I graduated from the University of Queensland in 2005 with a Bachelor of Business Communication, majoring in Organisational Communication. Whilst completing the modules for my degree, I soon realised that I had a passion for Human Resources and this was the subject that interested me the most. Whilst studying further, I began to understand that there is no profession as dynamic and ever changing as a people profession, especially one that must work together with the details of people and business strategy.
Over the course of my degree, I worked mainly in Customer Services and it was here I learnt how to deal with people on a day to day basis. It has given me an excellent foundation to be able to effectively liaise and coordinate at all levels within an organisation, a key part of any strong future within human recourses.
The first steps
Determined to pursue a career in HR, I decided to have my CV tailored towards the HR arena and contacted industry specific recruitment agencies. It wasn’t long before I gained an interview with Bechtel Ltd. For a little over 12 months, I have now been employed by Bechtel Ltd in the Oil, Gas and Chemicals business unit as the Human Resources Administrator.
Bechtel is one of the world’s leading engineering and construction and project management companies with offices globally. As the HR administrator, I am exposed to all areas of HR including the recruitment and selection process, learning and development, salary and bonus planning, employee engagement, and administration.
My responsibilities at work
The role has really challenged me and allowed me to utilise some innovative ideas which have proven very successful, not least the opportunity to develop a revised process for New Starter Inductions.
I lead weekly inductions for new starters, giving them a solid grounding in the company, covering relocation, living in London, general terms and conditions, intranet and so on. I also provide a consultancy and advisory service to staff on a range of personnel management practices and issues, in particular with regards to relocation, which involves explaining the policies, keeping track of the allowance log, processing expenses, and organising cash advances if needed.
Currently, I am involved in the three-year roll out of the Employee Engagement process, designed to focus on fostering the supervisor-employee relationship through providing upward feedback on management behaviour. It is extremely interesting to find out how employees feel about their direct supervisors and in turn how their managers react and respond to the specific feedback. This project has enabled me to further develop my skills and, in more ways than one, built my confidence and enjoyment of the role.
Within the last year, my experience and knowledge working in a HR department has increased massively. Every day is different and I am given free reign to create and improve processes as well as becoming an integral part of the team and business.
I enjoy being a part of a family run global company…the opportunities to progress and possibly travel are endless. Getting in with a forward thinking business that supports and encourages growth within its employees has been key.
More recently, the company has sponsored my enrolment at Thames Valley University in South Ealing, in order to complete a CIPD Certificate in Personnel Practice (CPP). This nine month course provides a firm foundation in all the areas of HR. The programme is ideal for those wishing to acquire a wide range of relevant, practical skills and I have no doubt that the skills I gain will benefit me in my current role but more importantly, assist in future positions when the business may be looking to expand and promote.
Career progression in HR
As far as the future is concerned, Learning and Development is another area that I would like to become more proficient in. Given my own experience, it is obvious that staff want to feel supported and that the company recognises their achievements to continue to invest in their career as well as owning their own personal development. Without a doubt, training and ongoing development more often than not results in the retention of good, solid, hard working people.
My advice to anyone considering a career in HR is to get in with the right company so you can really start a long-term career. Bechtel Ltd has allowed me to start at the bottom and with amazing support and guidance has increased my skills, knowledge and experience which in turn has exceeded my expectations of the industry itself.