Michelle, HR Business Partner, Nestlé UK
Having spent most of my career in the financial services industry (with the latter years in Human Resources) I have been fortunate to travel internationally for work, implementing HR policy to ensure consistency in local businesses and providing a generalist HR service to both public and private sector businesses nationally.
When looking for a new career opportunity, I planned my job search against the key criteria of continuing in an HR Business Partner role within a large multinational organization, but close to home to ensure some work-life balance. Nestlé fitted the profile perfectly, so I submitted a speculative application via their website. Fortunately for me, I received a call 'out of the blue' inviting me to interview for an HR Business Partner opportunity working in Croydon, so all the boxes were ticked!
I was initially attracted to Nestlé due to its known brand, international presence and the challenge of working in a different industry. Dare I say it, its location also helped as its Croydon head office is close to home, so no more commuting into the City! This perspective was reinforced by the nature of the role, scope of responsibility (HR Business Partner to 6 different functions) and opportunities to consolidate my experience and develop my career further.
Needless to say, I accepted and joined Nestlé in September 2008 and it has been a whirlwind of a journey and learning curve ever since! Never say that direct applications do not work or be afraid to work in a different industry from what you have been used to. As I have discovered, you may find it to be both a challenging and rewarding experience to learn something new.
The Nestlé organisation is very complex to understand. However, everyone is supportive in helping you settle in and in sharing their knowledge of the business and ways of working, irrespective of what function they work in. A friendly culture exists which is evidenced by the long service of many and the open, non-hierarchical environment.
I enjoy working in HR because of the variety within the role and the opportunity to influence, coach and develop others. My role as HR Business Partner more than fulfils this criteria as my day-to-day responsibilities range from coaching managers in developing their people and advising on salary decisions and employee relations matters to providing HR lead support on delivering change programmes and team development activities - to name a few. So, as you can imagine, no two days are the same!
The opportunity to do this within an organisation which offers employees autonomy, self-development and career opportunities should be encouraging for others to join. For me, I have experienced fantastic support and every promise that has been made has been kept. I think that's probably quite rare!