Insight Series: Sally Phillips – Managing Director of Ward Williams HR Ltd
For our latest installment of interviews and profiles, we caught up with Sally Phillips , the Managing Director of Ward Williams HR , to ask her a few questions on Ward Williams , her career and everything in between…
1. How long have you worked at Ward Williams HR Ltd and what is your background?
I have worked at Ward Williams for approx 15 years and Ward Williams HR was incorporated 5 years ago. My background has always been in management, administration and most importantly ‘people orientated’ roles.
2. What tempted you to make the move in to HR and what do you enjoy most about your role?
I have always enjoyed working with people and I had always identified the fact that the success of any business is heavily driven by having the right people on board, the right staff training and motivation. Working together with our clients we identified a need for support that was lacking within their organisations. We can hand hold them through all aspects of HR support and Indemnified employment law advice leaving them free to focus on other areas of their business. Getting to know their people and their business strengthens our business relationship and enables us to deliver the best advice.
3.Describe the major challenges of working as an HR advisor?
Challenges bring variety which makes every day interesting and varied. Main challenge would always be to ensure that we respond to our clients needs immediately. When we receive emails or telephone calls from clients it is because they need guidance from us immediately. Our response and support is acknowledged by our client retention numbers. We have never had a client want to leave us yet.
4.Ward Williams help SME’s by proving the expertise and training to help them manage all aspects of the HR process. What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had been given at the start of your journey?
I didn’t realise how resistant some organisations would be and to some extent still are with engaging with HR professionals to assist in this important area of their business. Some still take risks and just keep their fingers crossed that they won’t have any staffing issues. The reality is that they will experience a problem and that it will need to be addressed. Usually by then it is too late and the financial risk to their business can be considerably higher, also having all the right documentation in place promotes a professional image to the staff and adds value to the business.
5. MyPeopleBiz strongly believe in automating the recruitment process and your company has developed an automated programme ‘Do it yourself HR’ to help businesses handle aspects of their HR more easily. To what extent does automation benefit SMEs?
We support our clients and ensure that they get it right, all the time. We provide the resource for organisations to tap into . We ensure that they are given and have access to up-to-date advice 24/7. We can provide the latest templates that will save time and ensure correct processes are followed. By tapping into our knowledge resource is an investment and a cost effective solution.
It enables clients to cherry pick what they need from our support services depending on the internal resource that they have available. This promotes a cost effective quality service whereby we can support and guide them as their business needs dictate.
6. Summarize if you can, the biggest challenges facing HR and recruitment in 2012?
The Olympics could be challenging for employers. They are going to be inundated with requests for flexible working or perhaps experience unauthorized absence and they will need to know how to deal with this I would suggest they start putting together a policy sooner rather than later.
Recruitment – ensure that you get the process right and you are fair with your selection. Organizations need to get the right support on board to ensure that they have access to the right candidates in a cost effective way.
7. If you weren’t in HR, what would you be doing and why?
I would definitely work with people. Social Worker or teacher. It’s great to make a difference.
8. If you were to go on a month long cruise with any two famous people of your choice, who would you pick and why?
I wouldn’t want to be on a cruise with 2 famous people for one whole month.
9. We recently wrote a blog piece about strange interview questions, so we couldn’t resist, which car best represents you and why?
Probably a convertible, as you can adapt according to the weather. In HR you have to change depending on the circumstances.
10. Finally share with us the most unusual interview question that either you have been asked or that you have come across?
I can share with you a response from an interviewee when asked the following.
A: I’m partial to the odd ciggie and a few glasses of wine.
Q: What would you say your weakness are
A: I can’t give up ciggies or wine.