Growth in independent HR professionals since COVID-19 sees launch of new UK body

Photo shows: Ruth Cornish, Co-founder of HRi
Ruth Cornish, Amelore

Responding to the growth of the number of independent HR and people professionals operating within the UK, a body has launched to support independent HR and people professionals and to provide a voice for external HR and people consultancy businesses across the UK.

HRi will act as a new membership organisation setting and driving standards for the industry, providing support to members and lobbying for change. HRi will also offer support to stand alone in-house HR professionals.

The independent HR community has seen some steady growth over the last few years with conservative pre-COVID figures reporting that there are 50,000 practicing independents in the UK. With this number steadily rising due to the fall-out from COVID-19, and an increasing number of professionals venturing out on their own due to redundancies and restructuring, there has never been such a need for a supporting body such as HRi.

Ruth Cornish, co-founder and director of HRi, said: “Here at HRi, we recognise that the needs of independent HR and people professionals are markedly different to those working in-house. They require vital competencies of marketing and business development, as well as advice on structuring and running a business, whilst also being recognised as a competent and qualified professional. Our aim is to provide this support and guidance. We want to bring together all the resources an independent HR and people practice professional might need to operate, not only professionally, but also profitably.”

HRi will be run by Ruth Cornish, Katy McMinn and Mary Asante. Their personal experience, coupled with their interaction with the HR community that they have nurtured, is driving the support and resources on offer from HRi. This ranges from promoting accredited practices on the site, to access to exclusive partners offering performance management software, payroll and background checking and also white labelled content for HRi members to use under their own brand.

She added: “The HRi leadership team have all had experience of working in-house for large corporations, as well running their own independent consultancies, so are all well versed in the industry and most importantly the challenges HR independents face. HRi is different to anything else out there too; as well as driving the HR and people professional’s agenda through government lobbying and a collaborative relationship with the CIPD, it aims to offer the resources and tools to help independent businesses grow profitably.”

HRi already has a thriving community of HR and people professionals across its social platforms and has worked closely with the CIPD to ensure that what the two organisations offer to independent practitioners is complementary. HRi will be running a virtual free launch event on 30th September 2020 at 6.30pm to celebrate the launch of the body.