Purpose HR sees growth on back of Scotland’s booming tech sector

Left to right are Lisa Thomson and Gary Deans of Purpose HR (by Stewart Attwood)

SPECIALIST HR consultancy Purpose HR has benefited from Scotland’s booming tech sector while growing revenue, its client base and headcount in 2019.  The Lisa Thomson-founded company provides commercial HR advice and practical support to early stage and high growth investor-backed businesses including technology, engineering and life sciences startups backed by many of Scotland’s leading angel and venture capital investment firms. 

Purpose HR recorded year-on-year revenue growth of 50 per cent in 2019, while growing its client base by over 20 per cent and upping headcount at its Edinburgh headquarters.  Client wins during the year included Neatebox, Speech Graphics (2019 Scottish Tech Startup of the Year), MiAlgae, Platinum Informatics, ALP and FlexMedical, adding to a client base that already includes Cyan Forensics, Aridhia, Fios Genomics, Calcivis, PowerPhotonic and xDesign.

Lisa Thomson, CEO and founder of Purpose HR, said: “Scotland continues to be a hotbed for startups and innovation and we’ve seen that positively impact the business over the last twelve months.  At the same time, there remain challenges in attracting and retaining talent, ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and that has led to more companies recognising the value of investing in a strong, inclusive employer brand approach.”  

Purpose HR has also appointed Gary Deans as Board Advisor.  Deans, a former KPMG partner, brings over 35 years of experience around advising privately held businesses and his remit at Purpose HR will include helping to shape business strategy and identify areas for growth.  Deans, who established Strathblair Associates in 2016, works with a number of growing businesses and is a Director of HALO Kilmarnock, Indinature and social enterprise Freedom Bakery.  He was appointed Chairman of Falkirk Football Club in December 2019.

Lisa Thomson said: “Gary brings expertise of running a consultancy business at scale and his financial expertise and track record supporting high growth businesses, in addition to his focus on values and ethos, are well aligned to our purpose-driven approach.” 

Gary Deans, Board Advisor, Purpose HR said: “I am delighted to be joining Lisa and the team.  The business has established a strong brand and reputation in the Tech, Engineering and Life Sciences sectors with a focus on delivering excellent service.  It is an exciting time and I am looking forward to being part of Purpose HR’s vision and supporting the business with its continuing growth.” 

Purpose HR secured its first engagements outside the UK in 2019 and its pipeline of planned activity in 2020 includes further international growth.  

Lisa Thomson added: “While Scotland remains our primary focus, we’ve definitely got one eye on UK-wide and international expansion opportunities.” 

Lisa Thomson, a former Saltire Fellow who worked at Wolfson Microelectronics in the lead up to its acquisition by Cirrus Logic, is also a former Scotland Director for Startup Grind and is an Ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland.  Purpose HR, which was founded in 2014, was among the first cohort of businesses on the Scottish Enterprise-backed Unlocking Ambition programme.  

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