Get to know Samantha Dow, HR Consultant at Reality HR.

Can you tell us about what you do?

I provide HR consultancy to different sized business, ranging from SMEs that have a small HR function right up to large businesses who need help with supporting their HR strategy.

My role is extremely varied and ranges from offering help with HR enquiries to delivering large projects. I add value by going in to a business and really getting to know it, understanding the goals of the business and where they want to be. I’ll then recommend an HR plan and solutions which support those overall goals.

Tell us about your background:

I started my HR career working for De la Rue and then QinetiQ where at both companies I moved into key strategic HR positions.

In these roles, I really got to learn the HR fundamentals that have helped me to build my consultancy career – one of my first HR roles was in Compensation &  Benefits which allowed me to gain an appreciation of the importance of reward and recognition schemes,  bonus plans, flexible benefits and salary benchmarking. Within my role at QinetiQ as well as working as part of the SLT team I also worked closely with line managers and employee unions.

What do you like most about HR Consultancy?

The variety of work is what I enjoy most but also, I have a young family so working as a consultant for Reality HR gives me the degree of flexibility I need. We have absolute trust with our CEO to manage our own diaries and workload and that our clients will be looked after.

So, I’m able to balance flexible working and varied projects and clients with a busy family life. The challenge is making sure you stay on top of everything but as a mum of two I’ve got multitasking down to a tee!

What challenges do companies face in the future?

I think companies are coming up against some really interesting challenges, and particularly at the moment with the uncertainty around Brexit, many are left with tough decisions to make about how to prepare going forward and what that means for their staff.

With so many companies offering flexible and remote working it can be quite a challenge to attract and retain the best talent – establishing why an excellent candidate might choose your business over another, finding the best ways of attracting them and ensuring that once you have recruited them, that they want to stay is a challenge I think most companies will face.

Another key challenge is wellbeing, I think there is a lot of work to do in businesses around embracing employee wellness and wellbeing. I think businesses need to gain an understanding of wellbeing requirements for their employees – it can mean different things to different employees – for one it might come down to good communication with their manager but for another it might be flexible working hours. Businesses need to know how to implement wellbeing strategies to get the best out of their teams.

What benefits can HR consultancy bring to a business?

HR consultancy can bring a different perspective, having worked across varying sectors and organisations of different sizes we are able to come up with bespoke solutions and strategic thinking that fits around the specific needs of a business.

We can support a business in investing in its greatest asset – the people, and attracting and retaining those people.

We are able to have a view across all areas of a business and at all levels – working with those in senior leadership but also with line managers, who are responsible for managing and working with people on a day to day basis, these relationships will often be key to employee happiness and therefore a well-functioning business that’s a great place to work.  It’s really important for managers to work with their team members to plan where their efforts should be spent to best effect, to review how they perform in those areas, and to develop their skills to help them contribute in the future.

When you’re not HR consulting, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I have two boys aged 11 and 9 so I spend a lot of time in the garden being asked to play football with them, they both play cricket so our summers are filled with days on the pitch. I also manage the under 9’s cricket team so that keeps me very busy! This year my goal is to encourage my boys to join me jogging so I can get out and about more whilst getting fit!