In this episode of The HR Uprising Podcast, Lucinda is joined by Bina Briggs, the Founder and Director of Plain Talking HR.

This Episode: Making the move into independent consultancy with Bina Briggs of Plain Talking HR.

Many in the human resources industry feel the desire to move into independent consultancy but might not know how to go about it. Having transitioned into this area successfully over the past ten years, Bina has all kinds of invaluable advice on how to do so, as well as a wealth of insights on how companies can best use the skills and tools that independent consultants can offer.

Key Takeaways

  • Plain Talking HR’s business strategy back in 2009 at its beginning was “network, network, network” because making a name outside of the corporate bubble is vital. The other important tenet was social media, which was still in its infancy. Even back then, its importance was clear to see.
  • Branding was a vital part of establishing the business in the early days. The colours of their logo were memorable and made Plain Talking HR a real talking point among the industry.
  • Always keep your goals in mind. When you’ve achieved certain landmarks in your business, whether time-wise or financially, begin to outsource the tasks you’re not strongest at, so that you can concentrate on growing the business. Remember that it’s always best to “work on your business rather than in your business”
  • HR consultancy is somewhere between being a business partner and a director. Clients use Plain Talking HR as their outsourced HR department, dealing with processes such as recruitment, contracts, induction, terms and conditions and employee handbooks.
  • Quite often, Bina is introduced to a company who has employed a business coach to help them improve their growing company. Accreditations and processes are needed in order to grow, and Bina finds herself shaping the next phase of the company’s growth.
  • Remember to keep things simple. You are a supplier. Companies don’t want to know anything other than how quickly you can supply, how much it’s going to cost, is it going to be of value and does it fit with their business and goals.
  • Always keep up with your own self-development as well as the developments within the industry. As a consultant, you should be the endpoint for anyone looking for advice, so ensure that your training and expertise are current and all-encompassing.
  • At the beginning of your consultancy, the temptation to follow the money can be overwhelming. But as time goes by you will learn that it’s more important to work with companies who share your values. Choose your customers carefully.

Best Moments

  • ’To be honest I would never have thought that I would be a consultant’
  • ‘Do what you’re good at, and leave the rest to people who aren’t good at that’
  • ‘Work on your business rather than in your business’
  • ‘It’s about keeping it simple’
  • ‘Integrity is vital’
  • ’Stay with what you feel comfortable with, and what your true self is’

Valuable Resources

About The Guest

Plain Talking HR Ltd was born in 2009 and after a fruitful 8-year business partnership, I’m flying solo as Director of the company. My clients tell me that they like the warm and human approach to HR that I and my team portray together with our passion and enthusiasm.

I arrived in the UK as a refugee from Uganda in 1972.  Both my general life experiences and my background working in the corporate world have given me a strong foundation for the work I now carry out for my clients, who are in the main small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

I hold a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development qualification and am commercially experienced in supporting various businesses in industries such as education, aviation, manufacturing, engineering, charities, global merchandising, IT, medical and dental, to name a few. Prior to running Plain Talking HR, I was the Human Resources Manager for London Luton Airport, having worked in the Aviation industry for seventeen years.

I have adapted to and managed change in HR strategies, policies and practices throughout my HR career.  I work with various stakeholders, during times of rapid growth of the organisations I support. I take pride in understanding my clients’ issues and support them with practical and pragmatic advice for all their employment matters.

Outside work, I love my family, keeping in touch with extended family scattered around the globe and I love travelling.

About The Host

Lucinda Carney is a Business Psychologist with 15 years in Senior Corporate L&D roles and a further 10 as CEO of Actus Software where she worked closely with HR colleagues helping them to solve the same challenges across a huge range of industries. It was this breadth of experience that inspired Lucinda to set up the HR Uprising community to facilitate greater collaboration across HR professionals in different sectors, helping them to ‘rise up’ together.

“When we look up we rise up”

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