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Spotlight on Kevin Hollingworth

Kevin Hollingworth launched his HR Dept office for Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent in April. Previously he had enjoyed a long HR career at major retailer Matalan. As we welcome him to our network he shares some of his background in this month’s spotlight interview.

What inspired you to get into HR?

I love helping people, and businesses, be the best they can be. Sometimes this can involve navigating them out of troubled waters. So naturally HR felt like the profession for me. I actually got into Manchester Metropolitan University to study music (I was a grade seven clarinet player until the age of 18). But I changed my mind on day one to study HR! And I’ve never looked back. The clarinet still sits in my attic gathering dust!

Can you share an example of some problem behaviour you’ve had to deal with?

I like confidence, but I strongly dislike arrogance. I came across overly dominant behaviour from a CEO recently. Whilst I loved their passion, it had boiled over and had become less conducive to having an engaged workforce. The fear it instils actually leads to worse performance.

Tell us about your joining The HR Dept team?

Two things attracted me to The HR Dept.

One was definitely the ability to run and grow my own business, with the support network of the other licensees.

The second is a more personal reason, relating to my miracle son who was born through IVF two years ago. I want the flexibility to be the dad who does get to all the sports days and parents evenings. I’ve seen too many dads over the years regret not seeing those special moments in their children’s lives.

But it’s also important my son sees my work ethic to help set his expectations of the future. At the rate he’s growing up, he’ll be managing my social media soon!

What is your secret to success?

Do what you love, and love what you do! I was recently asked about how I cope with the stresses of running you own business and switching off at home. The truth is, I don’t! But that doesn’t cause me stress because I love what I do!