Paul Kennelly has over 15 years of senior management experience and 15 years HR Management experience, a Master’s Degree in HR and MCIPD Chartered accreditation. Having started out as a general assistant for a large supermarket chain, Paul worked his way up the ranks to senior management and area HR management and then eventually to go it alone and start his own business.
Paul tells us that at first it was the classic case of not really knowing what direction to go in and then finding the job that fitted his personality and skills. “I made my way up the ladder so to speak, so I really know how to work with and manage people within a business at all levels”. After senior management Paul chose to put those skills to a new challenge and so made the move to HR. “In my first role, I was responsible for over 350 employees”.
Paul was the trainer for all new HR managers in the southwest helping them prepare for appointment and then acting as their mentor as they developed. After being appointed as HR Business Partner Paul was responsible for all people related responsibilities across 17 stores; with Store Managers, HR Managers, and over 6300 employees to look after and manage.
His role included responsibility for and managing all parts of the employee journey from recruitment onwards, managing significant technical and organisational change projects, overseeing employee welfare and training, leadership development, a wage budget of £1m per week and case management of all serious disciplinary and employee relations cases.
During his time, Paul has dealt with a wide range of issues- from standard disciplinary situations to some very serious issues within companies. “I have dealt with all manner of issues at all levels within companies ranging from inappropriate use of social media, stealing, collusion, financial misconduct, bullying and harassment, drugs and vexatious claims and worse. Regretfully people can be very creative and there is not a lot that I have not come across and had to deal with.
The fundamental overriding principal is to follow the truth, ensure a fair investigation and process is completed and treat everyone involved respectfully.
Paul has also been responsible for some large-scale HR related projects including Company start-ups, TUPE’s, redundancies and company restructures that involve a lot of change for people. “The key to successfully managing a large project is communication, engagement. You have to gain the trust of the people you are working with.”
Whilst working as a HR Manager, Paul completed a Masters Degree in Human Resources at Plymouth University on days off, evenings and weekends, and gained his Chartered status within the HR profession.
So then, Paul decided to focus on gaining professional recognition of his experience completing a master’s degree in Human Resources at Plymouth University and gaining MCIPD Chartered status. “Studying for a masters degree, working and balancing family life is certainly no easy task. My wife and children were very understanding!”.
Fast forward to February 2015- Paul is in training for an Ironman Triathlon, when he takes a fall on his bike and breaks his collarbone in four places. Ultimately resulting in time off work- Paul utilised his recovery time and built a website demonstrating his HR expertise, “I’d had a plate fitted and a bone graft from my hip so it was a lot of fun trying to type!”
“The work started coming in – only small jobs at first! I worked on my days off and in the evenings.”
In February last year, Paul was made redundant. “The writing was on the wall really. The supermarket sector was and still is under a lot of pressure to reduce costs. Paul left his role in February and decided to work full time on the business. “It’s been a busy first year and I have enjoyed it immensely and met lots of great company owners and employees.”
KenmareHR is still in its first year of business and Paul has built a solid foundation. KenmareHR has offered their services to a growing number of local businesses in Plymouth and the surrounding areas.
KenmareHR offers an extensive range of services, from an adhoc responsive advice and support service with documentation and letters drafted when needed to a tailored retained HR service allowing company owners to focus on their business.
Companies may only need a couple of hours or days support per month or even just someone at the end of a phone and we can provide an experienced cost-effective solution.
KenmareHR can also draw upon a small team of experienced people when needed. “You can draw upon as little or as much support as you need from an experienced team that will ensure your requirements are met, whilst you maintain focus on the success of your business”.
KenmareHR offer assistance with recruitment and selection, contracts, policy documents, training and development, resolving people issues and business development advice.
“We can help with recruitment- but we are not a recruitment consultancy! We do much more than that. We will create job descriptions, post job adverts on the relevant platforms across the UK, sift applicants, create interview and assessment methods to ensure the best candidates are selected provide contracts and even complete inductions if needed”.
KenmareHR successfully supported the local trampoline park, Super Tramp, with the full on boarding of 25 employees ahead of their opening day. KenmareHR organised the entire process- and understanding the job role was fundamental.
“We hired Plymstock School’s Sports Hall, and invited 90 people to attend over 2 days. We invited them all to the hall and broke the day down into a range of activities”. Paul explains that to ensure the applicants were showcasing the correct skill sets; coaching a game of dodge ball was an interview task!
“We had everybody taking part- and each individual had 2 minutes to take charge of the game”. This gave Paul and the Directors at Super Tramp a great indication of which candidates had the relevant skills- and over 25 applicants were chosen in one weekend. “In short, we work hard to find the best approach to recruiting the best people for the client”.
We can provide employment contracts, handbooks and employment policies that are specific to a company’s needs.
KenmareHR understands that each company operates differently, has different terms, different benefits and different needs and expectations from its employees and we make sure that a solid base is built that means the company and its employees understand the working relationship clearly and can focus on the work and the company.
Paul also designs and delivers bespoke management and employee training to companies. Ranging from customer service skills, effective communication, leadership development to managing disciplinary training. Each course is adapted to fit the company.
When it comes to keeping up with changes in legislation and regulations- Paul is fully clued up when it comes to the upcoming change in data protection- GDPR. “We can provide guidance and documentation to help companies with GDPR.”
GDPR is the most significant legislation change in over 10 years- and is intended to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals. GDPR comes into effect on the 25th May and Kenmare HR can offer assistance to local businesses to aid compliance.
“This is the most significant change in legislation in over 10 years. I have gained detailed knowledge and a comprehensive suite of documents to support companies with GDPR.” Paul works in partnership with City College Plymouth to deliver their one-day GDPR course, which is essential for anyone who deals with data handling and communication in business.
Several years ago, in his spare time, Paul had a creative hobby as a Luthier- and trained to hand build acoustic guitars after learning with one of the top handmade guitar workshops in the country. It’s a great way of slowing you down and making you focus. “There is no time for this at the moment but I’ve still have all the kit in the loft- ready for retirement!”
Outside of KenmareHR, Paul has been the Race Director at Instinctive Sports Running Club for 10 years. Based in Plympton the club organises a popular 7-mile cross country race each year in aid of St Luke’s Hospice- 250 runners participate and it raises over £1000 each year. “We have a close affinity with St Luke’s and have supported them for many years.”
Looking to the future, Paul would like to expand his business and may need to take on an employee himself soon! “At the moment, I call on experienced people when needed for bespoke work” Paul would like to see KenmareHR grow by offering a good value out sourced professional service.
“When it comes to managing employees, I like to help build confidence within companies and try and find solutions that are a good fit with the organisation”.