How did you get to where you are now?
My formal CIPD qualification has given me the basis for the structure of my HR career. But my 20 years' experience of working in law firms has been invaluable, and has given me the specialised knowledge I need to work within the regulated legal environment dealing with everyday HR issues, and also to work as a business partner with the chief executive to move the business forward. I believe it is this experience that has been recognised and resulted in securing my current role.
What takes up most of your time at work?
People take up most of my time and I wouldn't have it any other way. Working in a smaller business means I can keep contact with staff and their issues on a daily basis, but at the same time take a strategic approach to the development of HR within the firm to ensure the growth of the business.
Which attributes are needed to do your job?
You need to be able to build relationships with staff and partners understand their issues and deliver solutions make unpopular decisions when necessary and have the confidence and resilience to carry them out and look outside of the firm to see what's happening in the marketplace and ensure our HR strategy is geared to the future development of the firm.
What legislation causes you the most headaches?
Probably the discrimination legislation, as it is often the most insidious when it is intentional, and sometimes very difficult to prove for the employee or defend for the employer.
How do you keep up with new and changing legislation?
Updates from our employment law team research government body websites (such as Acas and BERR) The Business Today programme newspapers and specialist personnel publications.
What's HR's biggest legal challenge?
Ensuring all the legislation is complied with in our policies and procedures, and at the same time 'selling' the need for this compliance to staff and team heads who want immediate bottom-line results or solutions to their problems. Even lawyers are exasperated sometimes with employment legislation, and often the solution is found by focusing on what we can do and finding ways to deliver the results, rather than get bogged down with what we can't do.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Working in a smaller law firm brings variety an