Over the few weeks we have had the pleasure of having university student Fern Barclay working with us, where she has been learning about HR Administration and some generalist HR cases. Fern is studying International Business at Strathclyde University and is about to go into 4th year to complete her Honours in International Business and HR Management. Fern is keen to have a career in HR after university and in this article Fern talks us through her time at The HR Booth…

Fern Barclay In this highly competitive environment, it is becoming increasingly apparent that university graduates can no longer get to where they want to be with just a degree – something else is needed to distinguish candidates to employers. This is why the summer between 3rd and 4th year of university is not seen as a typical summer for the majority students. Instead, it is seen as a few months to make themselves more competitive, gain skills and experience, and probably most importantly, decide what they want to do after graduation.

As an International Business with Human Resource Management student, it was important to me to find work experience somewhere I could be involved with as many aspects of HRM as possible, with the hope to pinpoint one or two which I could take further. This type of experience was found at The HR Booth. The time I have spent at The HR Booth allowed me to gain valuable insight into HR as I was involved in a number of projects during my time there, which helped to develop also build upon already skills.

In my first few weeks I was involved with a lot of recruitment for clients, looking over CVs, conducting telephone interviews, booking in face-to-face interviews with the client and checking references. This role showed me that working in recruitment is something I enjoy and would be a viable career path in the future. This role also helped me to enhance my own interviewing skills; I feel that I know how to answer questions better and what interviewers are looking for in a candidate. In addition to this I have been involved in writing job descriptions for various roles which has given me further insight into recruitment as it has shown the amount of research that needs to be done to attract suitable candidates.

I was also involved in some disciplinary procedures, something I had a lot of interest in after studying employment relations the previous year. I was able to attend some disciplinary hearings at a client’s site as a note-taker. This was a very interesting experience and really put what I had learned in lectures into reality and taught me different techniques that could be used to keep hearings civil and come to an amicable and fair decision. My experience at The HR Booth has developed my own administration, communication and interpersonal skills.

I have learnt about a range of different HR software that can be used for managing client information and storing data. I have also been able to develop communication and interpersonal skills by interviewing candidates over the phone and communicating with them through e-mail. Overall I have really enjoyed my placement at The HR Booth, will all members of the team making me feel welcomed and valued.

I have learnt a lot about an industry I already had a lot of interest in, but this experience has showed me just how much scope it has. In the future, I plan to pursue a career in HR.

As a result of my experience at The HR Booth I feel I have developed a set of skills which will help me in entering the industry.

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