Earlier this year Scott Baxter joined the Purpose HR Edinburgh team. Here he reflects on his first few months since joining the business and shares some insights into our culture, client base and his experience so far!
This week marks 4-months since I joined the amazing team of HR and workplace experts at PurposeHR, and what a 4-months it has been! I feel so privileged to be a part of such a forward-thinking, open-minded, progressive company. One which adds such substantial value to businesses and ultimately to the lives of their employees. I’m super excited about what the future holds at Purpose HR.
My entry into the world of HR is not quite traditional, having originally trained as a biomedical scientist at Glasgow and Stirling Universities. During my degree, I maintained part-time employment at a local camping and outdoor equipment retailer. After graduating, I was considering a change of direction, academically – having fallen out of love with sterilised white-gloss rooms and lab coats! Luckily, I was given an opportunity to manage the outdoor equipment store I was working for, which shortly after led to a HR Admin position at their head office, thanks to my Area Manager being supportive of career changes.
After a couple of years, the business was acquired by a large UK sporting retailer, which gave rise to an opportunity working within their HR department, where I worked for 4 years before taking up roles in Scotland, where my HR career continued to develop.
Most recently, I worked with a small, but quickly growing tech-enabled business based in Stirling. I was contacted by Lisa at Purpose HR and having known her for quite some time and the impact Purpose HR was making across Scottish SMEs, I knew now was the right time, and made the move to Purpose HR as a Senior Consultant in May of this year.
Over my first 3 months, I’ve been managing the people agenda across 11 retained clients, including Sumdog, Exizent, Mocean Energy, and Topolytics. All of my clients find themselves at differing stages of development, and with different people priorities, which makes for variety-filled days, and no end to learning opportunities. Most reside within the technology/software development sectors.
I feel internal to my clients (testament to the relationships we have built) and at no point have I been made to feel like, or reminded that I am an external consultant. I’m frequently invited to client events, lunches and outings along with all other staff. This has given me some great opportunities to network and build relationships.
Projects I’ve Worked on
So far, I’ve had ample opportunity to work on a vast array of project for my clients. The day-to-day includes a combination of;
- Process Implementation – designing, tweaking, improving and implementing on HR processes such as performance management, learning and development, and 121 meeting guidance; then of course, training on delivery of these, continual improvement, and alignment with further processes as they’re introduced.
- Handbook and Policy Work – handbook and policy delivery, optimisation, contract change consultations and template delivery.
- Employee Relations Casework – supporting clients on the management of ongoing ER cases, bringing them to smooth and effective conclusions.
- Recruitment Support – although we don’t recruit for clients directly, we do advise on related matters, including salary benchmarking exercises, job design and consultation, creation of onboarding and induction processes – probation management and manager training on process delivery.
- Leadership Training Frameworks – the creation and deployment of leadership training programmes, heightening leadership capability amongst new and rising leaders.
- Return To Office – many of my clients have chosen to run surveys and consultations to gauge their team’s enthusiasm for returning to the office. Some of my time has been used to facilitate for these consultations, surveys, and advising boards/management teams on their outcomes.
The Purpose HR Culture
Whilst I work with Purpose HR, I spend more time with client stakeholders than I do with the PurposeHR team – but this hasn’t stopped us from developing a unique, friendly, supportive, inclusive, flexible, and autonomous culture. We are people people – we understand that our clients’ primary assets are their people; their knowledge and their skills – we practice what we preach!
Remote Working and the Pandemic
The global Coronavirus pandemic has upended the way businesses operate, with many changing their operating models permanently, after finding that they have derived much benefit from flexible and remote working patterns – vastly widening their talent pools in the process. Having always been 100% office-based, remote working was a very new concept to me, but it’s one which I have managed to fit into extremely well. We may all work at distance, but we still find opportunities to meet in person occasionally, and bounce ideas around. I find now that my day is more scheduled and more organised – set diary appointments rarely overrun and are often to-the-point. I often feel that I, and my clients, have used the last 18 months to learn how to use time as a valuable resource!
Whilst many of my clients are planning on having some kind of optional presence, many are switching to a ‘remote first’ or ‘work where you want’ way of working, like us here at PurposeHR. This itself is bringing some difficult challenges to the HR profession. For this reason, leading, coaching and mentoring teams remotely is high up on the agenda of many of my clients, as is developing general leadership capability. It’s often said that HR goes through a mind-shift once every 5-7 years. I feel like we have come through this in the last 12-18 months alone.
Soon after joining PurposeHR, I learned that Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) had acquired a majority stake in the business. This is an extremely exciting step for PurposeHR – unlocking the resources, knowledge and infrastructure required for us to scale even more rapidly whilst bringing about a plethora of career progression opportunities for the team here. Since the acquisition, we’ve seen a number of new people join the team – all bringing their own unique expertise and experience; it’s been a wonderful thing to witness.
I am incredibly excited to see how the future unfolds!
You can read more about all of our passionate and purpose driven HR team and their full bios here – if you’d like to find out more about our HR support and services please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested to find out more about career opportunities with Purpose HR please get in touch on email@example.com