My highlight of being in The Network is looking back at what we've created over the years. I've tried to create a business that I would like to be employed by and that's what's really special!"
Nigel Finch – Wigan, Manchester & Liverpool

About us

The HR Dept was started in 2002 by Founder and Executive Director, Sue Tumelty to provide local and personal, practical and pragmatic expert HR and employment law advice to small and medium sized businesses.

Having come from a corporate background, Sue found that the hardest part of setting up the business wasn’t the HR side of things, but instead the business aspects and the marketing. So when the original Bristol office began to thrive she began to think how she could help other HR professionals set up quickly and easily under The HR Dept brand. That was the beginning of the story and the business soon became a franchise operation helping HR professionals to open offices across the UK, Ireland and Australia.

In November 2021, The HR Dept Group Ltd became an Employee Ownership Trust and introduced Keith Sadler as CEO and chair of the EOT. The EOT has put the people who are passionate about the business at the heart of its future, whilst protecting the unique culture and values that have been the foundation of the business since 2002.

The HR Dept is now the UK’s largest network of HR professionals providing outsourced HR support to local businesses. Not many SMEs can afford the luxury or actually require a full time HR presence. Nevertheless, employers still need to understand and comply with ever-changing employment legislation and with our ability to provide tribunal indemnity insurance covering legal expenses and awards, they get true peace of mind.

Our vision is to have an expanding network of HR Dept local offices across the UK and Ireland providing local and personal, high quality, cost effective services to the SME marketplace.

Meet the team

Central Office

Central Office
Your Support Function

      We have a dedicated central office team, who are there to support our Licensees from the initial set up and ongoing running of their business. The HR Dept is a family business at heart and our support team have been chosen for their specific areas of expertise, including business development, operational, legal, finance and marketing.
      Sue Tumelty

      Sue Tumelty
      Founder

          Sue founded The HR Dept in 2002, two years later franchised the model and grew it into the success it is today. The original Bristol office is now staffed with a team of 15+ and the Licensee network covers the whole of the UK and Ireland. Sue is an experienced and commercially aware HR professional. Sue stepped down as CEO in 2021, appointing Keith Sadler the position as she transitioned the business to an Employee Ownership Trust. However, she is still a great a source of advice and professional support for the network as well as their ever-growing client base.
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          Meet our experts

          Jen Wagstaff

          Jen Wagstaff
          Sales and Mindset Coach

              Jen, Owner of CreativeMind Sales Training, is The Network's Sales and Mindset Coach. New licensees joining The HR Dept will benefit from our co-created Sales Programme within their first year of trading which consists of three key parts:
              • Sales Launch Workshop delivered face to face on Day 2 of Licensee Inductions.
              • One-to-One Sales Coaching
              • Ongoing "How-to" webinars to reinforce learning and provide practical steps to help grow your business
              Jen understands that 80% of success comes down to your mindset and therefore a key focus throughout the programme is identifying limiting beliefs, reframing your thoughts on 'sales' and finding your own authentic style to achieve stronger results in the most enjoyable way.
              Admire PR

              Admire PR
              Press and Media Experts

                  Admire PR work with new licensees to provide a press launch in their local business press, as well as being on call to advising and supporting licensees with ongoing press activity when required. In addition, Admire PR are responsible for promoting The HR Dept brand nationwide – positioning us as a thought leader in Human Resources and, in particular, as the nation’s HR voice for SMEs. Andrea Bristol, the Founder of Admire PR, has 17 years’ experience in the field and, combined with a close-knit team of 6 brilliant writers and PRs, lives and breathes effective promotion.
                  Meet more experts View team