HR & Employment Law Manager



A mix of start-up, small or medium-sized companies; often investor-backed businesses that are scaling up and don’t yet have an HR Manager, or more established businesses that may require some additional HR support.


Listening to clients, asking lots of questions to understand their HR needs and priorities, and then providing specifically tailored HR solutions to their problems. Providing clients with the HR knowledge and support they require and drawing on our full AAB People’s team of knowledge and experience as well as our specialists from AAB Group.


All types of business departments and teams. All different sectors, although AAB People has predominately had a niche focus on Engineering, Technology and Life Sciences companies. 

Internally: Payroll, Virtual Finance, Tax and Compliance, and Corporate Benefit departments.


Julie Hirst is one of our HR Managers. Julie is based in Edinburgh, and she provides strategic and operational HR advice and support to various clients. Julie’s main include carrying out HR audits with new clients to determine their individual HR needs, and priorities, and producing client HR plans that she will deliver by working as a hands-on trusted HR business partner.

Julie works hard to provide commercial and expert HR advice and support to clients on a wide remit of HR issues and projects and sets up effective and practical HR tools, systems, policies, and procedures. She also ensures the recruitment of the right people at the right time to help clients grow their businesses.


“An ideal relationship with a client would be where we communicate well together, I fully understand their HR needs, have built up trust from working together and doing what I said I was going to do, we know each other well and how we work best together, and I am delivering or have delivered on their HR plan, and they are happy with our service and would recommend us to others.

Clients expect value for money, prompt and efficient service, and good HR knowledge to advise them. They also expect trust and confidentiality, honesty, realistic timescales and to be kept up to date on their retainer in advance of going over time.”


“For me, the most satisfying part of working with clients is getting to know them individually and their business, helping them to solve their HR problems or set up HR practices enabling them to focus on their other business tasks such as growing their business or developing their products.

In terms of working with colleagues, I enjoy working for the team at AAB People we are all so supportive and there’s an opportunity to learn from and coach others which is satisfying.”


“I enjoy a mix of both the virtual and ‘hands-on’ routes to working with clients. I enjoy learning from my clients as to what apps, systems and other technologies they are using and innovatively creating themselves. I like to see how processes can be more efficient with technology so people have more interesting roles and what can be outsourced but I also like to have some hands-on routes to work with clients to get to know them and their businesses better and meet at times face to face rather than always virtually.”


“Recruiting people has been a major challenge for most of my clients especially when they are trying to find IT specialists. I work with one of our client businesses for example, for whom we have now invested in LinkedIn Recruiter so they can now do more tailored searches for their specific roles. We have also used a variety of agencies; job boards and I have encouraged them to create their own talent by taking on trainees and graduates developing their skills and promoting from within where they can. I have also seen more clients having to apply for sponsorship licences to take on talent from abroad to bring in the specialist skills they require.”


“I am excited to continually develop my HR knowledge and skills, share it with the team and progress my career with AAB. I am also excited to see how AAB People will be rebranded and see us come together with Think People and how the HR Group offerings will change and constantly evolve.”


“At AAB People we really do collaborate as a team. If any of us has a client query we are not sure how best to answer, we can discuss this as a team on our daily 9.30am call. We also support each other on urgent tasks for example.

It influences my work as when working with clients I can also collaborate with my AAB colleagues. I had a client for example who wanted to employ an NED in the US. I wasn’t sure about US payroll and tax so by collaborating with AAB Payroll and the International Tax and Compliance team I was able to advise my client on the best options.”


“I think I am friendly and personable for clients. I listen well to their needs and with my previous HR generalist, in-house recruiting and agency recruiter experience I can advise them on their HR and recruitment. I have also worked around 20 years in recruitment so I have a lot of experience of dealing with people and dealing with clients so I am relaxed with clients and can put them at ease.”


“I don’t like when people think HR is boring, as it is anything but boring! I get frustrated when HR is not given as much attention at leadership or board level as it requires by some organisations.”


“One of the greatest compliments I’ve received is that one of the employees of a client business thought I was a fellow employee there! I thought I must be fitting in well with the team.”

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