An Ealing businessman has returned to his home patch to set up an HR business aiming to help small and medium sized businesses in the area.

After a 30 year career spent across the capital, human resources expert Lance Hobbs, 50, has come to his home to set up his own business.

Based in offices in The Mall, Mr Hobbs’ company, The HR Dept Ealing, will provide outsourced human resources advice and support to SMEs in an area which also includes Brentford.

Mr Hobbs, whose career path started in 1987 in a post room in Ealing, is looking forward to discovering new opportunities in as yet unexplored corners of his home turf.

Since that first job, he has worked in a range of administrative and management HR roles, first at the Home Office, then in large corporates and latterly with surveyors, architects and a private school.

Now he is looking to bring the benefit of his decades of expertise and experience to small and medium-sized businesses, in any sector, which need advice and support to navigate a variety of people-related challenges and issues.

Mr Hobbs, who lives with his wife Denise in Greenford, went to school locally and spent a time as chair of Governors at Hathway Primary School and as a football coach with South Ealing Saints.

“The SME landscape in Ealing is vibrant,” he said.

“There are lots of businesses around here which you just aren’t aware of until you start talking to people and getting out and about.

Travelling on public transport to and from your daily commute you just don’t see the offices and business parks which exist within a stone’s throw from your route. So it’s going to be great to get out there and discover what’s going on, discovering nooks and corners of Ealing that I’ve never seen before.

He said that his latest challenge of setting up in business on his own, was met by the excitement of taking a much-needed service to the local business community.

“It’s an exciting time to be setting up the business,” he said.

“All companies which employ staff should develop HR policies and procedures to help them deal with their people issues, either in the case of problems or if they are looking to grow or restructure.

“And legislation and working cultures are changing all the time, to reflect the rapid and major changes in modern working practices.

“The major benefit of what The HR Dept Ealing offers is high level experience and expertise but, because it’s outsourced and flexible to requirements, it’s at a cost which any business can afford.

“I’m excited by the challenge. It’s very new to me but I’ve enjoyed it so far and it’s nice to see that people want to help each other out. The small business culture is different – it’s about supporting each other and helping them if you can.”

Most recently, Mr Hobbs worked for architects firm Purcell and, enjoying the work with SMEs, inquired into buying the Ealing licence for running The HR Dept locally, having come across the nationwide company nine years previously.

He said:  “There’s so much complexity for SMEs in employment law these days and there’s much more to come with Brexit. SMEs will need the advice on how to manage the risk that comes with employing people, whether it’s one or 250. People don’t tend to think about HR until there’s a problem. We can prevent those problems from occurring in the first place.”

The HR Dept is a national company based in Bristol which has a network of 60 licensees working in 87 territories around the UK and Ireland, providing the full breadth of HR services, from recruitment, contracts, employee relations, training and benefits, policies and administration, to local SMEs.

Managing director Gemma Tumelty said: “We are delighted to see someone of Lance’s quality and experience setting up The HR Dept Ealing. We wish him all the best with running the license in his new territory and have great confidence that the new business will be a huge success.”