Updated: Oct 21
Meet Bernadette Curley from newly established Lyndon James HR Consultancy.
At some point the opportunity for change presents itself to us all; we have a choice to ignore it and carry on as usual or grasp it and take a risk. The latter can be scary but if you prepare correctly and make the jump, it can be the best decision you’ll make. Bernadette Curley has done just that and set up Lyndon James HR Consultants.
I met up with Bernadette to find more about what she has to offer and who her target clients are. “Many SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) and small businesses simply don’t have the time needed to ensure they adhere to all the necessary guidelines, or it may be that they know they need to, but think they can’t afford the services of a HR professional. This is where I’m hoping Lyndon James HR Consultants will fill the gap,” explains Bernadette.
Bernadette has an impressive track record in HR across her 20 years in the business. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (UK), holds MCIPD status and has experience as a HR generalist for both private and large corporates in the UK, Europe and stateside, working in all disciplines, including, manufacturing, healthcare, NHS, vehicle repair, marketing agencies etc etc...
“It does feel strange to be stepping away from the corporate world but I’m so passionate about what I do and want to offer my services to local businesses. The world of HR legislation and compliance is becoming more and more complex and it’s so difficult for a small business to stay abreast of developments and changes to ensure they remain compliant with the changes.
“I believe some feel that they can’t afford the support they need, or it may be that they can but it never gets to the top of the priority list. Why should good HR just be for the large companies? Things don’t always require an expensive financial outlay to ensure that the correct practices and legal compliances are in place; not having these established can leave businesses exposed, especially today when employees may be fully aware of their rights.”
The typical services Bernadette is providing include, contracts and onboarding, handbooks & policies, disciplinary & grievance procedures, recruitment, absence management, HR audits & reviews, including HR GDPR, general advice and support, training and coaching, help with restructuring and redundancy, maternity leave and much more, plus she has access to payroll, health and safety, pensions, P11D services etc from partner businesses.
“It’s things like that from April 2020, new employees should have a contract including policies and procedures by the end of their first day of employment - this used to be 2 months. Failure to make employees aware of their terms of employment may result in a claim of unfair dismissal should any issues arise, but how many small businesses know this and do it?
“Are businesses ensuring that employees who are continuing to work from home, have had the correct risk assessment of their home environment to ensure it's fit for purpose? People really shouldn’t be hunched over the kitchen table or squatting on their beds! This can affect productivity and employee engagement, and more importantly, cause health and wellbeing issues.
“People think that HR is just about ‘hiring and firing’ but there really is so much more to it and this is where I can help,” says Bernadette.
Bernadette’s husband, Oliver, runs Curley’s Products, so she understands how a small business works, how they are placed financially, and the way they need the right people at the right time etc. “Even with my knowledge, we too find it difficult to find the right people but knowing the process and how it works helps remove some of the mystery, I’m not a headhunter but I can help run effective recruitment campaigns. Often with any business it’s about the company culture and finding someone that fits this - often far more important than on paper experience and a great looking CV!
“The average cost of recruiting someone can run from £3k to £5k. There are so many hidden costs associated, so businesses want to get this right first time. It does feel that over the last 18 months processes have been so informal, and it’s not always as simple as just offering more to find the right people,” says Bernadette.
I was picking up that Bernadette had really enjoyed her time in corporate HR but her desire to offer excellence locally was showing through, she really does care.
If you’re the owner or decision maker in a local SME or small business looking for professional HR support, give Lyndon James HR Consultants a call. Bernadette can offer packages and support tailored to your business and in the long run, will take the stress out of your HR issues, and as always, please mention you saw her in S40 Local!
T: 07860 499236
Words: Paul Chapman
Image: EKR Pictures