Explore: Human resources

Head of Human Resources

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Laura W

00.02 My name is Laura W, my job is the head of Human Resources here at Jagex. It’s a really busy team, HR team from a recruitment perspective we get around a hundred applications a day in the careers inbox and obviously we’ve got our own staff internally as well that we’re looking after every single day, looking at training and development opportunities. It can also stem right down to a staff member coming to speak to me about some concern they might have with their job role or even through to kind of paternity leave so it’s a massive varied, varied job role.

00.35 I was brought up in a pub so my mum and dad were landlords and landladies for many years. My mother now works in a college and she’s in student services so very much customer facing. My dad now works for an organisation in the warehouse in distribution, so we’ve always had really quite customer facing job roles. I was always very lucky with my parents that they never really gave me any sort of steer to be honest with you. I feel that I’ve very much got into this profession through, trial and error. When I was back at school I had lots of different ideas as to where I’d want to be and I don’t think working in a games company as the head of human resources ever came into that to be honest with you.

01.15 The first time I understood that I would like to get into something like human resources was probably when I started studying psychology. And I did that at GCSE, then went onto do it at A level, then went onto university and studied Business Psychology so at that point I really enjoyed that side of things, what makes organisations work in terms of people.

01.35 The biggest turning point for me really was before I started working and that was taking the decision to go out to America on my own travelling. It gave me the confidence that I could choose to do whatever I want to do and actually taking a risk always pays off. When I came back I got into sales and unbelievably was selling Nestle chocolates out the back of a van into corner shops. Very character building though. You learn some people skills pretty quickly getting into those sorts of situations.

02.04 A friend who I knew gave me a temporary job role as an administrator on a work force development team for a business link. It was a great feeling, something absolutely clicked, all of a sudden I remembered why I enjoyed studying psychology so much. I remembered why I enjoyed business psychology so much and straight away I could start applying this knowledge I had into a job role and it was really about helping people.

02.27 Although looking back I hopped around a few jobs in my earlier years in my career. That really paid off, because I managed to find the right job for me and it really was through experimenting that I achieved that. And I’m really glad I did experiment and took the risks and was confident enough to try other things out.

02.48 In my social life I like to remain active. So, do quite a lot of sport and exercise. I also really enjoy travelling, I like to get off the beaten track somewhere where the menus aren’t in English for instance. If the menus in English I find I’m in too much of a tourist area so that’s really what I kind of like to do in my kind of, my own social time.

03.08 This book’s really important to me, its Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It guides you in terms of your work life and your personal life. I always try to pass that down to other individuals that I work with. A really great manager I had in the past did exactly the same thing with me when I was part of that team and I had some real light bulb moments from it in terms of just how to conduct yourself, how to kind of be the best person you can be in your own personal life and also at work as well.

03.35 When I joined an organisation five years ago, I was really lucky to be managed by a really charismatic lady, very powerful lady, but also had the balance of being personable. I found that very inspirational and I still kind of look back to that as that being a bit of a bench mark for how I try to act and how I want to be as an individual going forward.

Laura W is the Head of Human Resources at Jagex. She says, “Although looking back I hopped around a few jobs in my earlier years in my career. That really paid off, because I managed to find the right job for me and it really was through experimenting that I achieved that”.

More information about Human resource managers and directors

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

34%  male 
66%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Human resource managers and directors plan, organise and direct the personnel, training and industrial relations policies of organisations, advise on resource allocation and utilisation problems, measure the effectiveness of an organisation’s systems, methods and procedures and advise on, plan and implement procedures to improve utilisation of labour, equipment and materials.
There are no pre-set entry standards, although entry is most common with a degree or equivalent qualification. Off- and on-the-job training is provided and professional qualifications are available. NVQs/SVQs in relevant subjects are available at levels 3, 4 and 5.
  • Determines staffing needs;
  • Oversees the preparation of job descriptions, drafts advertisements and interviews candidates;
  • Oversees the monitoring of employee performance and career development needs;
  • Provides or arranges for provision of training courses;
  • Undertakes industrial relations negotiations with employees’ representatives or trades unions;
  • Develops and administers salary, health and safety and promotion policies;
  • Examines and reports on company and departmental structures, chains of command, information flows, etc. and evaluates efficiency of existing operations;
  • Considers alternative work procedures to improve productivity;
  • Stays abreast of relevant legislation, considers its impact on the organisation’s HR strategy and recommends appropriate action.
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