CEO & Founder - Purpose HR



SMEs. Start-ups. High growth investor-backed businesses.


I provide commercial, pragmatic and effective HR advice and practical support.


All sectors, particularly technology, engineering and life sciences.

“we provide flexible, pragmatic & solution-focused advice.”

Based in Edinburgh, Lisa Thomson is the CEO and Founder of Purpose HR, provider of a full range of flexible HR support that supports clients to scale to their full potential.

Lisa is experienced in establishing HR functions and people management and development frameworks within growing businesses, having over 10 years’ experience establishing and leading HR functions within growing SME businesses prior to establishing Purpose HR in 2014.

She has achieved Chartered Membership of the Institute of Personnel and Development, is an alumna of the Entrepreneurial Scotland Saltire Fellowship programme, and is a qualified Executive business coach.

With experience in developing and implementing HR frameworks across a range of business environments, working closely with CEOs and management teams to design and tailor HR policy, toolkits and supporting processes she has expertise in understanding, interpreting and applying business growth strategies and translating these into effective, user-friendly and fit for purpose HR strategies and supporting frameworks tailored to client needs and is a trusted advisor at Exec and Board level.

working with innovative businesses

“It is so rewarding to work with exciting and innovation driven businesses to support and add value through their HR/People function and strategies – recognising that even the best ideas cannot commercialise and scale without a strong team in place. We are lucky to work with really fascinating purpose-driven businesses which are making a real difference and technological advancements across diverse sectors in areas like sustainability, the environment, child safety, inclusion – and knowing that taking care of their HR needs, helping them build, grow and develop effective, diverse and inclusive teams and allow the founders to focus on building their businesses and what they do best is hugely rewarding.

With colleagues, as our team has grown it has been amazing to see members of the team grow and develop in confidence, gain professional qualifications, progress within the team and take proud ownership of client relationships – this has only been possible as we have scaled our own team and as a leader I have definitely also learned so much myself whilst doing so!”

attracting & engaging top talent

“Currently the market for talent (especially niche and specialist roles such as many of our innovation driven clients employ) is extremely competitive – and so key challenges are attraction and retention of talent. This can be especially tough for SME and growing businesses without a dedicated in house HR/People team and resource. We help our clients develop working practices, HR/People strategies and cultures and teams where they can create an environment that not only attracts top talent but also where their people are engaged, productive and want to stay and develop and progress their careers, and we do this acting as a visible and proactive extension of their management teams.”

enabling businesses to succeed

“Depending on peoples previous experiences and interactions with HR functions, our profession can be perceived as bureaucratic, or excessively compliance and rules focused (my pet term for this the “HR police”, the absolute opposite of how Purpose HR work!) and so its really important to me that with clients and across our team we have focused on HR support as enabling businesses to succeed – providing flexible, pragmatic and solution-focused advice to allow business owners, leaders and founders to achieve their goals. The best HR people are commercially focused, proactive, flexible, responsive and truly passionate about their clients business and success!”

Our accreditations