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ForrestHR MD Sophie Forrest – reflecting on the first year in business and her plans for the future

ForrestHR recently celebrated being in business for 1 year – and what a year it’s been.

The business has grown from strength to strength, gaining over 40 clients across a full mix of sectors including Legal, IT, Interior Design, Sport, Wedding Planning, Hairdressing, Recruitment and Estate Planning.

To help understand what inspired MD Sophie Forrest to start this great business and what her plans are for the future, here is our quick 5 minute interview…

Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary, how has the year been for you?

It’s been amazing. We have built a strong client base across London, Kent and Sussex which has established ForrestHR as a key player in not only the local business community but also wider as the go-to HR Consultant.

I have made the most of all the great networking opportunities available, both locally and in London, to build solid working relationships with many major brands.

What inspired you to start ForrestHR?

Following a fulfilling and successful but all-consuming 20-year career within HR across many London-based companies, I wanted to have more time to spend with my son, as he was coming up to some important educational milestones and needed more of my attention and support.

I knew my next career move needed to be not only stretching enough to satisfy my ambitious nature, but, as the primary carer, it also needed to provide financial stability to support both my son and myself.

Between 2012-2015, I had worked within an HR Consultancy supporting SMEs and thoroughly enjoyed the variation the role offered and the difference I could make within smaller businesses.

With this seed as the base of my new business venture, I researched the West Kent business community areas and identified there were many successful SMEs but there was a gap in the market when it came to independent HR Consultancies providing the type of advice, support and services that I could offer.

I was confident that I could add value by using the knowledge and experienced I had gained at the large city-based corporations at a local level.

Do you have plans for growth at ForrestHR?

Definitely. At the start of the year, ForrestHR took on its first Contracted HR Consultant to cover Sussex, I am currently in discussions with another HR consultant to cover Mid Kent from July and we are now in the process of looking for an additional 2 consultants to cover West and North Kent.

Using this tested method of Contracted HR Consultants to cover a wider geographical spread, I am looking to grow ForrestHR over the next 5 years, with a phased roll out across the country to ultimately achieve national coverage.

Through my professional connections and relationships built during my career, I will lead the expansion of the London client-base.

What challenges do you face within the business?

With my overarching vision to roll out the Contracted HR Consultant model nationwide, there are some big challenges ahead - achieving this level of success without compromising the quality and values of the brand is crucial to me.

Making the business model attractive to take on the right kind of people under the brand is key. My aim is to offer a flexible working solution with good rewards – the consultants are responsible for building their own relationships and client base with local businesses within their designated area’s networking groups, but all admin, marketing, training and accounts are managed centrally. I like to think for my consultants, it is akin to starting your own business but without any of the stress or hassle!

I am keen to recruit the right people to share my knowledge, experiences and help all my consultants make the best of this fantastic opportunity. It is all about attitude and ambition – with the right people, ForrestHR can make it’s dream a reality!

If you would like to join the dynamic ForrestHR team , then get in touch with Sophie on 01892 726060 or email

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