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Experience working in a standalone post?

hi I have taken on a new opportunity within a manufacturing company, as a HR Manager. It is a stand alone post and I wondered if anyone had any experience working in stand alone post and what your advice (in relation to what to focus on, challenges, etc) for me, would be. thank you Meena

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  • Get to know people, especially your peers, employer & managers. They will be your most important customers.

    Don't attempt a 'new broom sweeps clean' and come up with new ideas just to create impact.

    Concentrate on the bigger picture and what your customers want, not necessarily what you want. If you fret and worry about filing systems, and insist on being kept informed of every little detail, you'll end up being the person whose job is to keep filing systems up to date and get involved in lots of small unimportant details.


    Good luck - its a brilliant but scary learning curve.
  • Thank you David. That's helpful. Yes, it's scary, but I hope I hope it's the right decision.
  • Hi Meena

    I totally agree with David. I have worked stand alone HR for many years (20 in a manufacturing environment) and I find that getting to know the people is absolutely paramount. Learning their names and a little about them but also be willing to chat. Often they want to know what you are there to do!

    I didn't get caught up dealing with things that I didn't need to. I did review some of the systems and then I found that I started to get to know what needed attention. Succession planning was a big one because some of the manufacturing roles were quite niche.

    Good luck and best wishes.

    Nicola
  • I have been working as a stand-alone role for couples of years. It has given me a great opportunity to grow and meet with different business units and building your own HR presence within the company. The challenges I had was to be able to work independently with self motivation. Your team members can be yourself but also from other departments.

    Depending on the company, it may get you very busy working from administration to strategy. It can stretch your skills and ability within a role.

    Best of luck in your new exciting role!
  • thank you Nicola. succession planning will be one of my objectives.
  • thank you Ashley. very helpful.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    22 Oct, 2021 09:03

    Hi Meena - we've had some excellent discussions over the years, so you are not alone.

    You can disappear down a rabbit hole by starting here :)

  • I am in exactly the same position, moving from finance manager to head of HR on 1st Sept. I have already had to deal with 4 new recruits, from interviewing to finalising contracts. Wellbeing has also been a big issue and I am currently looking into how best to approach this. It is all a bit of a minefield, especially with there only being myself & I. I am using the benefits of Acas as well as CIPD. I have a very long road in front of me, but I will get there.
  • Congratulations Meena. Good luck in your role and I'll add to some cracking suggestions from colleagues below. I've set up functions and worked in stand alone roles for clients, often as their first HR person. I'd check out other conversations that Steve Bridger has referenced as you are not alone & networking with professionals, also working standalone, is good for bouncing ideas and support. I find that essential.

    I'd check the basics are working brilliantly so might check out the files, payroll, the legals and some of the behind the scenes stuff that only matters when it goes wrong.

    Building the relationships and understanding the commercials of the business as critical everywhere and especially in a standlone role. Meet as many people as you can in one to one settings and groups. Find out their pain points, what's keeping them awake at night, what's good, bad and ugly and use the data to think how the people function can be part of the solutions and get a lie of the land.

    Keep listening and learning. Get under the skin of the business and don't solely focus on the management view, important though it is, it is also key to build good relationships throughout.

    I'd recommend a facebook group if you are on Facebook - HR Ninjas. It's not mine, I'm not on Facebook now but when I was I could see this group run by the lovely Liz Henson, is such a rich source of information, support and a sounding board.

    All the best.