The highly qualified HR expert left her corporate London life behind her, having had enough of travelling from one end of the country to the other over the past 19 years.
She is now heading home to set up The HR Dept Leeds South, providing advice and support to businesses in the area.
The decision comes from a passion to get back in closer contact with the types of businesses she worked with previously.
Sarah said: “I’ve done plenty of HR work with a variety of industries over the years and I’ve always really enjoyed it. With SMEs there’s an instant way to make a difference with the help, advice and guidance that you give.”
So Sarah, her husband Mike and their slightly bewildered cat Spencer have headed back to Yorkshire for the latest stage in the businesswoman’s career.
“Mike’s been telling me to do it for years,” said Sarah. “I’ve had a great career, I’ve led some fantastic teams and I’ve enjoyed working in leadership positions, but I’ve reached a point where corporate life doesn’t mean as much as it once did. I’ve always kept my hand in with training, mentoring and mediating because I knew that eventually I’d be able to make a difference to the business success of SMEs again.”
Sarah identified the opportunity to set up the Leeds South branch of The HR Dept, which is an international company with a network of 73 franchisees providing services in 111 territories in the UK, Ireland and Australia.
She said: “Through my career expertise I feel really well equipped to do good work for local SMEs. I can also tap into the resources, solutions and services provided by The HR Dept nationally – so it’s like being a halfway house between offering a highly individual, local and personal service, with the back-up of a larger network.”
“I was born in West Yorkshire so I’ve got a great affinity with the area. We have our family home here so it’s the ideal opportunity to settle back there.
“My area of operation covers the area cornered by Leeds Beckett University in the city centre, through the city to Elland Road and surrounding areas, Rothwell, Morley and Pudsey. It’s a great territory to be working in, with all sorts of businesses facing all kinds of people issues.
“With new legislation like GDPR bedding in since May, the reviews on equality, the gender pay gap, and then with the Home Office having just published the Brexit Toolkit for employers, there’s a lot to think about. Companies need to be aware of likely legislation and prepare for it in advance – the world is changing and those businesses which aren’t up to speed are going to struggle.
“HR professionals are available for advice so that, rather than having an additional headache to worry about, business owners can pass responsibility for the people issues over to us. We allow you to look after your business and take care of your people problems.”
Gemma Tumelty, managing director of The HR Dept, said: “It’s great to see someone of Sarah’s calibre and experience offering HR services to SMEs in Leeds South. We wish her all the best operating the licence and are sure she will make it a great success.”