Hands-on experience at Amey (Blog 3)

Back in Oxford

I was invited back down to Oxford so I could learn more about the different roles within HR. My visit was extremely exciting and I was able to spend the morning with the frontline team who answer all the telephone calls and emails directed to the HR department. I learnt a lot from the frontline team, and was able to listen to the calls first hand via the training headset they use to train staff how to answer the variety of queries they are asked. I was surprised at just how varied the phone calls could be, from reference requests to telemarketing etc. A member of the team also went through the case management system and how emails and telephone queries were categorised and logged. I really enjoyed sitting with the frontline team and believe that if I want to really understand HR I would have to sit on the frontline to gain the breadth of knowledge and experience needed to be a good HR generalist.

Over lunch and into the afternoon I met with the Operational business HR team. This was an area I really didn’t know much about so I was really keen to hear and discuss their area of work. As Amey (the company) is a service based business, they have to compete to win contracts for all types of areas of work, for example road maintenance. I found out a lot about the bidding process, including what to include, but also potential costs and risk associated if the bid is successful. We also discussed the mobilisation process at Amey and how important that can be for winning bids and also ensuring the transfer of business runs smoothly for the parties and employees involved. I was able to learn about business skills not just HR, for example, cost and risk and TUPE legislation.

Later in the afternoon I met with my mentor Valerie and we spoke about my future career plans, the different options I was currently looking at and what suggestions Valerie had for increasing my chances of getting a graduate job. We went over the best ways to network and apply for jobs. I find talking to Valerie very encouraging and her guidance in HR, but also career advice and her own experiences really useful.

For the last part of my day I met with a member of the rewards and benefits team. I love the sound of this area of HR and the different ways in which a company reward their staff and how this can impact on morale. This could include cycling to work schemes to discount for many different high street shops.

This is the second visit I have had to Oxford and I have learnt so much from spending time with Valerie and the different teams within the HR department at Amey. The HR team are all really lovely friendly and interesting people to talk to and I hope the Valerie’s next mentee takes any opportunity offered to go and visit them.

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