#GradStories Emily McKeon, HR Administrative Officer, DFHERIS,

11 Aug 2023, 13:52

#GradStories Emily McKeon, HR Administrative Officer, DFHERIS,

What are your main tasks in a normal week?

No two weeks are the same in my job. My job involves looking at staff requests to determine which need to be prioritised. I also need to identify the resourcing needs of each department. To do this I work closely with my colleagues on the operational HR team to progress requests. I also have to work with senior management to identify the most suitable recruitment method for each individual vacancy based on a number of factors such as how specialised the role is and how quickly it needs to be filled. I’d also write notes for the management board to update them on our staff numbers, requirements and emerging trends. I’d also maintain the staff records for the department and update the organisation chart on a regular basis. I’d also be involved with strategic HR. So, I’d be involved with the development of the HR strategy for the department.

What skills do you need to be successful in your role?

It’s important to have strong communication skills, organisational skills, decision making skills and conflict management skills. You’re often dealing with sensitive cases so it’s also important to be emotionally intelligent so that you can handle these cases respectfully.

What do you love about your job?

I love how diverse my role is. No two weeks are the same. As a relatively recent graduate, I’m getting a lot of experience across various genres of HR. I love working with people, so I enjoy that I get to work with colleagues from across the department.

How did you get into your job?

I have an undergraduate degree in business studies and a master's degree in human resource management. I was always interested in joining the department because you’re always guaranteed a very diverse career. You can get in the civil service and move from one department to another. There’s a lot of mobility options, there’s a clear path for career progression. I applied for my job through the AO graduate scheme which is advertised by the public appointment service.

What skill should students develop if they are interested in this sector?

I’d tell students to learn to prioritise their work. There will always be an element of firefighting with HR. People will always be on to you asking questions and you need to be able to look at those queries and prioritise your work.

How have you adjusted to working from home?

I love it. I love the work-life balance. We are typically in the office two days a week. We’d have an ‘anchor day’ so the team would be in one day a week together and then you can choose your second day. It’s nice to have the option to choose your second day based off your week.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

People reading this also searched for roles in these areas:

Related careers advice

undefined background image

We've got you

Get the latest jobs, internships, careers advice, courses and graduate events based on what's important to you. Start connecting directly with top employers today.