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Sarah is a HR Assistant within our Human Resources Team.
In her interview, Sarah gives an insight into her role and tells us what is at the top of her to-do list.

Can you give us an overview of your role within the HR Team

I am one of two HR Assistants in the department and I play a key role in supporting the team to ensure the various needs of Oncology employees are met. I deal with the recruitment process from start to end for specific groups within the Department; I ensure everything ticks along smoothly at each stage ensuring certain procedures are followed; I maintain and update our Human Resource Information System and importantly I play a part in ensuring that everyone gets paid each month.

And why is what your team does important?

What we do is important at a high level in that we support in the University's strategic objective of attracting, recruiting and retaining the highest calibre staff and at a local level in supporting colleagues throughout the employment life cycle, dealing with day to day wide ranging enquiries and subsequently having a direct impact on the experience employees have within the Department.

What's currently at the top of your to do list?

At the moment we have quite a few new starters as well as live vacancies so ensuring all my new starters settle in smoothly and have everything ready for them prior to them starting is right at the top of my list. Followed swiftly by the various live vacancies we have that will be closing over the next few weeks, ensuring everything is in place for the next stage of the recruitment cycle.

How did you get to where you are in your career today?

I initially studied Psychology at Birmingham City University and after completing my degree in 2013 I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do next. Further studies didn't appeal to me at the time, so I volunteered for a year with an educational charity and then worked for the same charity, a local authority and another charity all in very similar training administration roles for a few years.
I had thought about trying to get into HR before and briefly looked at what skills and qualifications were required but didn't do anything proactively with it for a little while. A turning point for me was whilst working for a charity for just short of 2 years it went into consultation twice in 6 months and the company essentially halved in number; my role was safe, but that experience allowed me to reflect on the type of career I wanted to pursue and it gave me the push I needed to give it a go. I then decided to gain a qualification in HR and studied for a CIPD level 3 qualification online and not long after starting the course I gained my first HR role at the Nuffield Department of Population Health and subsequently joined the Department of Oncology in October 2018.

What do you like to do to relax?

I enjoy listening to music, I think I'm quite eclectic, so I like listening to a range of music, I also play the keyboard and play quite regularly.