Helen Straw, founder of The Personnel Partnership.

Huddersfield-based HR consultancy The Personnel Partnership is celebrating 20 years in business with a raft of new client wins.

The Personnel Partnership was founded by Helen Straw in 2001 with the aim of providing practical, professional human resources, learning and development support to businesses across a range of sectors.

In the past year, the business has brought 12 new businesses on board to add to the growing portfolio of long-standing clients across sectors that range from manufacturing, engineering and haulage to accountancy, horticulture, travel agents and the film industry.

Helen is a chartered corporate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has more than 25 years’ HR experience, working in both the private and public sector for organisations that include Muller Wiseman Dairies and Kirklees Council.

Over the years, Helen’s customer base has stretched to all corners of the UK, from Aberdeen to Northern Ireland to Cornwall; however, the majority are based in and around Yorkshire, receiving expert advice and guidance on recruitment, contracts, HR policies and procedures, employee relations, employment law, restructures, performance management, attendance management workforce planning and diversity.

Helen said that developing long-term client relationships had been key to the business success: “We work hard to develop lasting relationships with our clients and offer down to earth advice on operational and strategic aspects of HR. We also specialise in learning and development – a number of clients have asked us to develop and deliver bespoke training for them to meet their exact requirements.

“I remember on my first day as a business owner, standing in my newly decorated home office, looking at an empty in tray, wondering how it would all pan out. If I could have looked into the future, I’d have been very happy!

“Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned are to be yourself, work hard and to outsource what you’re not good at. Surround yourself with like-minded people who cheer you on and get you through the tough days.

“And don’t forget to enjoy yourself – take time to look back at what you’ve achieved, preferably with a bottle of champagne! I will certainly be doing that this year!”