I got my job… through Personnel Today

New recruit Nicola Fleet is the latest reader to embark on a new career
after spotting the perfect opportunity on the pages of Personnel Today. She now
works as an HR officer for Hertfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue.

Fleet first applied for the post because she wanted a new challenge and
hoped to become part of a team, as her previous role involved a lot of time
working alone.

"Really, I was looking for a change in my role. My old position was
very independent and I wanted to move into a team that would enable me to have
interaction with other HR professionals. I felt the fire and rescue service
would be a challenging role that would let me expand on my professional
experience," she says.

In the new job, Fleet will have far greater management responsibilities and
will specialise in recruitment and employee relations issues.

She moves from an HR administration role at a manufacturing firm, where she
spent three-and-a-half years, and admits the new job will take some getting
used to – not least because she is now working in a uniformed environment.

"I’ll have to get to grips with two sets of terms and conditions
(uniformed and non-uniformed) that are currently used in the service. I’ll also
be trying to adapt to public sector working practices as opposed to the private
sector that I have previously been used to," she explains.

Fleet was interviewed by the assistant chief officer and the senior
personnel officer (who she now reports to), but says the toughest part of the
whole process was the gruelling psychometric tests and presentations.

She aims to continue studying for her CIPD qualification, and believes her
experience will help develop the HR function at the fire and rescue service.

"In terms of what I hope to achieve, the service should view the
personnel function as a professional and organised department that contributes
to the overall aims of the service," she says.

The recruitment campaign, arranged by Manpower, was featured in Personnel
Today last year and attracted the attention of Fleet, as it was exactly the
sort of challenge she was looking for.

Of course, this is just half the battle, and she offers this tip for
succeeding in the really difficult part – interviews.

"Stay calm and find out as much as you can about the organisation in
advance. Be familiar with the person specification because questions are often
geared around these areas. Finally, make sure you’re up-to-date with current
legislation," she says.

Did you find your job in Personnel Today? If so, we’d like to hear how
your career is developing. E-mails to ross.wigham@rbi.co.uk

For the best HR jobs visit www.personneltodayjobs.com

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