I feel richer now than I felt on my corporate salary, because of the freedom of doing things my way!"Sarah Bradley – Leeds South
You can actually take a proper break, knowing that the support is there for your own staff."Linda Percival - South Essex With The HR Dept since 2006
Based in Latchingdon in Essex, Linda Percival previously worked in senior HR roles for a number of blue chip companies, most recently Wincanton Logistics.
Before starting The HR Dept South Essex, Linda had been contemplating working for herself for quite a while. More than anything she was getting frustrated with her daily commute into London. Every day she spent hours on the M25 and dreaded becoming another accident statistic on the local news.
But Linda struggled with the idea of giving up the security and benefits that come with an in-house role. Then she heard about The HR Dept and had a look at our website. She then decided to take the plunge in January 2006 and has not looked back since.
“There was so much support available in helping me to get started,” explains Linda. “It is nothing like starting your own business. There’s always someone to talk to – at the Central Office and with the other licensees around the country. And it’s fantastic to have holiday support when you need it. You can actually take a proper break, knowing that the support is there for your own staff.
Linda really appreciates being part of a national network of HR professionals. “We all share our experiences and advice.” says Linda. “Barely a day goes by without an email going around from a licensee asking if anyone else has experience in a specific area. You’re never on your own. This means our clients benefit from having a local advisor close by, with all the advantages of being part of a much larger organisation.”
Linda works with a wide range of clients from solicitors, golf clubs and schools to funeral directors and those in catering, retail, logistics and manufacturing industries. Linda finds that accountants are a good to work with as they will quite often refer clients to her for HR support.
Being an HR Dept licensee is extremely rewarding. “It’s a great feeling to know that you’ve giving sound advice to a company that couldn’t afford their own HR manager and that the advice you’ve given has helped to make a real difference.” says Linda.
“Very often I have to do some hand holding as the businesses I work with can be small. One of my clients recently had to make five people redundant and the director didn’t want to do it alone. Me and my team led the briefing with him. It was a difficult time as the members of staff were like an extended family. But with the right support, the task was carried out with sensitivity and professionalism.”
Since working within The HR Dept, Linda has seen a massive improvement in her work/life balance, particularly as she no longer has to spend hours every day in the car. “It’s a wonderful combination – you’re the boss and it’s your own business, but the support and back-up is available whenever you need it. I plan my own day and my own time. I’m in control.”
Linda’s advice for anyone considering joining The HR Dept is: “Don’t waste time – just do it! I’ve no regrets at all. I churned it over for months, and I really needn’t have. It’s the best move I ever made.”
Linda and her team have their own offices in Latchingdon and continue to grow the business through effective word of mouth marketing. The network of licensees and the Bristol office are always there to support you when needed.
“We have been delighted with the service that The HR Dept South Essex has provided since their appointment in July 2012. As a large, independent HMC boarding and day school, the need for professional, accurate and up to date advice on all HR related matters is of paramount importance.
The customer-focused support and guidance provided to us by our dedicated advisor, who is always available to assist, has proved invaluable in enabling us to deal promptly and efficiently with all HR issues, including those of a more complex nature.”
Headmaster of The Royal Hospital School
“LB Group has worked with The HR Dept South Essex for a number of years now and throughout that period they have provided a top level service for a value for money fee. We are always very happy to recommend the services of The HR Dept to our clients from small to medium sized businesses, knowing that they have the experience and knowledge to help our clients.”
Stuart Sheldrick, LB Group Ltd.
“From day one I was impressed with The HR Dept. As an outsourced service ourselves, we are always keen to work with businesses who also work on an outsourcing basis. Whenever we have needed HR support, they have delivered a very friendly, prompt and professional response which always helps me take the right next step in the employment minefield.”
Natalie Perillo, Director, MyRuby Limited
“We would highly recommend Linda and the HR Dept South Essex for their excellent advice, speed of service and knowledge in dealing with all HR matters.
This has proved invaluable at times and has enabled us to follow the correct procedures and avoid any recourse from employees.”
First Strokes Swim Schools Limited