We’re only human: An interview with Black Kat HR
Today, Michelle Cowan caught up and spoke with Kat Derbyshire of South Yorkshire’s Black Kat HR.
Tell us a little about yourself and why you started Black Kat HR?
Kat: For most of my career I’d been working within the HR departments of the corporate world. I moved on from that and started working for a small firm that supported SMEs across all functions – I was delivering the HR service to those businesses. A couple of years ago I was made redundant from that job, but I could see that there was a gap – a flexible service to the smaller end of the market that could be provided in a bespoke way on a retained or an ad-hoc basis. I was thinking I’d like to be in that world but doing it for myself rather than for someone else. My heart was telling me to set up on my own, my head was telling me to play safe and apply for jobs – whilst sitting in an interview I was asking myself ‘why am I here?’ – I knew that to go it alone it would be scary but exciting, but I decided to go on my own. Black Kat HR was born!
It’s given me loads of flexibility – I probably work more now but that’s on my own terms. I love the change of scenery, working from home or the office, meetings in a coffee shop or on client site. It’s great to vary my environment and to work the hours I want. I can fit in my exercise and family too which supports my well-being. I still have pressures, but the pressures are different to the ones I faced in corporate – I love the mental challenge of performing all roles in the business – every day’s a school day!
What does Black Kat HR do?
Kat: Based in Barnsley, we – me and my 2 team members – offer a personal and friendly HR service so that businesses don’t need to employ a member of staff. We provide impartial advice and support so that those businesses can be sure they are meeting with the ever-changing requirements of employment law and best practice in a business.
No project is too large or small for us. Whether it’s help with a one-off piece of work such as a disciplinary or grievance matter or a business who is looking for retained services around such as outsourcing HR administration or fully outsourced HR support, we can provide this too. The key to what we do is to offer a tailored service – we understand that our clients’ needs are different and we are as flexible as we can be in terms of what we deliver.
What type of clients do you look for?
Kat: Our target market is in the range of single person businesses starting to take on employees for the first time up to businesses with around 60 employees, basically clients of a size who don’t need their own employed on-site HR specialist. We are not industry specific – but we do look for those businesses who want to invest in their people. We have clients who are just starting out that need handbooks and contracts and then we have clients who have everything already in place and those systems just need a dust off and review to see them through the next few years. Generally, our relationships start here, and they then develop to a more bespoke retained service.
How did you choose My SMART App?
Kat: Well I didn’t know there was such a product until I met Michelle (MySMARTApp Co-Founder) at a meeting. I’d been finding it a bit of a pain trying to come up with a constant stream of info for my social media and as such I posted in an ad hoc manner.
How do you use the app?
Kat: I normally sit down once a week and just have a look at what posts the app has selected for me for that particular week. There are some posts that are spot on for my line of work, some of those I leave as is and other times I add my own spin to the message, I might change the image too. There are some that I don’t want to use, it’s so easy to just swipe left and delete the post. I also add my own, if I’ve been working on something specific and I think it’s something my other clients may be interested in I make a post about it, pick and image and schedule it for some time during the week.
What value does your business get form using the app?
Kat: I save time for a start, I know I have to be on social media for my brand visibility and I need to be consistent with the posting – I’m not wasting time procrastinating over what to write and it’s helped me get disciplined around the time I spend preparing for the week! It’s really good value for money, at only £8.49 a month – not a huge burden on my outgoings.
Would you recommend this app to others?
Kat: Yes! It’s a fabulous tool to assist our business and marketing function.
To learn more about Black Kat HR and its services, do visit: Black Kat HR
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