Can you tell us about what you do?
I’m the manager of the advisor team, so I’m hands on as well as being there to help guide my colleagues when they need me. At Reality HR, we have consultants who are supported by advisors and we’re the first point of contact when calls and queries come in from the businesses we work with. The type of enquiries we get are very diverse and mean life at Reality HR is never dull!
We get to know our clients well, understanding their needs and building a real relationship with them. We like to say that we work in partnership with clients, because of the importance of the collaborative aspect of the job. There’s no fixed solution – each business and every situation is different and requires a different response.
How did you get into the world of HR?
It’s not what I set out to do at the beginning – I had taken an advanced secretarial course and was working as a director’s secretary, but soon realised the limitations of this role and looked to get into something more substantial. When the opportunity to work in HR came up I took it which was a good decision to have made as HR offered the challenge I was looking for being better suited to my interest in people, and in how best to support them.
What HR experience do you have?
Over the years I’ve worked in many businesses and had quite a varied career.
I started with Mercury Communications whose high standards and support enabled me to complete my CIPD qualifications and establish a career in HR.
I then moved into a startup situation where an established firm of loss adjustors were setting up a new division to investigate small claims on behalf of insurers. I was responsible for the sourcing and training of new staff as well as the day to day HR support for existing staff. There were three staff when I joined and 103 when I left 18 months later.
This was followed by roles in HR within the electronics and security industries before moving back to communications and finally arriving at Reality HR.
You’ve travelled a bit – tell us more about that.
I spent 3 years living in Singapore and used this as a base to travel extensively in Asia developing a passion for travel in the process. I also have a close friendship with a mouse called Mickey and take the opportunity to visit him in Florida whenever I can.
What do you like best about your role at Reality HR?
For me it’s the variety – being part of a consultancy means the work is very diverse. It’s said a lot but it’s true that no two days are ever the same. You can go in with a list of things to do for the day and be rushed off your feet and at the end of the day find you haven’t even touched the list.
Also the flexibility is great – I work full time and am generally office based, but there are times when knowing that you have the option to work a bit more flexibly can make a huge difference.
As a people person I would say that the best part of the job is the fabulous team we have here. It’s a great environment to work in, we have a strong work and team ethic and everyone really enjoys what they do.
What are the most common HR issues that you see in your work?
There are so many, people have the ability to constantly amaze. Having worked in HR for a number of years you may think you’ve heard it all but then an issue will come up that is completely new and different.
Poor communication is however often at the heart of HR issues, so it’s our role to help the client understand and address this.
Over the last decade or so we’ve really seen how the way we do business is changing – for example with remote working, and with online, email and telephone support. We could supply HR services to anyone from anywhere, but we do like to meet with clients as we find “putting a face to a name” helps to build a relationship with them as a trusted advisor and get a better understanding of their business and how they operate enabling us to tailor advice and support, when they do call us, to specifically to meet their needs.
How do you spend your spare time?
As my children are in the (slow) process of leaving home I’m starting to have and enjoy some “me” time. I’m also finally getting round to those jobs in the house that have been put off for far too long and enjoying spending time pottering undisturbed in my garden.