Partner - Think People Consulting


Who I help

Companies of all sizes.

How I help

Some companies do not have a dedicated HR department and that’s why they utilise our services, and some do have an HR department but use us in as a sounding board and for HR consultancy projects, like job evaluation, a large restructuring project, or an acquisition divestiture.


We’ve got clients across a variety of sectors, with a particular presence in Technology and Construction.


As a Partner within Think People, Anne Dougan manages the HR consultancy part of the business as well as the retain part of the business. Anne manages a team of 12, who provide support for HR consultancy projects, from major restructuring to job evaluations to disciplinary grievances. They also provide support for the approximately 100 retain clients based both in the North and South of Ireland who each have a nominated consultant who looks after all of their needs.

providing expert support

“I’ve been in this role since 2006 and the company’s grown so much since then. A lot of clients use us because of the complexity of the projects that they’re having to deal with and the difficulty of working within certain environments. We go in and we provide expert support to resolve any issues they might be having, particularly employee relations mediation, which is what we specialise in.”


“It’s really important to build up a good rapport with the client, so that rather than us being an outside provider, we’re very much seen as a part of the organization. The model that we have with the retain clients means that it’s almost seamless between us and their internal organization because they’ve got a dedicated team working and collaborating with them.

With the larger clients, over the years you build those relationships where they know they can use you as a sounding board, so you might be working with them in a particular consultancy project, but when other queries come up, they’ll ask for our opinion. Clients value us for our expertise and our support, so they know they can come to us with anything.”


“It’s obviously important that we always demonstrate a high level of expertise, timeliness, and professionalism. It’s also important that we’re honest – that in the rare cases where there’s a problem or a specific request or question is not our area of specialism, it’s crucial that we’ll be honest enough to tell them that we can certainly help and advise, but that we’re also clear about any limitations. Upholding that kind of honesty and integrity is so important to keep that level of trust with our clients.”


“Getting a project to successful conclusion and particularly the larger scale consultancy projects, which tend to be all-consuming, is very satisfying. There’s an awful lot of project management needed within these, and often they’re sensitive or complex, particularly if it’s a case of internal restructuring or a major redundancy programme. Obviously the client is very reliant on us with these projects, and it’s very rewarding getting them to a successful conclusion, and knowing that we’ve minimized the risk for the client.

It’s also very rewarding to see the team develop – we have quite a big team of relatively new graduates and seeing them grow professionally and personally is brilliant. We invest in our team significantly in terms of their learning and development, running internal learning hubs and partnering them with senior consultants and it’s just fantastic when you see them moving on to the next stage.”


“We certainly experience some challenging situations, particularly when external bodies are involved. Often you have to move quickly, and be able to handle disruption and tension. But it always comes back to respect – at the end of the day, we may not all agree with each other on everything, and the situation may even become somewhat confrontational, but there has to be a level of respect and professionalism no matter what we’re dealing with. You have to be able to shake hands at the end of it and you know you remained professional and courteous.”


“We’re in a constantly changing world, and now there is of course more focus on the digital which we’ve all had to embrace. There are lots of positives with that and we work with many technology clients, so it’s even more important to keep up to date with technology and embrace new concepts and new ideas. That’s something as an organisation, we can definitely improve upon, but we’re on that journey and we’re enthusiastic about rising to the challenge.”

Our accreditations