My next move… On-site customer service consultant role

I’m an HR assistant with two years’ experience in healthcare and an MA in HRM, and I am currently studying for my CIPD. I have been offered a role in an investment bank, working through an outsourcing company. The role sounds great from an HR perspective but my job title would be on-site customer service consultant. Would working for an outsourced HR department affect my future in HR? Would I be doing similar things to an in-house role?

The role with the on-site service provider does sound appealing. You will be working in a banking environment, where you will learn about the industry, how HR interacts with the business, what the key people management issues are, and what is required to be successful within HR in financial services.

I would advise you to attend the interview to find more about the role and the context you will be working in. You need to find out the structure of the team, whether you will have personal responsibility for a particular client base, or if you will be working in a pure service centre environment, taking calls and queries from all over the business. Will you be focusing only on certain aspects of HR, such as recruitment, training plans and absence management, for example, or will your remit be more broad-ranging? It is also important to find out what the prospects for progression are and who you will be reporting into.

You need to be cautious if the role is within a general service centre environment – simply taking calls and dealing with administration. Quite often these positions are little more than administration roles, which would not add any weight to your CV, and you may find it limiting. On the more positive side though, depending on the answers to some of the questions above, this type of role can often be very stimulating and challenging, offering you great exposure to the whole business in a structured and supported manner as a member of the on-site team.

In addition, organisations that provide outsourced HR services usually have to meet clear performance goals, so you will gain good experience of working in an environment where HR has to deliver on key commercial objectives, which will always stand you in good stead. It may also be that the on-site service provider can offer you other roles in other sectors when this contract is finished.

Provided that the role meets the key criteria outlined above, you should definitely consider this as a step in the right direction towards your personal objectives.

 

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