When did you join Bespoke HR and what prompted you to work for us?

I joined in 2015. Before I had my son, I had been working in a corporate role for a large hotel group in London but whilst on maternity leave I knew I couldn’t juggle commuting from Hampshire, working full time and a toddler so I began to look for part-time, flexible roles locally. I was looking for a role that allowed me to use my previous HR skills and still challenge me; Bespoke HR was the perfect fit. I met Alison and I was sold!

Tell us about your HR career background. How did you get into HR and what motivated you?

My first taste of HR was during Year 10 school work experience back in 1998! I was assigned to a company that produced medical equipment and shadowed the HR Director. I loved the oversight HR had on the business. As part of my degree I was given the opportunity to study HR Management and felt that it was the right mix of business and psychology. After university I started off in an HR shared service centre for a large computer company and then went into various HR Manager and Business Partner roles in other organisations.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love our variety of clients! We work with some fantastic clients who are just starting out, it’s great to be able to work with them to help them grow and also build their people strategy, setting them up for future success.

What advice would you give small businesses owners who don’t have any HR support or budget about how they can look after their staff and their business?

ACAS is a great resource for employment law guides and templates.

What are the biggest challenges your clients face would you say?

The economic climate is challenging, we are seeing big well known companies disappearing from the high street and it can be even tougher for smaller businesses. Keeping agile and anticipating customer needs are key at the moment.

What would be your one single biggest piece of HR advice?

Invest in your hiring process to find the right people as they can truly make your business a success. Also hire people who aren’t like you, it’s tempting to hire people who have the same background/interests/education as you but diversity can really grow your business.

Laura Cross is HR Consultant at Bespoke HR. 

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