Who we are

Tom Doherty is the experienced head of an HR outsource business locally and with his team runs The HR Dept Bournemouth and Poole, East Dorset and The New Forest.

What stands The HR Dept out locally is it prides itself on providing hands on practical and pragmatic HR advice and help to local small and medium sized business owners.

There is no call centre, no security password but a team who knows your business and is ready to provide HR advice and support. We build strong relationships with our clients and are there to support their business goals and objectives.

Personally, Tom has considerable HR experience advising a wide range of SMEs from care homes, creative agencies, retail, construction businesses, manufacturers, letting and estate agents, cafes and bars, tourist attractions, IT and financial services businesses.

“We want to deal with clients who value having HR support and see it is an extension of their business. As at the end of the day – We become your HR department.”

Whether it’s a difficult employee, tricky HR issue or support requirement, The HR Dept can help with our telephone advice line backed by tribunal indemnity insurance (which could cover any unwanted and unexpected legal and tribunal fees), and/or by coming onsite for more direct support.

We support clients on a wide variety of HR issues and areas of employment law such as;

  • Ensuring a client has up to date contracts of employment to give to their employees;
  • Tailored handbooks to ensure the policies and procedures are clear and up to date;
  • Dealing with disciplinary matters, grievances, and dismissals;
  • Addressing poor performing employees and how to handle them;
  • Handling redundancies;
  • Managing TUPE transfers;
  • Recruitment services (job descriptions, advertising and interviewing;
  • Dealing with sickness absence issues;
  • Keeping clients abreast of employment law changes and how it will affect their business;
  • Training and development issues;
  • Ensuring GDPR compliance;
  • Furlough and Covid support

With a passion to help small business owners, The HR Dept wants its customers to get on with doing what they do best and focus on growing their business, free from HR issues.

The HR Dept covers Bournemouth, The Purbecks, Poole, Christchurch, Wimborne Minster, Ferndown, Verwood, Ringwood, New Milton and Lymington.

Having run a growing SME business himself, Tom is aware of the commercial and HR challenges all business owners’ face.
We work with all kinds of businesses locally; we enjoy becoming your HR department and supporting you in growing your business.

If you think it is time to review what HR support you have in place, please do contact The HR Dept Bournemouth, Poole, East Dorset and The New Forest on 01202 023 093 or please email tom@hrdept.co.uk

Meet the team

Tom Doherty


I have been working in HR for 15 years and also have had the experience of running different sized SME’s as well. This gives me good grounding working with other SME’s owners/director because I have dealt with many of the same commercial challenges, not just HR ones.

My passion is for great HR and customer service, as a team we take a lot of pride from the relationships we build with our clients and the journey we all go on together.

Outside of The HR Dept I have a young family; I am a passionate Brentford Football Club supporter, a punk music enthusiast and enjoying running and boxing.

I am always happy to have a strong black coffee and find out more about another business.

Marie Wood

HR Manager

My name is Marie Wood, I have been an HR Professional for 8 years after moving to the Bournemouth area and returning to work after having my two girls. I joined Tom’s team at The HR Dept Bournemouth, Poole, East Dorset and The New Forest from a local business as their dedicated HR Manager in 2016.

I am confident in all aspects of people management and HR, with a particular an interest in dealing with investigations, disciplinary meetings, grievance and capability processes. On a day to day basis I am here to help support clients on the phone, email and in face to face meetings. I have a great attention to detail and as part of the team am confident in undergoing contract and handbook reviews for our clients to ensure they are up to date and in line with any current legislation. I love a challenge and so anything I don’t know, I will find out or I will know someone who does!

I am experienced in dealing with all areas of HR having always been in a standalone generalist role in the past which means I am able to understand both the commercial needs of a business as well as helping to balance those employee needs.

If you need some HR support, please call The HR Dept.

Poppy Howards

HR Assistant

I have recently joined Tom’s team as a HR Assistant at The HR Dept Bournemouth, Poole, East Dorset and The New Forest.

Before relocating to Bournemouth, I gained HR experience through being a part of management teams in the retail and hospitality industry. After moving, I joined a local business and progressed internally into a HR position where I spent 1 year expanding my knowledge and practise. I am constantly seeking ways in which I can develop myself, my skills and my knowledge of the industry, in and out of the workplace.

I have a keen interest in recruitment, training and development, and the investigation and disciplinary process. To me, communication is key. I love building relationships and really getting to know the people I’m working with, and being there to support in any way that I can.

Looking for expert HR support?

We can help you focus on your business by taking care of all your human resources needs.


Let us know how we can help or ask about our free initial HR review.

Preventing People Problems

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Office Address: Suite 27-Discovery Court Business Centre, 551-553 Wallisdown Road, Poole, Dorset, BH12 5AG | VAT Number: 199302580 | Registration Number: 9169823

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