I began working with Purpose HR in May 2021. With three months to go until I finished my master’s degree I knew it would be a challenge to work full time and also carry out research for my dissertation, however I had heard about Purpose HR and their reputation in the tech and life sciences industry and couldn’t let the opportunity pass by.
Studying Business Psychology with Human Resource Management at Heriot Watt University enhanced my interest in leadership, organisational change management, diversity and inclusion and coaching. All of this meant I wanted to work for a company where I could gain practical experience in these to complement the theory I had learned in university and Purpose HR seemed like the perfect fit.
My role at Purpose HR proved very quickly to be high paced and very varying, coming across new tasks every day with lots of clients to get up to speed on, their HR functions and work we had going on for them. At a time of significant change in the working world, with lockdown restrictions easing and people moving back into the office or adopting a hybrid approach to work, a lot of the Purpose HR clients were eager for insight on their employees productivity whilst working from home, engagement, thoughts on returning to the office and how communication had changed whilst working from home. I worked on several surveys, analysed the results and prepared presentations for these results to be communicated to the leadership teams and wider employees.
This complemented research I was carrying out for my dissertation which looked at the impact of remote work on employee’s productivity and the mediators of professional isolation and job autonomy, and it was also great experience for me and my career.
Throughout my first six months at Purpose HR I have, in some ways, experienced the entire HR function whether this be direct or indirectly through the HR consultants. This has enabled greater learning than typical in-house HR roles for my level and has been invaluable to me and my development.
As a HR Administrator, I provide administrative support to the HR Consultants or to the clients directly. My day-to-day tasks include:
- Recruitment- either in-house or liaising with agencies to recruit for various positions, interviewing, salary and job title benchmarking, drafting terms of business agreements, head hunting candidates
- Immigration guidance- assisting clients who are in the process of hiring candidates overseas and providing guidance on applying for certificates of sponsorship, assigning these, sponsor responsibilities guidance and assistance with the visa application process
- Onboarding- delivery of offer letters and contracts to new starts as well as other aspects of the onboarding process including Right to Work checks, criminal record checks, reference checks and HR IT system set-ups
- Policies and Handbooks- drafting policies and Employee Handbooks
- Compliance- including creation of job specifications, DSE risk assessments, ensuring we have correct documentation on file for the clients employees
- HR IT Implementation- setting up clients with HR IT software system Breathe HR
- Maintaining employee records on internal systems, HRIT software and client shared sites
- Surveys- involving the survey design, collecting responses, analysing results and presenting findings
- Offboarding- completing the employees life cycle through exit interviews and the leavers process
This is certainly not an exclusive list! My favourite thing about working for Purpose HR is working with many highly experienced consultants as having access to this level of knowledge has been amazing and goes beyond anything that is learnable from the classroom. Everyday I come across a new perspective, debate or task that I haven’t been faced with before which makes everyday an opportunity for further knowledge development.
In addition, working closely with such innovative technology, life science and engineering sector start-ups has enabled me to play a part in something important which is really rewarding. It has been great to experience their growth and development both in the Scottish market and internationally.
Looking to next year and how my career will continue to develop, I will be starting my Level 7 CIPD training in Strategic People Management supported by Purpose HR. This is a two-year qualification that covers work and working lives in a changing business environment, people management and development strategies for performance, personal effectiveness, ethics and business acumen, business research, strategic employment relations, resourcing and talent management and a specialist unit. I can’t wait to begin studying again albeit sooner than I had expected, and I can’t wait to bring this academic knowledge into my day-to-day role!
By Aoife Travers, HR Administrator