Jackie Hudson is the former HRD of student accommodation provider Liberty Living who now runs her own business under a HR franchise, providing HR support to businesses across the country.
Speaking to HR magazine, Hudson explained that being her own boss has allowed her to support and advise more companies than she ever thought possible.
She said: “It’s been a huge leap, but one that I now wish I’d done years ago.”
For businesses with no formal HR team, or without an HR manager, a franchise can be brought in to provide HR knowledge and expertise. From re-structuring solutions and employee engagement strategies, to redundancies, they can become a business’s HR team for a period of time.
Hudson said that although she has over 20 years of HR knowledge and expertise, nothing could have prepared her for how many businesses needed her assistance during the pandemic.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic businesses without HR teams found themselves in need of HR knowledge; they needed to know how to properly make mass redundancies and ensure their people were not being mistreated,” said Hudson.
The devastation caused to businesses has kept many HR consultants busy over the past year. She said: “For example, helping businesses understand and put in place the furlough scheme is something I never would have thought I’d be doing before the pandemic hit."
How to start a HR franchise
Hudson is a franchisee of ourHRpeople. It does not take a percentage of its franchisees’ earnings, only the initial investment, and franchisees are able to be their own boss and control their hours and income.
For those considering their own HR franchise, Hudson suggested doing your homework to ensure you chose a model that’s going to work for you, whether that's owning the entirety of the business, or only owning a share in it. She said: “I researched a lot of options; I spent about four months researching into what model I thought would best suit me.
“I chose ourHRpeople because under them I was able to be my own boss, control the hours that I worked and they would also give me on-going support and resources.”
To potential HR franchisees, Hudson said that it is hard, but valuable work.
“You need to put the hours in; you need to get out of your comfort zone and learn new things, and running a business for me is the biggest one.
“The rewards are variety, a better work-life balance and maintaining my earnings capability,” she said.
The benefits of starting you own HR franchise
Hudson said the biggest benefit had been the improved work/life balance. She said: “I used to work 13-hour days with a four-hour commute, and now I work from home.”
She uses her new-found extra time for on-boarding, training, marketing, blogging and personal admin.
“At the moment I’m working hard to build my client base and putting in the hours but with far more flexibility and I love being able to go out during the day and if I want to cut my hours down, I can,” she said.