A BRADFORD woman has set up a new business offering human resources support to SMEs in her home city.

With more than 20 years’ experience working in HR for firms including telecoms giant O2, William Hill and Asda, Joanna Charles has launched The HR Dept Bradford.

Working from offices in Thornton, her new company will offer the full range of HR advice and support on an outsourced basis. It means her director-level expertise will be available at an affordable rate for local small and medium sized businesses.

“It’s really exciting to be able to concentrate all my generalist experience working with local organisations,” she said

“It’s been something I’ve been looking to do for the past three or four years.

“My last role was all-encompassing, with business development, operations, client interaction – the full suite of activity. So I realised I could do it myself.

“I loved the client relationships and that’s where my strength is.”

She added: “In my most recent job one of my clients was Bradford Council, so I gained some insight into the local business community here.

“It’s a real growth area, vibrant and diverse. Bradford has been named as the best city in the UK to start a business and with all the work going into the Bradford BID there are exciting times ahead.


“So there’s lots of opportunity for me to support that growth. I’m looking forward to helping businesses maximise the effectiveness of their people, and to help with any employment issues those companies need to help them develop.”

She said there was a lot for SMEs to think about and HR could often present a “headache” for them.

“What I’m offering is a safe pair of hands to let the business owner focus on what they do best, as well as strategic support for those companies looking to grow and develop.”

The HR Dept is an international business, with a network of over 71 franchisees providing HR services in 109 territories in the UK, Ireland and Australia.