HR in the Hot Seat (1)
HR in the Hot Seat -
5 mins with Rod Barker Benfield, HR Coordinator -
What do you
love most about your job?
The people. They're
ultimately what make any job worthwhile. You need a good
bunch of people to bounce off and interact with, otherwise you go a
little stir crazy just keeping your head down and not speaking to
anyone. One of the reasons I like working in the creative
industries is that everyone's really friendly and there are very
few hidden agendas - it's just as easy to talk to the CEO as it is
to talk to the Runner. Working in HR you have to be able to
talk to and understand people as best you can. There's no
doubt that everyone is always super busy and working on things that
are super important all the time, but every so often it's nice to
take step back and realise that we're all skin and bones underneath
and we're all just trying to make our way in the world. It's
the 'Human' part of Human Resources.
What are the three
things you couldn't do your job without?
A healthy working
environment. I don't need to be sitting on a £2,000 ergonomic
chair, but I need to feel comfortable in my immediate work space
and know that if I need to get some fresh air for ten minutes I'm
not going to get slapped on the wrist.
Flexibility - one of my
passions is photography and I've been lucky enough to have a
freelance photographic career on the side of all the HR work (check
This wouldn't have been possible without the flexibility of my
employers. Karmarama are incredibly generous in that they
allow me to work from home one morning a week which frees up my
afternoon to chase leads, rustle up new photographic clients and
head out on shoots.
Tea - without tea I couldn't
What do you think
makes a good HR Professional?
The ability to listen, be
tactful and make most people realise that if they have a work
related problem they normally have the tools needed themselves to
be able to solve it. It's not rocket science, it's
Who has been your
My boss. She's a mum
with three young kids, works incredibly hard and always makes time
for people who come up to speak to her no matter how busy she
is. She makes me realise that I have no excuse to feel tired
in the mornings!
What are your tips
From an HR point of view be
good at managing your own time, but also be good at managing
expectations. If you can't do something or it's going to take
a little longer to do, make sure you let everyone involved know
rather than bottling it up and missing deadlines. I also like
making time to meet the new starters - they can sometimes be
nervous and having someone help ease them through their first few
days is something they'll be grateful for. They're also keen
and excited to be there which has the benefit of rubbing off on
those that have been around for a while!
What do you do after
a stressful day?
I ride a scooter to and from
work which is great as it allows you to completely forget about a
stressful day within seconds as you're too busy concentrating on
the roads. Aside from that I also play dodgeball once a week
(yup - just like the movie) or hit the movies.