Creating solutions for business and people

Who we are...

Nicola Taman

About Nicola Taman

I’m Nicola Taman, Company Director at Definitely HR.

I studied at the University of Sheffield and qualified with a BA in Geography in 2001. My early careers were in retail management and sales before beginning my HR career at Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Trust in 2003. During my time there I gained my post graduate qualification in HR Management and became a member of the CIPD.

Once qualified as a HR professional I moved to Warwickshire County Council to my first senior HR advisory role in 2007. It was there I first started working with schools and head teachers. With a new found love and admiration for the education sector I became a team manager for the schools advisory team in 2010 before then moving to Birmingham City Council’s schools employee relations team in 2011. I quickly became the lead employee relations consultant for the south area of the city looking after over 100 schools and developing strong working relationships and a large customer base.

I left the city council in August 2017 and in September 2017 I launched my own business, Definitely HR, a company specialising in schools employee relations services. I wanted to build a business that had relationships at the heart of everything we do. I wanted to deliver customer service unlike any other and just 12 months after it started the company has quickly grown into one of the leading schools’ employee relations services in Birmingham.

Definitely HR are there any time you need us and we will listen and respond to your needs providing solution focused and practical advice. We will give you direction and advice you can trust. My strengths lie in relationships and providing clear advice on all school policies and processes. I have speciality knowledge in ER, education and employment law. I work daily with heads, governors, senior leaders, union reps, external agencies and our close partners S4S and bring them all together to provide the best service.

I am a school governor and as part of that role sit on two committees which has given me complete understanding in school strategy, operations and finance.

I am so proud of my achievements to date and so proud of Definitely HR, I hope you will be too.

Laura Hackett

About Laura Hackett

I’m Laura Hackett, HR Business Partner at Definitely HR.

Having gained my post graduate diploma in Personnel Management in 2008, I began my HR career working in a HR advisory capacity in the NHS supporting several Acute Trusts across Birmingham. In 2014, I progressed to a HR Consultant role at Birmingham City Council, providing specialist Employee Relations advice and support to circa 350 schools and academies in Birmingham and the surrounding areas.

Over the years, I have enjoyed a breadth and depth of employee relations casework which has afforded me the ability to draw upon an extensive HR knowledge and skills base when providing advice and support to clients. I have demonstrable experience of advising on matters such as disciplinary, capability, grievance, sickness absence, restructure and redundancy and TUPE within heavily unionised sectors.

I have known and worked with Nicola for many years so I was really excited to join Definitely HR in April 2018. We are both customer service driven; we share a strong work ethic and adopt a professional and friendly approach.

Nicola and I are passionate about HR and, wherever possible, we really do aim to take the pain out of people management and help you to avoid those sleepless nights! Working with schools and academies, it’s great to know that what we do, albeit indirectly, can have a significant and positive impact on day to day school life. We look forward to helping you make the difference!

Kiran Chanian

About Kiran Chanian

I’m Kiran Chanian, HR Business Partner at Definitely HR.

I started my career in human resources with Birmingham City Council Schools HR. Over a period of 15 years, I have had the opportunity to develop my knowledge and understanding around HR within schools based settings. I have had the opportunity to progress to various roles within transactional, operational and advisory levels. I have also had the opportunity to oversee projects, namely Pay and Grading and Single Status.

Since 2012, I have been working with schools providing an employee relations service, supporting and advising upon disciplinaries, grievances, dignity at work complaints, whistleblowing complaints, capability, change management (restructures and redundancies), tupe, along with trade union dispute resolution. I have also recently supported offering strategic advice to representatives of the LA upon the decommissioning of a school and the relocation of a school site. In 2013, I was successful in obtaining my post graduate diploma in personnel management, leading to being an associate member of the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development (CIPD), which allows me to remain up to date with current legislative changes in respect of employment law.

As part of my passion to contribute within the education sector, I am currently a governor for a foundation school, and have served on other governing boards, as well as and two interim executive boards. My contributions have proved beneficial in supporting the leadership with pragmatic solutions and outcomes at these particular schools.

I have worked alongside Nicola, Laura and Michelle for a number of years. We understand the importance of schools having efficient and quality ER support and advice. Definitely HR offers all of this , making sure that we are a customer focused service, whereby clients receive clear and sound advice in order to achieve the right solutions for their school.

Michelle Merchant – HR Business Partner

Michelle Merchant – HR Business Partner

I’m Michelle Merchant, Business Partner at Definitely HR.

Having graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies, I secured my first HR role with the NHS in 2003. Over a period of 5 years, I progressed in my career, providing advice and guidance on a range of HR matters to clinical and non-clinical based managers and staff across several Acute Trusts in Birmingham. During this time, I gained my Postgraduate CIPD qualification and subsequently became a Chartered Member of the CIPD.

The knowledge and experience gained through working in large unionised multifaceted organisations, provided a strong foundation for when I joined Birmingham City Council in 2008. I continued in my HR journey and gained an invaluable understanding of the complexities of Local Government.

In 2012, I moved to the Schools Employee Relations Team as a HR Consultant. Drawing on my established public sector HR experience and knowledge specific to the Education Sector, I have supported schools and academies on all matters relating to people management including disciplinary; grievance; absence management; capability; changes to terms and conditions of employment; restructuring; redundancy; and TUPE.

Having known Nicola since we started our first HR roles in 2003, her dedication and drive has been unwavering and this is at the very heart of Definitely HR. I remain as passionate about wanting to provide the best possible advice and guidance to clients on employment matters as I was when I first started my career and I share this ethos with both Nicola and Laura. Definitely HR is a company completely committed to ensuring our clients receive a service they can trust and rely on and I am proud to be part of the team.

Why choose our employee relations service…?

  • We have extensive local knowledge and excellent existing relationships with schools
  • We give advice you can trust
  • We have full indemnity insurance cover
  • We are relationship focused for your needs and your school
  • We provide excellent value for money
  • Our service level agreements offer a flexible and accessible service
  • We give tailored advice based on best practice, employment law and your own policies and procedures
  • We have expert knowledge on school terms and conditions
  • We have a proven track record of successful casework outcomes