2021 Year in Review

It is fair to say that 2021 has been a transformational year for AAB People! As the year comes to a close, we wanted to reflect on what has been a very positive and exciting year of growth for the…


News10th Dec 2021

It is fair to say that 2021 has been a transformational year for AAB People! As the year comes to a close, we wanted to reflect on what has been a very positive and exciting year of growth for the business despite ongoing challenges and uncertainty of the pandemic, as well as some thoughts on the evolving role of HR for clients in these times.

New Beginnings and Ownership

In July we were delighted to announce that AAB People has joined the AAB Group following a majority acquisition. This is a huge milestone for the business, originally founded by Lisa Thomson in 2014, and adds a new dimension to the Group’s growing central belt presence whilst also providing exciting growth opportunities across the UK and internationally as a new service line of HR support.

We are seeing fantastic benefits of now being part of such an ambitious and fast-growing group company including access to new markets and sectors and strategic fit and collaboration with colleagues in complementary functions such as payroll and virtual finance.

Team Growth

We have continued to strengthen our team, welcoming a number of new hires this year, doubling our headcount and expanded our presence to both Glasgow and into Aberdeen, and bringing a range of new sector experience and skills to our team. We will welcome our final new hire of 2021 on Monday 13th December, Frances Wood, Senior HR Consultant, to our Aberdeen office.

We were also very fortunate to have Folashade Adeyemi join us for a summer internship through our partnership with Black Professionals Scotland, who empower Scotland-based black ethnic minority professionals with skills and information to be the best they can within their chosen careers. This internship enabled Folashade to gain applied work experience in her chosen field of HR, she made a great contribution to our team whilst here, her internship was extended, and she has since gone on to take up an in-house HR role in a FTSE 100 business.

Learning & Development

We have been delighted to support and to invest in our team’s ongoing learning and development, particularly by investing in professional qualifications support for our HR Administrators, two of whom are now studying towards CIPD accreditations.

Our Founder Lisa Thomson also successfully completed the Impact Economy Adviser training programme with Scotland CAN B, a hugely important progress for us as we continue to support our clients to develop inclusive and purpose-driven cultures.

Events & Workshops

Whilst continuing to benefit from opportunities to connect virtually with our network and join webinars and online meetups it has also been so exciting to get back to networking at in person events in Scotland’s thriving Entrepreneurial ecosystem! We enjoyed exhibiting at Young Company Finance conference in September this year, and were very proud to be a Diversity Sponsor of Turing Fest in November, enabling disadvantaged groups to attend this leading tech conference.

Lisa was asked to speak at the first in person Startup Grind event at Codebase, and Scott also represented us at this year’ Startup Summit in November. In December we enjoyed attending the ParEquity investors portfolio showcase on behalf of AAB as a sponsor, where we had the chance to catch up and reconnect with many clients and network contacts.


In November we announced our strategic partnership with Trickle Data Insights, an employee engagement platform that enables organisations to empower their employees to create harmonious and productive working environments.


We were very proud that Lisa Thomson was nominated and shortlisted as Finalist and runner up as Entrepreneur of the Year at the WeDo Scotland awards, and we enjoyed attending the awards dinner event and celebrating with clients and some of our AAB colleagues.

An Ever Growing Portfolio of Innovative Clients

HR challenges and learning for businesses has continued apace with huge changes and opportunities around flexible and hybrid working models, models for attracting and retaining talent, diversity and inclusion, mental health and wellbeing in an increasingly digital and remote/hybrid working environment.

We are privileged to work in sectors that have continued to grow during the last 2 years despite the challenges of the pandemic. We have also seen increasing acknowledgement and uptake of the importance of organisations investing in people strategies and HR support. This has been reinforced by the upturn in the recruitment market in recent months and fierce competition for talent.

We are proud to have welcomed a range of exciting new retained clients on board in 2021 across the sectors including Space Tech, Medical Devices, Business Advisory and Professional Services, Engineering and many others, including Bright Ascension Limited, Krotos, Boundary Technologies, Raising Partners, ProMedics, Craft Prospect, Linian Clips and Kilpatrick Blane Services. In addition we have worked with returning and new clients on a wide range of strategic HR projects.

We have enjoyed getting to know all of their businesses and embedding ourselves in their teams (virtually!) and doing what we love best – supporting them on their growth journeys.

Well done to all our innovative and purpose-driven clients on their fantastic successes and achievements this year, of which there have been so many!

Looking Ahead to 2022…

At the time of writing, we continue to face uncertainties and challenges posed by COVID-19, including recent updates to guidance encouraging a return to working from home where possible. It is clear that organisations will need to continue to take an agile approach to people management and working practices to continue to adapt.

It is great to see the resilience and flexibility that our clients have continued to show this year, we are excited for the future as part of the AAB Group and look forward to continuing to support our valued clients and further growing our client base and team.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year from all the team at AAB People.

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