HR experts celebrate growth and join forces to expand in the North East

Two human resources professionals who set up their own businesses within the past two years have been approached by a retiring competitor to take over advice and support services to his clients.

Jayne Hart, in Newcastle, and Alison Schreiber, in Durham and Darlington, run their own independent HR businesses under licence from The HR Dept.

The national firm consists of a network of more than 60 expert HR advisers working in 80 territories around the UK and Ireland, providing high-level but cost-effective outsourced HR advice and support to SMEs.

North East businesswomen Jayne and Alison set up their companies two years and one year ago respectively and have now collaborated to increase their customer base. This move marks a significant development for both women’s growing businesses.

In her third year, Jayne’s client base has more than doubled, with turnover increasing by 60 per cent in year two.

Meanwhile Alison, who previously worked for a large multi-national before deciding to leave corporate life and set up her own company, has marked the end of her first year by securing these new clients.

Jayne, who is based in South Shields: “It was really good to have Alison on board in the North East and we often work together for the benefit of our clients. When we were approached by the retiring HR consultant it made sense to collaborate and take on the new clients, continuing the excellent service that they had been used to.

“We are meeting with all the clients which are based in our territories – Newcastle for me, Durham and Darlington for Alison – and it has been really great getting to know these new businesses.”

Alison, who is based in Durham, said: “We both bring high level HR experience to our client base and it’s the kind of expertise which SMEs increasingly need.

“With several new pieces of legislation and regulations being introduced, such as Shared Parental Leave, Auto-Enrolment and the National Living Wage, the demands on small business owners to look after their employees correctly are growing all the time.

“It means that business is growing steadily and things are going really well for us both. Taking on these new clients is further expansion which not only helps us become even better established in our territories here but also helps The HR Dept become known as a brand in the North East.”

Government statistics released in December last year by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills show that, although the number of businesses in the North East fell by 10 per cent in 2014/15, there are still 39,000 companies employing staff in the region. Of these almost all are SMEs, as only one per cent of businesses nationwide employ more than 250 people.

And Jayne said she predicted further growth for both women’s businesses over the coming months and years: “Outsourcing in general is definitely becoming more popular as it is a more cost effective approach for growing businesses so there is real growth potential for us.

“It’s a really enjoyable time. I love the variety of a job which really makes a difference to small businesses and the personal satisfaction of the independence and autonomy is great.”

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