This week we are mourning Paul Hellmuth, the inspiration behind myHRdept.
It’s with enormous sadness that we learned of the death of our friend and colleague Paul Hellmuth, formerly the Finance Director of the British Institute of Innkeeping, the man who was the inspiration for myHRdept, and our first Company Secretary. Paul died on Thursday 16th June 2022.
‘Larger than life’ is a phrase too often used, but certainly appropriate in the case of Paul.
It all started 21 years ago, in a pub in Cookham, Berkshire. Paul had been at a meeting with solicitors in London, where he’d attempted to persuade them to set up a service to provide contracts of employment to the landlords of the notoriously poorly compliant licensed retail industry, represented by his employer.
“You bloody lawyers aren’t half expensive”, Paul said as we propped up the bar together. He insisted on calling me a lawyer, even though he knew I was in HR. I didn’t mind. The solicitor firm he’d visited wanted £30,000 to set up the service and £30 per contract, something no landlord would ever pay.
We talked about the internet, still in its infancy then, and whether it might serve a purpose, as more and more homes and businesses were being connected. As the beers went down (Brakespears IPA I recall) we thought about not just doing contracts, but HR letters, processes, forms, policies & advice. By the end of our session, myHRdept was born – the first online HR portal of its kind for employers in the UK, possibly the world.
Catherine and I have so much to thank Paul Hellmuth for. Aside from being the inspiration for what has now become a respected and successful HR outsourcing business across sectors, and providing employment for many, he was one of life’s true characters. Paul was a one-off, a finance man with a giant personality – a very rare thing in my experience. He loved his rugby, loved his beer, loved sailing, but most of all he loved his family. He was so proud of his children, Sophie and Pip, and devoted to his wife, Jenny. It was pleasing and somehow appropriate, that Sophie became myHRdept’s first employee.
There was never a dull moment with Paul in the room, his enormous personality would brighten the darkest of days. His sense of humour and quick wittedness was combined with thoughtfulness and compassion.
Catherine and I have lost a friend, myHRdept has lost its founder. But he shall never be forgotten.