Katie and Olivia join forces to bring The HR Dept to Glasgow

13/06/2023
Left to Right: Katie Bell and Olivia Flattery of The HR Dept Glasgow

A LOCAL human resources expert has joined forces with a long-standing licensee and brought The HR Dept franchise to Glasgow.

Katie Bell and Olivia Flattery have simultaneously launched The HR Dept South Glasgow and The HR Dept Glasgow City NW, offering practical and pragmatic support to SMEs within their community. 

“Katie and I launching together made perfect sense” Olivia said. “We complement each other nicely in that I have been running my own HR business for the last eight years and Katie brings the local knowledge from living in and around Glasgow for the last 20 years.”

“Joining forces allows us to better serve our community and we’re very pleased to be working alongside each other.” 

After growing up in Lanark, Katie’s studies and HR career have seen her primarily based in Glasgow, minus a short stint in London following the financial crisis.

“The move to self-employment for me, was to give back to the local community and support SMEs in Scotland and Glasgow in particular,” she said.

“What’s really important to me is being able to see the impact our support has on SMEs which is not always easy in corporate HR roles.”

Having joined The HR Dept eight years ago and establishing two territories in West London, Olivia fell in love with Glasgow, moving to the city two years ago as the world moved online during Covid. 

“Glasgow is such a vibrant city and holds a special place in my heart because of the people. The city’s slogan is ‘People make Glasgow’ after all and this couldn’t be a truer synergy with the ethos of our business,” Olivia said.

“My HR career has seen me travel from place to place but I can finally say I’ve found somewhere I want to call home and I am so looking forward to meeting more people in my local community.”

Between them, Katie and Olivia have over four decades of generalist HR experience, advising on and managing people issues across a range of sectors, including financial services, entrepreneurial startups, and retail. 

As part of the pre-decision process when exploring the franchise opportunity, Katie was introduced to Olivia to discuss her experience of being an HR Dept licensee.

“We met before I signed anything, which was key in making my decision to become an HR Dept licensee,” Katie said. “We had very open conversations about how we can work together and decided to simultaneously launch our businesses. It’s been a great help for us both.”

Katie is the contact for SMEs looking for outsourced HR support in the South of Glasgow whilst Olivia is the contact for the North of Glasgow. 

They offer a full range of HR services on a retained and/or pay-as-you-go basis and can support SMEs with hiring their first employee, growing their business and restructuring. 

Katie and Olivia explained that already they can see the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on the SME community.

“For business owners, running a business has become incredibly tight with increasing costs of utilities and materials and this becomes even more challenging when balancing the needs of employees and thinking about how to increase wages and retain staff.

“The cost-of-living crisis, alongside the aftermath of COVID and Brexit has had a ripple effect across the country and fed into a period of employee unrest. We can only assume this is why we, as HR professionals, are seeing a dramatic rise in grievance cases across our businesses, which is something we can support our clients with.

“We’re very much looking forward to helping SMEs grow their businesses and understand the impact HR has on it’s bottom-line.”

Felicity Kenny, managing director of The HR Dept, said: “We are delighted that Katie and Olivia have joined forces to bring their expertise together for the benefit of SMEs in Glasgow. It’s a potent mix of experience and local knowledge for the city’s community of smaller businesses. We wish them all the best with their new businesses and are sure they will be successful.”

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