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Best year on record for bespoke HR agency 

Sunderland Software Centre-based Oculus HR, which provides bespoke human resources support to firms across the UK, reported record growth last year.

The company, founded six years ago, is the brainchild of managing director, Louise Kennedy, who spotted a gap in the North East market for flexible and innovative HR solutions.

Having clocked up 12 years working for companies in the automotive and manufacturing sector, such as EEF and Nissan-supplier Valeo, she took the bold decision to branch out on her own.

Since then, she has developed the firm to help clients across the UK and overseas through Oculus’ virtual HR solution, employing three members of staff and charting year-on-year growth.

“Staff are the most important part of any business, so it made sense to take what I had learned over a decade working in such high-pressure industries and to use it to develop and embed good practice in other companies and industries,” she said.

“Oculus provides a comprehensive suite of HR solutions. Whether it’s 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.”

Louise’s commitment to putting people at the heart of everything the company does has led to the firm notching up year-on-year growth and, following the company’s best year to date, the entrepreneur has bold ambitions for the year ahead.

Oculus recorded a rise in turnover of 50% last year and over the next 12 months, Louise is aiming to recruit a new HR assistant as well as continuing to increase revenues.  The company is also looking to expand into a new, larger office at Sunderland Software Centre to cater for its continued growth.

She added: “It has been another fantastic year for Oculus and we couldn’t be happier with the direction the company is heading in.  Not only have we recorded a rise in revenue, we’ve also welcomed new clients on board and have continued to expand our service offering.

“We’re also on the lookout for a new HR assistant to join the team as part of this growth and are expecting the business to continue growing over the next 12 months. It’s so exciting for everyone associated with the company.”

As well as instilling a culture of putting people first, Louise has also established a reputation for giving back to the community, by supporting local charities and fundraisers. Most recently, the company supported Sunderland Big Walk, a charity fundraiser led by Active Sunderland in partnership with Sunderland City Council.

“As a company which has been based in Sunderland for five years, we take great pride in giving back to the community which has welcomed us with open arms since moving here,” Louise added. “Every business has a role to play in helping people live healthier, more fulfilling lives and Oculus is no different.”

Oculus HR started life at the Evolve Business Centre in Houghton-le-Spring back in 2013 before moving to a new, larger HQ at Sunderland Software Centre in 2018. Both centres are owned and operated by Sunderland City Council and the council has provided continued support to Oculus HR since its inception.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Oculus HR is yet another shining example of how Sunderland is fast establishing itself as an incubator for ambitious and innovative technology companies.

“Since moving to the city in 2013, Louise has seen her company grow year-on-year and as well as continuing to invest in the business, has also continued to invest in the city, which is testament to the fantastic on-going community work the company conducts. We wish them all the best for the future.”

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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