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Meet Sheree Knowles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sheree Knowles.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Sheree. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
After spending 22 years in a variety of HR leadership roles within Corporate America, I found myself increasingly frustrated by the incivility that I experienced as a female African American leader. While I held a very senior title and made what most people would consider being “great money,” I was unhappy and felt undervalued. Because I didn’t fit the framework of the conservative firm that I worked for, I was often excluded from the ‘meetings after the meetings’. I contemplated venturing out on my own for years but, fear of the unknown and the security of a steady paycheck held me captive in my current existence. In 2013, I had a profound, soul-stirring awakening. I lost two loved ones within two months of each other and the impact of the loss caused me to take stock of my life. I made a wildly courageous decision to leave the company, without knowing what was coming next. Through prayer and a $1,800 check that I ‘found’, I decided to launch out on my own. Sitting in Mimi’s Café with a friend, we brainstormed the name of the company and designed the initial logo on the back of a napkin. And just like that, HR Knowledge Source, affectionately known as HRKS, was born! We’ve had some twists and turns along the way but, we’ve been blessed to experience steady growth over the last six years.

Has it been a smooth road?
My first biggest struggle was learning what it meant to be an introverted small business owner. From figuring out pricing to landing new clients, it required a shift from an ‘employee’ mindset into an ‘entrepreneur’ mindset. I had to get very clear on what the firm’s client demographic should look like and what types of HR services they’d be most likely to buy. I quickly learned that “all money ain’t good money” and that not every client is a good fit for HRKS. And, of course, locating high quality team members was tough initially – not every Rock Star HR professional has what it takes to be a Rock Star HR Consultant. I am incredibly fortunate to have an amazing, highly skilled team that complements my weak areas so that, together, we drive the firm forward. We haven’t (yet) figured out the ‘secret sauce’ to entrepreneurship and I’m still a work in progress. We stumble often and we still learn something new every day, literally.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are a progressive human resources consulting firm that focuses proactively to help employers create alignment between their workforce and their business operations. Our philosophy, at HRKS, is that “we touch the world, one employee at a time.”

We provide a wide array of human resources solutions including an outsourced human resources department, where we offer every possible service that an internal HR department would provide. We also work well with intact HR teams who need supplemental help in the following areas: leadership development, employee training; workforce civility; employee relations; employee handbooks; compliance, compensation studies, 3rd party investigations. We recently launched a new subsidiary called the HRKS Recruitment Alliance. HRKS-RA is designed to provide firms, who want to hire high quality talent, a top-notch professional recruitment experience.

Believing that trust and open communication are the cornerstones of any partnership, we are known for developing authentic relationships with our clients. Our unique differentiation is that we clearly understand that every client is special and unique. They are not created the same so we don’t take a ‘cookie cutter’ approach to our solutions. We thoughtfully embrace those special differences and nuances and let that inform how we deliver our services. The other cool thing that sets us apart from our competitors is that every key member of our team has worked in a corporate environment in an HR leadership role. We’ve sat on both sides of the table. We are seasoned professionals who have worked in a variety of industries. Our clients trust that we have their best interests in mind at all times.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The Atlanta market is an excellent place to launch and sustain a professional consulting firm like HRKS. There are a variety of networking opportunities and a plethora of support for new, small businesses. There are multiple Chambers of Commerce as well as Small Business Development Centers throughout Metro Atlanta.

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