Personnel adviser

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Carol Hall is senior personnel adviser for a Council, working on the recruitment and retention of council employees. She manages a team of eight people involved in human resources.

What does your job as a personnel adviser involve?

There are two sides to it – recruiting employees for council jobs, and trying to make sure the council remains an attractive place to work, so that existing staff stay and build their careers here.

I have a team of eight people working with me on tasks like placing job advertisements, setting up interviews and drawing up employment contracts. In addition, we have to ensure our employment policies conform to the various laws and regulations governing disability, health and safety and so forth. At the moment, I am very involved in our diversity strategy.

What does this involve?

It is aimed at recruiting people from under-represented areas of the community as Gateshead Council is very committed to equal opportunities. I have attended specially organised recruitment events and given talks in schools, colleges, universities and to local community groups.

How do you ensure the council remains an attractive workplace?

The council encourages a good work/life balance for employees. I develop and carry out policies to assist employees who want to work part time, on a job share basis or have more flexible working hours.

I am also involved in implementing a home working policy, which makes it easier for employees to do some of their work at home, and a career break policy.

What do you like best about your job as a personnel adviser?

I was born in Gateshead, so feel I'm putting something back into my own community. I also enjoy the mix of working in the office with my team and being out in the community.

What challenges do you face?

The main challenge is fitting everything in that needs to be done. I have lots of ideas about how we can improve things even more, but it's not always possible to carry them out, which can be frustrating. I have to be firm with myself and prioritise what's most important.

What skills and qualities do you need to be a personnel adviser?

I discuss a lot of careers with different groups of people, so good communication skills are essential. Good people management skills are important too. We're a small team in recruitment and retention, and are often under pressure to deal with a number of vacancies at once. It's important for everyone to support each other in order to get the work done.

I work hard and sometimes it involves anti-social hours when I am giving talks and attending events, so enthusiasm for the job really helps too!

What future career plans do you have?

At the moment, I'm very happy with what I'm doing. I'm really enthusiastic about my job and still feel there are things I can achieve.

Carol's route to her job as a personnel adviser

  • Joined Council business administration training scheme.
  • Higher National Certificate in Business Administration.
  • Institute of Management Services Certificate.
  • Management services officer.
  • Institute of Management Services Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resources Management.
  • Senior personnel adviser.

Carol's personnel adviser tips

  • You need to enjoy working with people for this role.
  • Try to get some work experience in a business dealing with people and using office systems and IT equipment.

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Salary of a personnel adviser

  • New human resources managers usually earn between £18,000 and £28,000, depending on their level of training and expertise.
  • An experienced manager can expect from £29,000 to £38,000 or more. Heads of department nd directors can earn from £40,000 to over £90,000.
  • Salaries do vary depending on the type of employer and geographical location in the UK.

How to become a personnel adviser

  • Most human resource mangers have a Degree or Higher National Diploma (HND) in Human Resources or Business Management, and some progress to a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management or a related subject.
  • It is possible to work up to management level in an organisation especially with experience of working in a human resources department and enthusiasm to develop personal skills.
  • Other useful and relevant backgrounds include working in customer services, careers advice and training.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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