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Rachel Barratt, Director

My career in HR started as a complete accident when I was asked to temp in the Recruitment Department at a London NHS Trust.  The 2 week Recruitment Coordinator temp role became a 6 month placement which then led to a full time role and me spending 15 years in the same Trust in the HR Department progressing through the HR ranks.

My proudest moment during these 15 years was around 2005 when I was chosen out of the 5 HR Managers to form a part of a turnaround team which consisted of a Service Director, General Manager, Lead Nurse and me!  A large Directorate of the Trust was underperforming with a 1 million pound overspend and significant staff performance issues.  I am pleased to say that not only did we turn that Directorate around it then became the highest performing Directorate of the Trust which then led to the other Directorates applying the same model.

Having had 2 girls during my time in the NHS and with my youngest Daughter nearing school age I decided to take a career break to spend some quality time with my girls.  Having so much time to think and what with the thought of the 4 hour daily commute into London from Colchester I started looking into setting up my own HR business.  Having conducted a lot of research it became evident to me that there was limited HR support for SME’s in Essex so I took the plunge and handed in my notice with the NHS and set up HR Elite in November 2010.  I absolutely loved my career in the NHS and it was a fantastic learning ground, you can imagine, pretty much everything that could happen with staff happened in the NHS and luckily for me and my HR career I was exposed to many different and challenging HR issues.  However, setting up my business was the best move I ever made.

Of course, there have been many ups and downs, and I am sure like many business owners, I had times when I have wondered if it was just best to throw in the towel and go back into employment.  But I stuck at it, I faced those challenges and overcame them and I am pleased to say that 10 years on (it’s our 10th birthday on 21st November 2020) we are more successful now than we have ever been.  I have a fantastic team of seven staff, have been able to take my Daughter on as our Digital Marketing Apprentice, have excellent relationships with our clients (read our testimonial page) and we are delivering some brilliant services not just as reactive HR compliance services but mainly our people development services where we support and coach our clients to get the best performance out of their staff.

I have never been so happy in my career and am so proud to look back to see what I have built and now what I am building with my magnificent team and am very excited about what the future may bring for all of the HR Elite staff and our clients.  Watch this space!

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