Head of HR
IT’S people that make any business successful, and it’s the job of human resources (HR) to make sure that a company has the right staff and that they’re all happy and looked after.
What I do
Head of HR. My role involves managing a team of four people, helping out with everything from recruitment to training.
How I got my job
I started in restaurant management after university. Part of that involved training people up and helping them be their best, so I discovered a love for that. Over the last 10-12 years I’ve been slowly moving into a HR generalist role.
What I love about my job
It is consistently unpredictable. You’re solving problems for employees, but also solving business challenges that relate to how the business should best use its people. Occasionally there’s a mismatch between the two, so you try to join those up.
What’s difficult about my job
The same as what I love – there is no predictability. It’s also about showing that you are not on “one side”. Some people assume you are either the “people police” or always on the side of the business, so you have to make sure that you are balanced.
What skills I need
You need to love getting stuck in. Multi-tasking is great, but that comes over time. You need to accept when things go wrong and come up with a quick and balanced solution on the spot at times.
What qualifications would be useful for the role?
This is a difficult one. I started working with learning and development before I took my first qualification, but it made me link my learning with real-life situations and I had great unofficial mentors to guide me. Start with the CIPD, but get your foot in the door of what type of industry you want to work in – it helps.
Where should young people start if they want to do the job, too?
Find out which industry interests you the most first. HR is a part of every organisation, from financial services to the tech industry, so you will require an indepth understanding of the specific challenges faced by that industry. Take internships, apprenticeships or volunteer and then slowly build your way up.
How my job could change in the future
With the ever-increasing use of technology, there will be a lot more self-service for how employees interact with HR, meaning HR can focus on more creative ways of adding value to an organisation.
Our latest film is available at where you can learn more about Amanda’s role.