Going solo – a year in the life of dotcom HR

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first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. PT What was the situation facing you when youjoined?EW Having previously only worked in HR in blue-chipcompanies, this was an exceptional challenge. Few HR professionals get the opportunity to set up an HRdepartment from scratch with freedom to implement processes and policies andhave a key role in creating the company culture – it has been a rewardingexperience. I have learned more in the past year than in six previousyears. For all those HR professionals considering a move to a similarorganisation, I would strongly recommend it. PT What have you gained personally and professionally?EW Confidence in providing HR advice and solutions.Previously, I have always had an HR manager with whom to double check thingsand ask advice. When that is removed, you have to get things right, or takefinal responsibility for your decisions. And from a self-developmentperspective, it has inspired me to successfully upgrade my CIPD membership. PT What was your strategy?EW I was thrown into the thick of a fast-pacedrecruitment drive and had to prioritise, drawing up my short- and long-termgoals. Foremost was that I had to ensure we were complying with all employmentlegislation, including drafting terms and conditions for existing as well asnew staff before concentrating on areas such as staff development. PT What are the difficulties in setting upin a remote area?EW Having always worked and recruited in cities, Ianticipated potential issues in finding skilled IT staff, but there have beensome real advantages. In this industry, it doesn’t matter where you are based.Overheads and labour costs are lower and there is not the same threat ofcompeting employers. Plus living and working in such a beautiful area (the viewof the Lakeland fells from our high-tech offices would be difficult to beat!)means that staff are less stressed, have shorter journeys to work and healthierlifestyles. PT What lessons have you learned?EW It is crucial to have your own personal strategyand stay focused on it as much as you can. Having so much to do, I often had togo back and remind myself of my goals and strategies, or I’d end up gettingbogged down in admin and not achieving anything. I would also say, don’t over recruit or you’ll be makingredundancies in six months. As the business develops, systems and procedureswill become more sophisticated and you may find you need fewer staff. You need to think exactly what you are recruiting thatperson to do, and how those tasks might change over the following six months. Be prepared to work and support in all areas of thebusiness, not just HR. I have been involved in PR, marketing, operations, andaccounts. Understanding your business is rule number one in becomingan effective HR professional. E –biz: 5-minute Q&A PT How do you recruit and train?EW Having a zero budget, I have had to come up withinventive ways to recruit and train.I have not incurred any direct costs in recruiting andtraining more than 30 employees by exhausting all free methods – don’tunderestimate the effectiveness of your local JobCentre in providing qualityapplicants. Being a small town, word-of-mouth has also proved invaluable infinding staff. I also received financial assistance from our local Tec.Over 80 per cent of staff have been recruited locally.As for training I have no funds to send staff on externaltraining courses. So t I have devised a simple in-house development programme,which has proved effective: every Wednesday, after work, employees shareknowledge in training workshops. And technical staff give tutorials ondifferent areas of IT based on a combination of staff requests and businessneeds such as HTML, database skills and Javascript. Staff are so keen todevelop their IT skills they have been willing to do this unpaid.As the company grows and continues to change, it isessential when recruiting to quiz interviewees on attitudes to change andemphasise the need for flexibility as their roles may change and develop. Elly Waldron, 30, is HR manager at eDirectory.co.uk, ane-commerce solutions provider for businesses. Since she joined theBarrow-in-Furness dotcom 12 months ago it has grown from six to 40 employees.She was previously an HR manager with IBM and personnel officer with Group 4Security. Here she recounts her first year as a solo HR professional and thelessons she’s learned www.eDirectory.co.uk Related posts:No related photos. Going solo – a year in the life of dotcom HROn 23 Jan 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img

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