Celebrating the positive value men bring to the world
International Men’s Day is a worldwide celebration of the positive value men bring to the world, their families, and their communities. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of men’s mental and physical health, promote positive masculinity, and support ethical male role models. In addition, it reminds us that there are many different kinds of men in the world, and they all deserve a voice!
The three core themes for International Men’s Day in the UK are:
- Making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys
- Raising awareness and/or funds for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing
- Promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity
Having celebrated Women’s Day in March this year, it felt appropriate to reciprocate and cast a spotlight on the men who make up our team!
Celebrating the men in our team
Hamood Farooq, Project Manager
“I help manage projects for global customers who want to implement Sage People to build a more robust platform for their business. It’s great to work with a variety of companies and to gain an understanding of their requirements.
Before joining Tugela People, I worked as a regulated adviser in financial services, preparing financial accounts, HR and payroll for global businesses. Even though I enjoyed my previous roles, I was keen to transfer my experience to deliver projects to global customers.
Outside of work, I like to challenge myself with walks and hikes. I recently climbed Ben Nevis and Snowden. I also trained for and completed Tough Mudder - an incredible experience nearly as challenging as chasing after my 7-year-old twin boys!".
Jacobo Blijdenstein, HRIS Consultant
“I’m responsible for helping ensure our clients are set up for success when they start using the Sage People HR System. I love working with new people, understanding their needs, and delivering solutions to their problems.
Since I started working with HR Systems eight years ago, I’ve enjoyed sharing knowledge of how different functionalities work and what can be achieved with them. Tugela People has provided me with a platform to do this day in and day out, making sure I provide the best support to our customers by always being positive and excited about the work ahead.
My colleagues are great. You might think that all of us working from home would hinder making work connections, but they are only ever a quick call or WhatsApp away”.
Luke Jamieson, HRIS Consultant
“My career path has seen me working across many different HR teams, gaining a wealth of experience and knowledge of processes and procedures. The opportunity to move from front to back end systems support arose after three years working as an HR administrator at Argos. I was promoted to Systems Administrator and held this position for two years. Having been made redundant during the pandemic, I then started a new role for the Freemantle trust, with sole responsibility for administering their HR system.
I was settled in my current role when a recruiter contacted me via LinkedIn about the position as an HRIS consultant at Tugela People. Unlike previous recruitment experiences, I liked the personal touch, having direct contact from the outset with both Thomas Schilling (Managing Director) and Dawn Whitehead (Head of Professional Services). I questioned myself about the risk of moving and learning a new HR system, but I decided to take on the challenge!
Working at Tugela People is great fun. Every day is different and brings with it new challenges! What makes it unique is the team. All my colleagues are happy to help and open to giving advice and support, irrespective of their roles and responsibilities. The management team is also extremely supportive and available.
I have been happily married for over 12 years, with two young boys, Harry (7) and Theodore (2). Our son Harry is profoundly deaf and has a cochlear implant, which led my wife, Nikki, to pursue a career in sign art. As a family, we love camping and spending time outdoors. I also enjoy sports and watching football and NFL”.
Kevin Hume, Solutions Lead
“I wound up working with HR software at 18 when having just been rejected at the end of a very long selection process for a web design position. I was contacted by an agency that same day looking to help recruit a systems person for an HR team in Sunderland. I had an interview the same day and started the following Monday.
18 years later, I've worked with HR software (for vendors and partners) throughout, barring a 9 month stint in the Global Services team at Sage. I’ve been a Project Manager, Product Manager, Professional Services manager and more. I’m currently the Solutions Lead at Tugela People, where I help build attractive solutions for prospective and existing customers and build and maintain partnerships with some of the best People Products on the market.
Outside of work, I'm just your typical 30-something-year-old lad from Durham. I’ve got a young family that keeps me busy enough, and when I'm not injured, I enjoy running. The current aim is to get to the Comrades ultra marathon in South Africa in 2024”.
Jamie Wilkins, Head of Managed Services
“I sort of fell into Business and HR after originally applying to study Business Information Systems at University, but switching last minute to a degree in Business and HR degree. Ironically, I am now in a role where I get to work with systems.
Before joining Tugela People, I worked in generalist roles over a period of 8 years and gained invaluable experience that has helped me to bridge the gap between HR and Technology when speaking with customers.
Soon after joining the company as an implementation consultant, I was offered the challenge of heading up the Managed Services division of the business. This division has now grown substantially and boasts a team of 8 people, supporting approximately 30 clients.
I have an ongoing tendency to dabble in the technical side of things, and despite my focus shifting to the management and strategic side of the business over recent years, I still find myself configuring and troubleshooting on the odd occasion!
I’ve recently completed a Help to Grow: management course based at the University of Nottingham, which has given me the tools and knowledge to grow Managed Services further and contribute to the company's overall growth.
I’m very proud of what the Managed Services team have achieved over the last few years and truly feel privileged to work in such a passionate, supportive and fun team that works hard but have many laughs along the way.
Having a nearly one-year-old son is currently keeping me very busy, and when I do get some spare time, I enjoy walking Mabel (my 2 year old Golden Retriever), gaming on my Playstation, listening to music, making pizza and watching the F1. I’m a petrolhead at heart, and I hope to have a new project car very soon that I can tinker with on the weekends”.
Michael Sutcliffe, HRIS Technical Support Consultant
“My stepdad, who was a university lecturer for Computing Systems Engineering, had an enormous influence on me. I studied computing and software engineering at college and went on to pursue a career in supporting and implementing HR and other systems across the UK, USA and Canada.
In addition to this, I also gained 4 years of experience in customer service. Most recently, I spent 2 years working in HRIS administration for CIPHR.
I was attracted to the role at Tugela People due to its focus on HR and systems. When I first met with the team, they were very welcoming and friendly. Since joining the company back in August this year, I am really enjoying my role, which complements my enthusiasm for technology and connecting with people. Every day is varied, and I always have the opportunity to learn more and take on something new. The team culture is amazing – everyone helps everyone, and there is no discrimination across roles or experiences within the team.
Outside of work, I am a ‘big nerd’ and spend most of my time on Dungeons and Dragons! I have also recently got married and spend a memorable 11 days in Mexico, which included swimming with stingrays!”.
Jeremy Mohamed, HRIS Consultant
"I’ve worked at Tugela People for four months, and I love it. Having previously worked in internal HR, I am relishing the opportunity to work for a variety of different clients in many different countries. It's great for getting exposure to different employment practices and customs around the world.
In my role, I configure the system to client requirements and ensure they know how to fully utilise its functionality. I also enjoy the problem-solving aspect of the role.
Outside of work, I enjoy countryside walks with my dog. I also run and go to the gym, which greatly counters the effects of sitting at your computer for most of the day".
We are proud of our People
We recognise our strength lies not just in our team members' expertise and deep knowledge of technology, HR and outsourcing but also in their commitment and care for our clients. Our international team of consultants and support staff are passionate and driven. They love making the complex simple and sharing their HR tech knowledge so ‘things’ work better.