administrative cost centre to one of a resource that generates tangible benefits for staff and clients alike.


In 2017 the HR Team launched a wide-range of bold initiatives – facilitating real change for both the working practices and working culture at MHA MacIntyre Hudson:

-Instigated an effective, firmwide employee engagement platform
-Campaign to launch the firm’s Values (Appendix 1)
-Increased automation via the roll-out of new HR software in order to offer a fast, First-Class HR service
-Created a bespoke range of internal career development programmes for all staff, from entry-level to director (Appendix 2)
-Launched a ‘life-coaching’ programme aimed management-level staff.
-Introduced agile-working.
-Extended access to internal training programmes to third-party clients (Appendix 2.2)
-Developed an Internal Recruitment Team practices to improve hiring procedures and reduce dependency on external agencies (Appendix 3)
-Increased range of HR consulting services that could be sold to third-party clients (Appendix 5)
-Facilitated a vibrant revamp of MHA’s web and social media presence (Appendix 5)


This HR strategy added up in more ways than one for MHA (Appendices 1-5 for additional details):

1. It has ensured that all initiatives supported the company’s overall business imperatives and contributed to the company’s bottom line for 2017-18:

-Development and support of In-house recruitment team have resulted in nearly half (47%) of all our new hires being done without external agencies – creating a savings of £273,000 over the past 18 months

-Generating internal awareness with the firm of HR services sold to clients has increase fees by 34% from 2016 to 2017, with an additional 20% forecast for the year ending 2018
Client base for these services has expanded by 310% (17 companies in 2016 to 70 in

-All Internal training programmes that have been made available to external clients generating an additional £35,000 in fees (2017 à June 2018) that could be reinjected into the firm’s training budget

2. It has rejuvenated MHA’s brand-identity:

-‘Numbers count but not as much as people’ recruitment initiative launched – stressing the new face of accountancy to prospective employees

-Feedback on Indeed.co.uk shows us to be building reputation as positive and supportive

-Listed in the top 6 school leaver programmes for Accountancy and shortlisted across 5
categories in the March 2018 School Leaver awards (www.allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk)

3. Crucially, the HR team at MHA Macintyre Hudson also secured something else: a tangible change in culture.

-STAR Values consistently used by staff to drive behaviour

-Word-of mouth feedback on new the management training initiative increased 2017 course
demand by about 122% - staff were being proactive in developing their skill sets

-Of staff participating in the management level Life-Coaching, 93% applied to continue with it after the initial phase citing that it provided great insight into their development and way of

-Ultimately, the changes the HR team have made over the last 18 months have transformed MHA’s Macintyre Hudson’s appeal both internally and externally.

-Traditionally accountancy doesn’t have the most energised of images, but MHA Macintyre Hudson’s image is different - and it’s been driven from the HR team – the function most typically seen as back-room is now the engine-room.

Team Summary:

-Launch and reinforcement of firm’s STAR Values has generated positive impact on firm culture
(Appendices 1 & 1.1)

-Shortlisted for 5 School-leaver employment awards and recognised in the top 6 Accountancy employers for school-leavers (Appendix 5)

-Recruitment agency usage has been steadily reducing with 47% of hires being direct in 2018- helping to create a savings of £273k over the last 18 months (Appendix 3.1)

-New bespoke management training programmes have seen an increase in participation of 121% over the previous programme (Appendix 2.1)

-Opening of new training programme to external participants has contributed £35,000 to bottom line for 2017-2018

-Outsourced HR function is now used by 70 clients, an increase of 310% on 2016, and is projected to contributing £123k to bottom-line in 2018. (Appendix 4)

-Improved recruitment and induction procedures have seen a 56% improvement in the professional skill of new trainees over the 2016 intake (Appendix 3)

Attachments/ Links:







Supporting Document