Growing in my HR Role


I have been working this last year and a bit within a manufacturing company, mainly focusing on the operations side of things, however have during this time completed my Level 3 CIPD qualification. I have taken on HR tasks, such as absence management, assistance with disciplinary, investigations, training, recruiting and employee contracts and policies etc.

However the company would like to look at my role, how I can grow in my role and what I can offer the company as a HR professional. The company employs just over 50 people and currently do not have a streamlined HR system in place. Although I have experience with HR related tasks I have not had the opportunity to apply this as an individual to a company off my own back. As some of you may know a factory setting can very much seem to have a HR mind of its own.

So what can I do to be an effective HR person within a factory setting?

What advice would you give about a factory setting and how HR works in this environment?

Would HR Officer be acceptable for an updated title and job description?

What salary would you expect someone of my level/experience to be on?

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I am very much wanting to continue to learn (Soon to study level 5) and to contribute to this company as much as I can.

Many Thanks


  • Sue

    | 84 Posts

    Chartered Member

    5 Jan, 2016 11:39

    Hi Danielle. My advice would be to look at where you can add the most value and seek to understand what issues the organisation faces in terms of its people eg. are the managers managing? How are your absence rates? Turnover rates? How do you recruit? Factory settings tend to be process driven, with a focus on cost and quality and often needing skilled people so there may be some opportunities to look at how you attract, develop, whether you use apprentices etc. to secure your future workforce. If this is the first HR role to the organisation, which I suspect it may be, there will be lots you can get "stuck into", so you can have quite an exciting role and perhaps the tip is to follow the area you are most interested in, which can add most value to your organisation.

    Salary and job title you can get a feel for from most job boards and I guess will be somewhat driven by your organisation, I probably favour "advisor" over "officer" but again personal preference and needs to be in line with what you do.

    In my experience in HR, the danger is always being seen as something on the side line, wheeled in to deal with disciplinaries etc., therefore if you can establish yourself as someone who tackles things from a more proactive angle before it gets to that stage, this will inevitably raise your profile. Another thing I was always extremely bad at in my very early days of HR, was remaining visible so people see your contribution - instead I would just work away and hope it was noticed, which led to people saying "what does she do?", so its a good question to reflect on - if you asked people in the organisation what the role was, what would they say?

    Hope that helps a bit, PM me if you need anything further. Good luck! S
  • In reply to Sue:

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for taking the time to get back to me and for your valuable advice. I am trying to establish where we need to improve within the business in respect to HR and what would add value the most. You are right it is my first experience focusing on HR, as previous experience has been with managing people and utilising HR skills in that way.

    I am wanting to ensure that I only add value to the business and highlight that HR does not need to be seen as a negative (as it sometimes is). If you have the time to speak to me or point me in the direction of useful tools that may help, it would be greatly appreciated. I am not sure how to message you privately on here. I am hoping to utilise these forums more, as someone to mentor me or advice can very much go a long way!

    Many Thanks

  • Sam

    | 588 Posts


    7 Jan, 2016 14:00

    In reply to Danielle King:

    Maybe you can review the company policies and procedures, check if they are up to date (have a look at ACAS or other online material for key employment law updates or changes over the last 2 years if unsure what they are) and make recommendations for any updates they need, or you may find there isn't a policy in place for something where there should be.

    And to carry on the theme of above, make a list of activities you see that need doing that the directors will view as positive - so often in small firms things get left and don't fall to anyone. Again be careful not to go into areas that aren't HR or you risk being viewed as a dogsbody, but make a list of real HR themed improvements or opportunities you can see. Maybe doing a SWOT analysis will help generate ideas....
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