Your HR Questions Answered With Lynda Goncalves

Today we are talking about the most important asset in your business: your people and I’m excited to be joined by Lynda Goncalves from Sussex HR and she shares her advice on recruitment and retention

Time Stamp

[01:12] What are the biggest challenges you see in HR right now?

[03:15] How do we replicate an office environment/team/culture for remote workers?

[06:10] Are there any tools or software to help with remote working?

[08:30] Key considerations when recruiting new staff

[10:55] What are your views on using recruitment agencies?

[14:34] The importance of doing your research on candidates before the 1st interview

[15:20] What are the base line legal responsibilities an employer needs to put in place for an employee?

[17:09] What should an employer put in place for a freelancer?

[17:55] The risks of IR35

[19:29] Where do I get contracts and legal docs?

[20:37] Advice on dealing with performance management issues and probation periods

[23:36] Address issues way before the 2 year mark (when employee rights kick in)

[24:40] The risk of a ‘family’ culture

[24:51] What is your view on extending an employee’s probation?

[26:46] The risks of keeping an underperforming member of staff

[27:18] What advice would you give your younger self just starting out in business?


“You need to ensure that marketing and HR are aligned.” - Lynda Goncalves
"When it comes to recruitment, you either have TIME or MONEY - so consider carefully about how you go about recruiting." - Rob Da Costa
“Document everything - if it isn't written down it didn't happen!” - Lynda Goncalves

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 Full Episode Transcription

Hey, everybody! And welcome to this week's episode of The Agency Accelerator Podcast. Today, we are talking about the most valuable asset in your business, your people, whether that be an in-house team or a freelance team that you work with. We want to get recruitment and retention right. And to discuss this really important topic, I'm excited to be joined by Lynda Goncalves from Sussex HR.

I'm Rob Da Costa, and this is The Agency Accelerator podcast as someone who has stood in your shoes, having started growing and sold my own agency and just how it feels in the ups and downs of agency life. So, this podcast aims to ease your journey just a little by sharing mine and my guests’ experiences and advice as you navigate your way to growing a profitable, sustainable and enjoyable business. 

Sussex HR provides human resources consultancy for all types of different organisations. Now, Lynda and I have worked together on and off for at least 10 years, I think so. And she provides no-nonsense advice, which is why I was keen to get her on the podcast today. So first of all, Lynda, thank you so much for giving up the time and joining us today. And I thought it would be good just to start with a very broad general question and ask you what you see, the biggest challenges organisations are suffering with right now and when it comes to their people?

I was going to say it's a funny old market out there at the moment. It's funny world nobody can quite predict, I guess, what is ahead of us and I think that's a combination of just living through a pandemic for two years. I saw a presentation from the CEO of Sweaty Betty, who said his business owners, are living through history. We won't really appreciate that until we're sort of fully out of the other side and we're not there yet. 

So, it feels like a funny old market. And I think that even I was saying to somebody last week that at the moment, it probably feels very strange because in our own personal life we’re able to do the things that we couldn't do - go on holiday, go to concerts, going to come to shows, go to the theatre, do all those things. There's not this kind of, it's in my diary, but I'm not sure if it will happen. So, it's a bit funny. 

Business-wise, though, I think the biggest challenge is the fact of what the pandemic ball. And that was the fact that everybody was instructed to work from home, those that could. And we're having businesses that are really struggling, getting people back in the office. There is hybrid working. There are people that are being paid a high salary due to locations in London, but perhaps are now living in Cornwall, and they haven't got that commute. So, there's a lot of things that need to kind of even out. So, as business owners, I think that is a massive contributing factor to recruitment because, for the fact that for new staff and in order for them to understand your business, understand your ethos, to train them, to develop them; you cannot do that through a screen. Graduates coming out you can't do it.

And then for those employees that you already have, the biggest challenge is going to be retention because, actually, they haven't got a sense of belonging to your business when they're working in their PJs, perhaps at home. So, it is a massive challenge and I do think that unless businesses of forward-thinking it is worked through the pandemic because it's had to. But it's going to cause a real skills deficit and a very high level of retention issues going forward because there's no loyalty. There's no sense of belonging to a business, which is important.

So how do we replicate that? As you say, the pendulum hasn't fully stopped yet as a pandemic. But I think a lot of people have got a flavour from working from home and all the benefits that bring in terms of not having to commute and pay all those additional costs and spend that time. And so probably a lot of employers are thinking, “Ok, I can't force everybody back into the office, so we're going to have some kind of flexible working”. But how do we replicate that sense of team and that culture when we've got people who are. I've got one client who is based down in the south of England, and they recruit an account manager, who is based in Scotland. And obviously, during the pandemic, He's never been to the office whether he has actually been there. Now, I don't know, but he certainly won't be coming very often. So, how do we replicate that cultural kind of sense that we get when we were all in the office? 

I think it's really important. I think communication is key. So, I was outside the 02 in London waiting for my daughter along with lots of other parents because they'd gone in to see Billie Eilish. And I was talking to somebody there and she was saying she worked for the same company, had moved departments. And actually, she doesn't know anybody in her team. She doesn't. How people communicate with each other is pretty terrible because the whole team's thing is that it's business WhatsApp. 

So actually, the tone of how people communicate and how they communicate is much more relaxed. So all these fast, quick communication things are actually causing a massive difficulty, and it creates a much more informal environment. So, we also are in the situation there. Through the pandemic, everyone was re-evaluating their own lives. And people perhaps got pet dogs and all sorts of things, paid a fortune for them because there was a shortage of toilet rolls and pasta at the time.

And that's one of the reasons that they're saying that they can't come back into the office because they've got said puppy and stuff. So, it's really difficult. And obviously, you've then got the employment law around that around everybody's right to request flexible working. And one of the big things that businesses can claim is actually the impact on the business. And the argument becomes weaker when they've been able to do it because we've had to do it for the last two years. So, it's really tricky when you're talking about engagement and how you engage employees. 

It is all about them feeling that they belong to the organisation. And that's all about them doing team-building stuff and doing communication and linking them up. But I think it always starts from the top in terms of this is what the business is doing. This is where we're aiming to be and linking everybody up. But I'm not going to lie. It's so difficult now that it’s virtual because people are so disengaged. So, I think it's doing more social events face-to-face. This lady was also saying to me, “I feel really anxious because actually, I don't really mix with people now outside the kind of comfort zone of going to business meetings and doing that.”

So, I think it is those face-to-face encounters, people engaging in the business, knowing where they contribute, and knowing their colleagues because we all like to feel like we belong and we get on. That’s so important. 

I guess we're not having those informal chats around the coffee machine or the water cooler like we used to have. Have you seen any great - I don't know if you have. Have you seen any great software tools besides the obvious things, like WhatsApp and Zoom and teams and stuff? Have you seen anything that has come out that's helping with any of this stuff? 

Not at all. I think the only thing that's coming out of it, it's a bit like things like rara skirts that come around and around. In my day, kind of sound. It's terrible, isn't it? When you get to a certain age. And in my day, when I first started working in HR, one of the - it’s interesting that six sickness issues become sort of come around in. It's okay to hold this down. This issue's come around and it was about bad backs, and then it became stress, and then it was anxiety, and depression, and things like that. What we are going to see is that only a high level of retention issues and recruitment issues, but a lot of mental health issues, because people are not used to interacting and everybody's world is becoming smaller. And the more that you mix new, and integrate with others, the better it is. And I think, as a strategy for business, your marketing is even more key in terms of how you're recruiting and how you are attracting.

So, it is about that more strategic level with marketing and HR working together to ensure that we are getting the clear message across about bringing people together. So then, we are effectively addressing the shortfalls and the challenges that we are facing in three years. Everyone will be back in the office because look at work and all those office blocks have been turned into flats. And the cost of coffee shops in the city that have closed down will be scrambling to find space. 

Do you think that's where the pendulum will finally swing back to them? That everybody wants to come back into the office? 

Yeah. I mean, I think that you know, working from home works at a certain level and for certain jobs. But for graduate school leavers or people that are learning their trade, whatever it is, it will stunt the talent growth, without a doubt. And it will mean that people will not stay in jobs long-term. And that all has an impact on businesses. So, those two strategies must be aligned. 

It's really interesting. Couple of points there, I've had a few clients that I've been working with, where I've been, for example, working with someone like the marketing manager or an account manager. And when I'm doing my call with them, I can see they're sitting on their bed in their bedroom because that's the only place they've got to go that's quite away from maybe they might be living with their parents still. Tell us a bit about I mean, as we record this, there is a huge talent shortage. So, everything you just said is compounded by the fact that it is definitely an employee's marketplace. And it's difficult to recruit at the moment. So, tell us about some of the key considerations you think people should be putting in place and communicating when they are recruiting new staff.

I think what's important for me is kind of just stopping. Have an alert. My dear dad used to say “Take time to smell the roses”. So, you need to kind of sit and think about what sort of person you're trying to recruit. What's the nature of your company in terms of your ethos and what you stand for? That's really important. It's all about standing out from the crowd. I think that there are lots of different job boards out there, but it's the wording of the job advert that has got to be different. It's got to kind of really reflect who the company is, and I think as well, that is to use your stuff, making sure the salaries competitive, making sure the job titles right, and all those sorts of things are really key. Salaries are going up in certain sectors and in certain areas because the fact of Amazon. You can earn £14 an hour delivering Amazon parcels and you can also go around £11-12 an hour for working in a supermarket. So, people are waking up having the responsibility and having all those things.

So it's important to kind of really picture. There are the great consideration, I think, is where you will place the advert. You cannot be solely reliant upon placing it on adverts. There is a lot of social media, and that's where the synergy between marketing and HR comes in because it is about getting the right people around the table to ensure that there is growth in these challenging times, because just putting an advert out there now is not going to crack it. In certain industries, it will. But when you've got the added challenges, particularly for office-based jobs and then people wanting and demanding to work from home, you need to attract people that fit for your business.

So there's a couple of really interesting points there that worth pulling out. One is that it's really important that you are clear about your culture, your vision, and your values because I guess a lot of Gen Z people, especially Generation Zed. People are going to be really caring about that. So, you want to have clarity on that. That's more than just words on a wall, but actually stuff that you live by. And the second thing is the importance of working with marketing or even if you're doing both yourself.

If you are a small agency, just thinking about the fact that you need to market the position you're recruiting for now, I want to ask you a bit of a loaded question here because this is a conversation. I have a lot with my clients. But what's your views of using a recruitment agency versus trying to advertise the job yourself on, LinkedIn or using some platform like, Indeed, what's your view around that? 

So it's a loaded question. So does that mean that I can give my absolute on this answer?

Please do. Yeah, completely. 1000% honest? Yes. 

So I wouldn't touch recruitment consultants with a barge pole. And I think they have, they do have their space within the market for very hard-to-recruit positions or very specialist positions, and I'll tell you why. And that is because they will charge you 30% of the annual salary. They're not particularly interested in terms of getting the right candidate for you. What will happen is that they will come for the interview. The first candidate will then get a call to find out what questions they asked were important. They then bring you and then find out. How did that go and what you're looking for? They prime candidates, they want the 30%. That is a massive kind of minus for me. We do recruitment here. We place our adverts on exactly the same job boards as them. We don't charge 30% the salary, which just charged a fixed fee to face them on there. But every single candidate gets alerts, so if they've registered their CV. Obviously, with these job boards, they get alerts for jobs. You don't need to go to that Cost is what I would say, and it's, I don't want to be completely disrespectful, but they charge a lot for doing very little, and there are other options out there, where you can use a great company like myself or others out there, or purchase vouchers or credits from other job boards, but you don't need to do it, is what I would say. The key to good recruitment is being responsive and having a good selection process that's quick as well. 

One of the reasons why I love doing this podcast and having guests on is because often they will say the absolute opposite of me, and I'm always really happy to engage in that dialogue. The reason why I tell clients is that they should use an external resource. And it's interesting because I hadn't really thought about people like you doing it because I always say to people that you've either got time when you've got money. And a lot of the people who'll be listening to this podcast and a lot of my audience are very small marketing agencies who are really pushed for time. And they think they can cut corners by doing it themselves by posting ads on LinkedIn or paying LinkedIn ads or using Indeed or some of these other job boards. And they get inundated with lots of really poor quality CVs because a lot of people just throw it and hope some of it sticks. And now they've got to plough through 50-100 CVs to try and find the five that are worth actually interviewing.

And so, that takes up a lot of time, and even then they might not find the person. So, I'm saying if you found a really good recruitment agency, then you should use it. But what I hadn't thought about it is using people like you to do to take that first layer away from the client because that's the bit that I find the issue - is that they think they can cut costs, but it ends up costing them more when they factor in those indirect costs of their time. So, I guess people should go. 

Every day is a school day, and this is just even the benefit of the podcast. You didn't realise we did that, but we charge a fraction of the cost, right? So, if I say they will a salary of 30k, 30% of that you work out nine grand, isn't it? 

That's right. We charge £500 plus for 80 to put the adverts out on the same job boards that they will and were more in control because actually, we're not about getting the fee. We’re about getting the right people and people to come back and use us again and you're spot on. I mean, the process of the wording of the advert, where it's placed sorting out, “Is it the correct job title?” Those sort of things are really important, but also the responsiveness after that. And I was only talking to a group this morning about how important it is to do your research. Do look at them, look them up on social media. That's really important. Silly things like that, what their personal email address is, if it's something that is rude or silly or gives an insight to that person having a look at the CV, whether they flitted around or whether they stayed somewhere.

And we always do telephone screenings because that's really important as well. How they answer the phone to you as an unknown number and how they communicate when you catch them off the hop gives you a really good impression. And that's a very key point of the first stage of recruitment to decide and then who gets through to the interview stage. And it all saves very busy people time and gets the best results. 

That's great! That's good advice. Let's move on to talk about. “I found someone now, and I'm hiring my first employee or even my first Freelancer.” Then it can become a legal minefield, so tell us about some of the baseline legal responsibilities that an employer needs to put in place to make sure that they are supporting that employee and doing everything legally correct. 

Yeah, I think, it would be good for me to split up in terms of talking about the employee and then perhaps a self-employed freelancer. 

So for an employee, they have to. They are legally entitled to have their contract of employment. Now, from day one, the good work plan changes that. It used to be within eight weeks, but now it's day one. So, good practise is that you always put your offer of employment in writing, so there's no confusion about what the salary is, the terms conditions. Good practise is that you always do reference checks always the last to employers. Always when you get the references back is checking that their dates correlate with what's on the TV. Sometimes, there’s gaps. Sometimes there's bits missing, so that's good practise. Legally, there is a contract of employment from day one, so you need to have that in place, and you also have to have a pension and, obviously, a payroll. And the minimum policies, and it seems you have to have in place is a disciplinary policy and procedure. A grievance policy and procedure and GDP are sets data protection, employee privacy notice, etc. So, that's the bare minimum, but a good contract of employment, you can get free ones online. But if you're working like you guys are, working in marketing and it's your own business, you need to have some additional clauses in there to protect you, so they don't around copyright, data protection, and restricted covenants around not nicking your clients. So that's important. So that's what we would call and, you know in Sussex HR. We call that an enhanced contract of employment rather than a basic contract of employment. So, that's to protect your business as well. 

From a self-employed basis instead of having a contract of employment, you have a contract for services, and that's a legal document that's really important again to protect you as a business. So, that's very clearly defined that they are self-employed, whose responsibilities they are to pay our good friend HMRC. We can never forget them in the whole business of running one. So, putting one of those in, but also ensuring that you have documents to evidence that they are in fact self-employed. So, company registration number, also the professional liability insurance checking, ID, documents, those sorts of things. You would still do the same pre-engagement checks rather than pre-employment checks, because, obviously, you have a duty to your clients to make sure that they have got the necessary qualification and experience to do the work. 

And I don't know much about IR35. But I'm assuming that you would also want to know that they're not just solely working for you because I believe if they are, they're in danger. You, as an employer, are in danger of falling foul of IR35. 

Yeah, and it's happened too. A company that I knew who took the risk. Within certain industries, they take risks. And a newer company that did take the risk, and they got bitten for a considerable sum of money for back pay in terms of employer contributions. And they also got named and change. So, it's actually really important. It was hot on the government's list in terms of things they really wanted to crack down on. But, obviously, the pandemic happened, and so that sort of went a little bit quiet. But it will come back and it will be a big issue. But also I think it's to protect yourself as well. You don't want They’re not just from HMRC but you don't want there to be an issue. If you ever decide to not utilise them that they actually say, “Well, hang on them and I am actually an employee.” And they could take you to employment tribunal as well. And then you have that debate. So, the terminology using everything and how you treat a self-employed person is really different to that of employed. Just a whole other podcast that is.

You know exactly what it is, and I'm not an expert on this, but just to be clear for anyone who is not clear about IR35. It basically says that if you hire a freelancer and your gig is the only piece of work that they do, then in the eyes of the law they will see them as an employee of your business. So, you want to make sure that they have a few other contracts with other clients as well, so that you're not falling out of that. And then implement all the things that the mentioned. So, someone might be listening to this and thinking, “Where do I get a template for a contract of services or a template for an employment contract.” Again, I'm putting you on the spot. Have you got any recommendations of where someone could get that information from? 

So, ACast or Unisons websites are normally very good. What I would say is it is really important to get that contract right to protect, not only what you have to take for to adhere to the Employment Rights Act, as what needs to be included.

Just watch those websites to do. But it's also it won't give you the additional clauses that you need to have in there to protect your business. 

Yeah, I mean, this is definitely a slow down to speed up moment for all our listeners, which is a phrase I use a lot. Make sure you put these things in place. They may not feel that urgent or important when you are at the beginning. But if something comes and bite you in the backside later on, you will really wish that you had covered your backside and put these in place in the first place. So, I would really recommend looking for them. I also know I don't recommend any, but I also know there are a bunch of websites where you can pay for different types of templates, and you were probably able to find both contracts of services and the employment contract on there as well. 

Let's move on to the final portion of our conversation. So, I've recruited someone. I've put all of this in place. They've been with me for a while, but they're not really performing that well. Any advice on dealing with employment issues or employee issues on performance management issues? What would you say about this? 

I mean, first of all, always ensure that when you make office employment that is subject to a six-month probation period, some employees are really worried about doing that length of time, and I think that it's a bit long, but actually, it's really important. It gives you time then to review their progress at the three-month stage and then also at the five-month stage, along with the informal stuff in between. Top tip HR is document everything. So, if you have a conversation and you have got concerns, the typical areas are either around their performance - could be a conduct issue, could be around attendance, could be a sickness issue. But you document everything in terms of dating it, who was present, what was discussed and what was agreed.

If you haven't documented it, in the eyes of employment law, it hasn't happened. So, it's really important. I think the key thing is, if we stick with performance issues, is sitting down doing informal 1-to-1 supervision or documenting, highlighting the areas of concern, and seeing if there is - And one is the biggest trick is obviously the biggest problem, first of all, is then recognising, perhaps, that there is an issue that's the first barrier, and it's quite painful. And sometimes, but I think it's outlining what the expectations are looking and seeing what support, training, etc. can be given a reasonable time scale to improve. And then reviewing its recognising as individuals, we all learn in different ways. Some people learn by doing. Some people learn by being shown. Some people learn by reading about it. So, it's trying different angles. View it like a game of pool. So, if ever you're playing a game of all you wanted, the best thing you can do is cover every single pocket, so it's given them every opportunity to improve. There are no surprises there, very clear and reviewing and addressing it again till they're in the middle of the balls in the middle of the pocket, middle of the table, all pockets are covered that there's no sort of health issues or anything like that that is affecting them. And there's a recognition that there is a problem. So that's my kind of top tip to go through conduct issues and sickness. It’s quite a lot, but I think, ultimately honesty is always the best policy. As difficult as it is, my big tip is actually just treat people how you'd like to be treated yourself. I think that's really important, is always treating people with respect. Sometimes it’s difficult when you're running a business and perhaps people are not as respectful back to you because sometimes you're raising tricky issues, but it's with the adult.

In this situation, we have to sit back and kind of take on board. Know what they're saying, and the emotion, and the impact that has. But I think honesty is always the best policy and treating how you like to be treated yourself. 

It's an interesting one, and I'd also add to that don't bury your head in the sand about problems. If you see a problem, address it as soon as you can. And I think if you address it as close to the actual situation, then it's going to be easier to address it.

And I think always make sure you address it way before the year so you don't want them get into your service. If there is issues of any kind, because then have full employment rights under that, they don't have the right to take you really to employment tribunal unless it is whistleblowing or any claim of discrimination. The other thing to remember, though, is that even if you are a bit cutthroat with an individual and other people in the business, that sends a big message to them as well. So, you should always look after your staff if that makes sense, so it's getting the balance right. But I think seek advice as well, particularly, if it's performance, particularly, if it's disciplinary, because it's always good to use one of you who wants to be a millionaire. lifelines and phone a friend, HR person or someone like that to get some advice. And I'm always willing to give advice and guidance to help people along their way because it is tricky and particularly your small business is very close-knit, and it’s very tight and, you know, people quite well and the difficulties that perhaps they have. But we're still running it always.

When I speak to a client and they say, and I asked them about their culture and they say we have a family culture. I'm always a bit like my amber warning lights: start, go, off because I always say, “Well, you know, families are very dysfunctional and boundaries get blurred,” so that isn't always the best culture to have. Let me just ask you one other question that is a loaded question, again. What is your view on someone who has a six-month appropriation and then their employee decides as they get to month five to extend it? What do you think about that? 

If the employee extends-

An employer decides to extend its - obviously not happy with the employee, the new employees, rather than kind of saying you're not partial six months, they decide to extend their probation. 

Well, I would expect that there would be some dialogue prior to that to know that there were issues, but absolutely extend rather than terminate. If there is hope. If there is a glimmer that actually the areas of concern that there's likely to be an improvement, then I think an extension is a good idea. If it's because you're feeling guilty, then it's not. But my biggest concern would be somebody who then is extended at five months, then extended again. They were extended for two months, and it's and we're getting nearer and nearer. Aren't the year mark you get splinters on? If you sit on the fence, don't you?

My view about this, and I’m no HR expert. Well, I've always said to my clients, “Don't extend a probation because if someone hasn't passed at six months, then there's a reason,” Unless like you say there is a glimmer of hope. But often, if you feel like as an employer, you've done your absolute best job, you've been best practise, you’ve supported them, you've addressed any concerns way before the six months. If you get to six months, are you extending it because you feel in your mind that's a smaller problem than letting them go and having to recruit someone new? Or are you extending it because you genuinely see that there's a hope that they can improve? 

It is always in exceptional circumstances that things are extended. We've done it when somebody's had been off because they rough, sick for genuine reasons. We've had cancer treatment we've had where somebody's broken, a leg and things like that. COVID was a good one as well, where people are off and things like that, or the fact is that there is particular training that they need to do in order to do the job. But I agree, I mean, I think it is in exceptional circumstances that it is extended. But I think sometimes companies are guilty of keeping holder staff because actually being without them feels far more daunting than having someone who is perhaps only performing at 50%. 

And I think we need to be really mindful that if we keep a member of staff that appears to their other colleagues to be getting away with murder because they're not performing, then that can have a really detrimental effect. So again, don't bury your head in the sands. Address these things, but hopefully, do it way before the six-month period. Listen, we could go on talking for ages, but I'm conscious of time. So, let me ask you the last question that I ask all of my guests, which is, if you could go back in time and give young Lynda just starting out on her own in business a piece of advice, what would it be? 

So, I won't give the same answer that I gave you earlier. I trust your gut instinct. I think that you’re gut instinct is never ever wrong. And I think, I love to use analogies. And the reason why you’re gut instinct is never wrong is always view it that you see birds. Sorry. Trust your gut instinct and also have confidence in yourself. And I think the decisions you make because you see a bird, right. Next time you’re passing a tree and look up, and there's a bird on the thinnest of twigs off the branch. And you think goodness me, but actually, the reason why they're on the thinnest too, I guess because actually, if it breaks, they've got confidence that they can fly. And that's basically it. So as a business, only if you haven't got confidence in yourself, you can't expect anybody else to. Yeah, you got to tips there, so I'll ask it. 

And, you know, I want a question asked to guest the other week, which I thought maybe I should ask everyone. This is a supplementary question is would younger Lynda listen to that? If you were going back and telling her that I don't know, hopefully, she would.

I think so. I think the thing is, we're all very cautious, aren't we? And I think that this whole thing of ‘what if’. But I think that a joke and and sort of say, I have conversations with fellow MDs and kind of wouldn't it be great one day to just sit on a table and just, I hear the sound of the beep as you're kind of you're just scanning and not having any responsibility. And as with Sonia, actually, and she said, “Yeah, but you and me wouldn't last because in three days you'll be rearranging the shelves to kind of make it more attractive to people.” And everyone has started a business because the fact they've got that in them. But it is just remembering that to have confidence in yourself and follow your gut instincts because the more people you surround yourself with it, it kind of you can lose your way sometimes or something doesn't quite go to plan, and you don't trust your gut.

And also, I think that's compounded in this day and age where, when bombarded with so much information that it's easy to not trust your gut instinct as you've got someone over here telling you to go left someone over here telling to go right, this person saying, “Go straight on,” and you're thinking actually should stand still, but you don't know what to do. So, I think trusting your gut instinct is particularly relevant in the crazy world of all this news and information we're bombarded with. If people want to find out more about you and Sussex HR, where are the best ways for them to go? We'll put these links in the show notes. 

Yeah, I'll give you sort of my telephone number and email address. You can look at the website, although it's my very old website. There's a brand new one behind the scenes, but I think people are welcome to contact me. I'm always, more than happy to help businesses and give them words of advice. You know, I don't do the hard sell. I just generally want to help because it just helps the world keep moving forward, doesn't it? So it's you and me, Rob. That's it. 

That's what we'll put those links in the give us the listeners. And one of the reasons why I've sort of worked with Lynda over the last 10 plus years is because I know that she gives no-nonsense advice and I find it without being disparaging to your industry or your colleagues. But sometimes HR people don't really understand what it's like to run a small business, so they give you this big business corporate advice, which just isn't going to work for a small business that is investing so much and so much risk in hiring that first employee they want to get it right, but they the advice they're being given just doesn't fit. So, and also, I think Lynda is. She understands what it's like to be an employer, and therefore she's sort of on our side as much as the employee side. And that's a breath of fresh air, I think from some of the people I've experienced, so we will put your links into the show notes, and there's a whole bunch of things we could talk about in a future episode. So, we'll get you back for a future episode for part two and probably part three. But thank you so much for joining us today. I know that the listeners will find a bunch of really useful insights in there. And as I said, you said a few things that are different to what I said. So, that always gets me thinking as well. So I appreciate that. 

No problem. Thanks for having me. 

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