Career track: Duncan McIntosh, HR services manager, Standard Life

For the next year, Personnel Today will be following the careers of two HR
professionals at financial services company Standard Life. This week, we hear
the latest report from HR services manager, Duncan McIntosh

Here are some of the activities I have been involved in during the last few

Integrating the recruitment operations area into HR services

Twenty-five staff work on our recruitment processes and the reporting line has
been moved to HR services. I spoke to the staff individually and we have
planned a couple of events to encourage teambuilding.

I have been looking at our end-to-end HR processes as the incorporation of
‘recruitment operations’ means we now touch on each part of the ‘customer
lifecycle’ in HR services. There are a number of ways we could better manage
workload and increase customer satisfaction.

Strategy development

When HR services was formed, a six-month strategy was written. It is
important to build on the current momentum so, following a couple of hours with
my boss and input from others, key areas have been highlighted, including a
broad systems strategy. This information will be cascaded throughout HR,
allowing the staff to support and/or challenge our plans

Contingency planning

I took part in an exercise looking at how, in the event of a crisis, we
could move parts of our operations to an alternative site and set up an HR
helpdesk facility. This was really eye-opening as we moved around Edinburgh and
attempted to make things happen and highlighted the need for effective
communication. A lot of learning points made it really worthwhile.

Personal development

Having spent 11 years in HR and passed all relevant exams, I applied to the
CIPD for upgrading to fellowship and have been accepted. I am reading a new
book on developing HR shared services, and have found that useful as a
benchmark. As we seek to develop our own services, it is valuable to learn from
the successes and failures of others. I met with a former work colleague who is
now a consultant. It is always useful to know how life is out there in the ‘big

Every six weeks, we’ll be revisiting Standard Life to alternately check on
the progress of the graduate and the manager, see the related articles below

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