Sandhya-Iyer-The-HR-DeptShe’s performed high level corporate roles in India, Singapore and London, and now Sandhya Iyer has set up her own business in Tunbridge Wells.

Providing outsourced HR advice and support to SMEs in and around Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, Sandhya will bring her years of experience to her new company, The HR Dept.

Born in India and with a specialist MBA in Human Resources Management from Mumbai University, Sandhya’s work has taken her to corporate offices in Bangalore and London, focusing on employee relations and the day-to-day application of employment law to dynamic work environments.

But it was when working for a pre-school in Singapore, as part of her graduate membership qualification for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) that her appetite for working with smaller organisations was whetted.

“I relocated to Singapore briefly because of family demands.” she said. “I was qualifying at the time and I did a project placement for a British kindergarten in Singapore. It showed me the value that an experienced HR professional can add where support is really needed. I loved it.

“The school was very successful with its offering and ethos but was struggling with employee retention. I was able to crystallise all the experience I have picked up over the years working with large corporates for a small organisation’s benefit.

“Being able to see the tangible benefits of my work and the impact it had on the pre-school’s branding and retention figures was really rewarding. So I decided to carry on in that vein when I returned to the UK.


It was then that Sandhya came across The HR Dept, a national company of franchise holders operating independent outsourced HR businesses in territories around the UK, Ireland and Australia.

“It was the perfect fit,” she said. “My experience is well-rounded – I’m an HR generalist and over the years I have been involved in companies in various industries during different phases of change and restructuring, getting my hands dirty and experiencing the daily HR issues faced by business owners.

“Now I have the opportunity to bring that experience for the benefit of the 10,000 SMEs in and around Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, and it’s really exciting.

“Business owners don’t want to worry about HR – they want to concentrate on running and growing their businesses. I can help take that headache away, so that they can focus on what they do best.

“There are many HR considerations for modern companies to consider and much of what I’ve learned is applicable to SMEs as well as multi-national corporates – an employment contract is an employment contract, no matter if you’re a blue chip or a start-up.

“HR issues do not vary hugely between organisations. What does vary is the ability and resources available to resolve these issues.”

The HR Dept is a national company based in Bristol with a network of 68 licensees working in 100 territories around the UK, Ireland and Australia.

Its franchise holders such as Sandhya provide the full breadth of HR services, from recruitment, employment contracts, handbooks and policies as well as day-to-day tools such as flex benefits or an HR toolkit, to support SMEs in their local area at an affordable cost.

The HR Dept’s managing director Gemma Tumelty said: “We are delighted to see someone of Sandhya’s quality and experience setting up The HR Dept Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells. We wish her all the best with running the licence in her new territory and have great confidence that the new business will be a huge success.”


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