Business Achievers: Fredericka Sheppard and Voltedge

Joyce--Fredericka-directors-Voltedge

Our latest Business Achiever is Fredericka Sheppard and Voltedge. We asked Fredericka to tell us a little bit about her HR-focussed business and asked her about her business journey to date. Read on to find out more in Business Achievers: Fredericka Sheppard and Voltedge.


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Give us the background to your business

Voltedge was co-founded by Fredericka Sheppard and Joyce Rigby-Jones in 2011, in the heart of the recession. Joyce and I have known eachother since the mid 1990’s and shared a vision for how Human Resources can enable any company in any sector, achieve success. When we set up Voltedge Management we were determined that it would be a HR Consultancy with a difference.

We wanted to build an innovative consultancy, that approach the delivery of services in a personalised and customised manner. We wanted to bring thought leadership to companies of all sizes and were particularly passionate about engaging with start ups but identified the need that small and medium sized organisations had also and we wanted to help them understand how HR could be a key enabler for their businesses. It's simple really, businesses success comes from your people, having the right resources in the right roles at the right time. And we view our success through the success of our clients.

From developing an appropriate talent acquisition process to help you hire in a competitive market place, to talent management and succession planning ensuring you develop your employees and retain your top talent, to a range of leadership and management supports that includes development and mentoring programmes. Of course another area that is very topical right now with clients is the area of staff engagement and alignment of your people to the strategic objectives of the company, showing them a career path and providing them with the tools and opportunities to contribute and share in the success of the business.

We have always enjoyed working with entrepreneurs and start-ups and have developed really effective supports for companies who are part of Enterprise Ireland programmes in some of the innovation centres such as NOVA UCD, Synergy IT, IADT and Linc as well as getting involved with some of the business schools such as Smurfit UCD, Trinity, UL and Maynooth with their undergraduates or master programmes.

We are always looking for innovation in our own area, HR – so we seek out smart technologies, or design progressive and agile ways of operating to enhance the delivery of our services. We get to work with amazingly talented people and we know they come to us for support that is leading edge, forward thinking and of course has proven success. Some of our clients in the life science sector recently received significant international funding and we are proud of the work we have done that helped them get to that point.

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How have you grown and developed Voltedge?

Year on year, Voltedge has grown organically, with a team of 28 consultants and associates currently, we have expanded our services so that our business model can ensure our clients receive the best possible support and advice with their people management needs. We now have experts right across the broad range of Human Resources Management capabilities, and can provide expert intervention and support at each of stage of the lifecycle of the employee.

Building a strong partnership with our clients is one of our core objectives in Voltedge. We will always give advice based on the needs of the business, and where difficult situations arise, we aim to provide options that can result in real solutions, we can provide as much handholding as is needed and strive to enable our client be strong and informed people managers, not matter what size their organisation is, what level of experience they have or what profile of staff they employ.  We have extensive knowledge of the HR and employment market in Ireland, and we enjoy a very strong relationship with clients across all sectors, particularly in the technology, software, life science, biotech, professional services and media sectors, and also in the not-for-profit and membership sectors.

Voltedge is an approved Enterprise Ireland supplier of HR and OD Consultancy services and are certified Management Consultants with the IMCA. We also are very involved with the HR professional body, CIPD, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and have been shortlisted for the HR Leadership and Management Awards 2015 and 2016 in the category “Innovation in Technology” . In 2017, we were shortlisted for 3 categories in these awards and winners in the “Best SME HR Initiative” category which was great recognition for the team. And yet again we were shortlisted for the 2018 awards, in 5 different categories, and in the DLR Chamber awards and Legal Island HR Awards in 2018.

The best business tip you've ever received?

“Think Big – so that you can realise your ambition”. We realise the importance of this and it is why our strategic objective is to become the largest privately owned Human Resources Company in Ireland. We support both Irish and International companies who operate in a global marketplace.

Hiring talent internationally for our clients and establishing partners and associates internationally to support their growth is part of our international strategy.

Any advice for other business owners?

Remember that business success is an outcome of a number of different strategies. One very important one of course is your people strategy, often referred to as Human Capital Strategy. Hiring your first employee is a big step, hiring your 50th employee is equally an important milestone and key to that is ensuring you have created a culture that attracts and retains good talent. That you have a leadership structure in place that continues to share the vision and inspire staff to innovate and contribute in a meaningful and respectful way. Developing an Employer Brand helps you tell your story and it becomes a compelling reason for talent to join you on your journey to success.  

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

As a business, we plan to continue growing and developing our business offering to ensure that we are meeting, and exceeding, our clients’ expectations. To achieve this we will look at synergies, partnerships, and strategic business opportunities to enable Voltedge to innovate in the HR space.

As Directors, we would hope that we will have new product offerings that will include technical innovations including apps and other offerings that will help our clients manage the complex issues that arise in their businesses dealing with their most important resources – their people.

What does business achievement mean to you?

There are two aspects to this, the internal and external aspect. Internally we want Voltedge to be a company that develops and supports our team to achieve to their potential, where they get to work with outstanding clients across all sectors, design and implement HR interventions that contribute to our clients success, to provide career progression and opportunity in an environment of respect, trust, integrity and enjoyment. We want our staff to enjoy their time with us, to experience working as part of a strong and meaningful team and to value their contribution – we know our success is through our people.

Externally I see our achievement as being the HR Consultancy that really makes a different to the companies who work with us. Business achievement is being recognised as the HR Consultancy that enables businesses to achieve more through their people, are known for our thought leadership in Human Resources, are a trusted partner and the HR provider of choice.

Where can people connect with you and your business?

We have an active presence on line, maintaining weekly updates to our web site at www.voltedge.ie, pushing out HR related information across social media and we publish a monthly newsletter providing guidance on topical HR matters and providing insights into specific areas of HR and our services. Connect with us on LinkedIn,  Twitter @VoltedgeHR and Facebook.

 

 

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