A businesswoman who once took her corporate bosses to an employment tribunal fought her own corner and won her case has moved her rapidly growing HR business to Blyth.
Nikki Masterman spent almost a quarter of a century working for large corporate companies in the world of human resources. She gained a wealth of knowledge and skills based on experience rather than the more traditional academic route to the top of her career. However, a bad experience with an employer-led to Nikki taking the company to a tribunal where she successfully represented herself thanks to the expertise she had in the subject.
The experience however led to her falling out of love with HR and she temporarily spent time working away from the sector. A chance conversation at a networking meeting led Nikki to re-evaluate her career path and she decided to set up her own HR firm primarily to help small businesses and also individuals going through disputes who didn’t have the expertise to help themselves.
The result is Inspired HR, and she has just moved her team into new office accommodation at Arms Evertyne House on Blyth Quayside.
“I’m very driven and highly motivated and because of the way that we work treating our clients as if they were part of our family, the business is going from strength to strength. I started as an independent consultant, and I now have an employed team of 10 plus many more specialist associates that allows us to provide a full business support service,” she said.
“I’m very excited to move into our first office which will help the team learn from each other by sharing our knowledge and skills. We have a great skill set and are quite unique in our business model which is rare in the UK due to us having our own employed solicitor following a change to the solicitor regulations in 2019. We are also one of only 11 companies in the UK that are accredited at the highest level for our standards and service delivery with the HR Independents which is a governing body for small independent HR consultants such as ourselves,” said Nikki.
Inspired HR has four arms to the business – employment legal services, HR consultancy, health and wellbeing and a recruitment agency. Most of their clients have 30 employees or less and they cover any sector with existing businesses in healthcare, charities, trades, financial services through to beauty and hairdressers.
One of Nikki’s first members of the team was her older brother Mark Smith who has more than 30 years of experience in running and owning businesses that are put to good use in helping Nikki’s main customer base of SMEs. Family is very important to Nikki as she explains:
“I’ve set up Inspired HR based on the values of treating everyone as if they were part of my family from our staff to clients. Some of my staff have very specific flexibility needs due to the needs of their family circumstances, so I always put them first.
My business values and ethics follow this path, and my team is encouraged to form real relationships with our clients and look after their business interests which include never selling anything people don’t need. We believe in keeping things ethical and we will never overcomplicate HR.”
As well as expanding her business and moving into new premises, Nikki has also recently been accepted into the Entrepreneurs Forum.
“I’m delighted to have been accepted in the Forum as I originally set my target to be a member after six years of trading. Now after just three years, Inspired HR has gained the right reputation and turnover for me to join this prestigious organisation.”
“I know it will help to take the business to the next level and I’m immensely proud of everyone in my team who have helped me receive this honour,” she said.