Cllr Harry Trueman with Louise Kennedy, founder of Oculus HR.
Rebecca Wayman

Sunderland HR firm moves head office into city's popular tech centre

Oculus HR has moved its headquarters into Sunderland Software City.

The announcement comes as the company has experienced rapid growth since it was established five years ago. Oculus HR provides human resource support for any type of firm in a variety of sectors across the country.

The firm is the brainchild of managing director, Louise Kennedy, who spotted a gap in the North East market for flexible and innovative HR solutions in 2013. Since then, Louise has developed the firm to help clients across the UK through Oculus’ virtual HR solution.

With over 12 years working for companies in the automotive and manufacturing sector, such as EEF and Nissan-supplier Valeo, Louise branched out on her own.

She said: “People are the most important element of any business, so it made sense to take what I had learned in over a decade working in a high-pressure industry and using it to develop and embed good practice in other companies and industries.

“We provide a comprehensive suite of HR solutions. Whether it is developing new contracts or terms of employment, to handling disciplinary proceedings or working with a business to create its vision and values - we can deliver it.”

Oculus HR itself was born out of necessity, when Louise was made redundant.

Having overseen the redundancy process for the firm’s 120 employees, including her own, Sunderland-born Louise seized the opportunity to strike out on her own.

She added: “I knew the time was coming for me to leave, so I just decided to get busy meeting people, networking and setting up relationships with people and organisations I felt may benefit from my skills and experience.

“Behind every setback lies opportunity and redundancy was the catalyst for throwing myself into a business that I felt could fill a gap in the regional marketplace.

“From independent pharmacies to successful colleges, GP surgeries to manufacturers, we work with clients to improve HR performance, which always has a positive impact on the business.”

Oculus HR is a team of four HR professionals and is partnered with an employment solicitor to provide tailored legal guidance and representation for clients.

Louise originally set up a virtual office at Sunderland City Council’s Evolve Centre at Rainton Bridge, but as work increased, she worked with the council’s business investment team, guiding her to set up a new base in Sunderland’s thriving tech sector.

She is said to be delighted with the new office, adding that the council’s support has been “invaluable”.

Cllr Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “I’m delighted Oculus HR has found a home in Sunderland Software City and I’m sure will pick up business from some of the tenants, which have grown considerably in recent years.

“Louise Kennedy is the perfect example of turning a potentially negative situation into a genuine positive - not just for her, but for all of the Oculus HR clients who will benefit from her skill and expertise.”

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