Amanda Russell

An Essex human resources specialist who has spent more than 25 years honing her expertise has set up a business serving local small and medium-sized businesses.

It’s the realisation of a long-held desire for Amanda Russell, who has launched The HR Dept Brentwood and Billericay to provide HR advice and support to SMEs in the area.

Based out of offices in Great Warley, the new company will also support businesses in towns including Pilgrims Hatch, Shenfield, Ingatestone, Runwell, Doddinghurst, Laindon and Wickford.

The new venture marks the culmination of a significant career in HR for Mrs Russell, who has worked in a wide variety of roles for organisations around the South East.

Her journey has taken her through sectors including manufacturing, health care, pharmaceutical, construction and media, working on varied projects from start-ups, restructuring, resourcing, training and managing change.

Now, after many years of professional corporate life, she is looking forward to working in a purely hands-on role, helping local business owners negotiate the minefield of employment legislation in increasingly litigious environment. She said;

“This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a few years now. I’m excited to take the plunge out of corporate HR and into an SME environment where I really feel I can take the broad knowledge I have gained over the years and apply it in a practical, and pragmatic way. Over the years the work I’ve enjoyed most has been working with start-ups and in turnarounds, because they tend to be smaller companies and the work is more hands on. So I’m looking forward to be doing purely the work that I find most satisfying.”

Mrs Russell was born in London but moved to Essex when she had her two children, who are both now grown up. She is currently living in Chelmsford with her partner.

She said she was excited by the challenge of setting up a new venture and by the prospect of getting her face known in the local small business community.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” she said. “It’s a big learning curve starting your own business and having to look after things like finance and marketing. But I really enjoy learning new things and can’t wait to get going. Being able to get involved in my local business community is really motivating for me. All business owners are facing the challenges of adapting to a rapidly-changing employment law landscape, so having expert advice on hand will be invaluable for them.”

The HR Dept Brentwood and Billericay is part of an international company with a network of 75 franchisees providing services in 112 territories in the UK, Ireland and Australia.

Licensees provide high-level experience but at an affordable rate for growing businesses, who can outsource HR advice and support without needing the budget for an in-house HR team.

The HR Dept model also provides an option for HR practitioners looking for flexibility and a new challenge after working in corporate life.

Gemma Tumelty, managing director of The HR Dept, said:

“It’s great to see someone of Amanda’s calibre and experience offering HR services to SMEs in Brentwood, Billericay and the surrounding area. We wish her all the best operating the licence and are sure he will make it a great success.”

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