An overview in my 40 year career in HR
I started working in HR in the late 1970’s back in the day when it was still called Personnel!
During my career I have only worked directly for 4 companies; Thorn EMI where I started my career, Dixon’s Colour Laboratories, Professional Personnel Consultants (PPC) and Accord. I worked for PPC and Accord for 16 years and 12 years respectively. For 15 of these 28 years I have held Board Level or equivalent position.
Introduction to Consultancy
PPC were a privately owned HR consultancy providing a comprehensive range of personnel services to primarily SME’s. My role required me to provide a full HR service which included undertaking audits, managing client recruitment campaigns, completing training needs analysis, managing appraisal programmes and dealing with disciplinary and termination, including redundancy situations.
It was a role that evolved into managing a team of twelve consultants as well as my own portfolio of up to thirty clients of different sizes drawn from different business sectors. It was both varied and challenging but at all times immensely enjoyable.
An in house board level role
An opportunity arose in 2004 to join one of my then clients Accord Group, a medium sized SME working in the advertising and marketing sector. I joined as HR Director, Accord’s first senior in house HR appointment. My role was to establish an HR function charged with providing a proactive internal consultancy service to the Group.
Perfect for me because that's how I see the role of HR. Whether provided in house or undertaken by an external third party, the function is there to work as part of a senior management team providing sound and considered advice that supports the business to achieve its objectives.
The role at Accord required me to put in place the building blocks which enabled a full service HR infrastructure to be established. At all times working proactively, this involved everything from providing advice to the business on any number of HR matters, preparing policies, procedures and “How to” guides, managing restructuring projects and leading recruitment and L&D initiatives. As well as being a strategic role it was also very much hands on and at times administrative in nature.
The next stage of my career
I am proud of what I have built at Accord. As an Accord Board member my counsel and advice in managing HR matters is respected and HR is recognised as a function integral to the success of the business.
The requirements that Accord has, have changed. Whilst there remains a need for HR, this is no longer a full time requirement. It is for that reason that I have agreed with Accord that I will continue to work for them on a part time consultancy basis, hence LOCKHR.
Accord are the first of many clients operating in the SME sector who I hope to be working with in the future.