Q. I am 28, a HR manager with a real estate firm with 50 employees. I started off as a secretary but returned to school to get the required qualifications for the position.
I interviewed with an engineering firm recently and was informed that should I get the position, I would be serving 150 employees. Should I take this as a challenge or a warning that this company overworks its employees?
Going by the information you have provided, most probably, this is your second job and obviously your first in HR, starting off as a manager, congratulations.
Many HR professionals I know start way down from officers, senior officers to managers but going by the employee size of your company, this standard structure may not apply. Now if you get this job, that is definitely going to change, and if you put the right structures in place, managing 150 employees will not be as hard as you think. View this as a good challenge to prepare you for bigger roles.
Here are some tips on how to succeed:
Do not attempt to do this on your own, otherwise your overwork theory will become a reality. For such an organisation, there must be a structure in place that oversees HR work at departmental or section level.
If it does not exist, your first job is to design it, appoint the right people and allocate them clear duties.
Depending on how automated the HR department is, you are likely to need two or three employees to support you. Your next focus should be to ensure your team has all tools needed to support employees in undertaking their duties.
This ranges from ensuring there are robust policy guidelines and strategies tools that employees are aware of.
A bigger employee compliment means more work on employee relations, wellbeing and safeguarding, so pay attention to these areas and work closely with line managers to identify any emerging challenges and have them resolved as quickly as possible.
Being the key gatekeeper of the organisation means your role of sourcing, on-boarding and motivating your employees to do their best is key. You are bound to have different demographics in your team, be sure to create an array of benefits that appeal to all groups.
That means exploring new ways of understanding engagement drivers for all generations.
Get to know how best to support your team.
You have lots of interesting challenges ahead and I am sure you are up to the task, go make a difference.