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HR Apprentice at Howdens in Watford

Job Description

A work-based training program designed as an advanced Apprenticeship offering a combination of on the job HR administration experience, job related in-house training and the opportunity to study the CIPD Level 3 Certificate in Human Resource Practice. There will also be an opportunity to shadow different roles within HR & L&D to gain a rounded understanding of HR as a function.

While apprentices are not guaranteed permanent employment following completion of their apprenticeship programme, the Company would hope to retain them where possible. Therefore, provided the apprentice has been successful throughout the programme, the manager will review any suitable vacancies during the final months/weeks of the apprenticeship to secure on-going employment.

Role Dimensions

These should include, where relevant:

  • Reports directly to the HR Administration Manager
  • To assist with the administration of up to 1000 transactions per month
  • To assist with facilitating a near-perfect success rate with the transaction processing

Key Accountabilities & Responsibilities 

  • To gain an understanding of all areas of the HR and L&D functions through on the job learning, shadowing and by completing the CIPD Level 3 certificate in HR Practice.
  • Jointly with HR colleagues assist in the delivery and smooth operation of a comprehensive advice and administration service to the satisfaction of internal customers and in compliance with legal requirements.
  • Jointly with HR colleagues accurately process over 650 transactions per month, ensuring that they are completed within the required time-scales set by legislation, Payroll, the Company and HR.
  • Process incoming correspondence (phone, email, fax, post) appropriately to ensure that it is received by the appropriate person or actioned in a timely manner and ensure that outgoing post is processed within the required time-scales.
  • Administer employees’ terms and conditions of employment from point of recruitment to leaving the business, ensuring that all correspondence generated is accurate, completed to a high standard of accuracy and that the electronic filing of the documentation is in compliance with department procedures.
  • Accurately maintain the department’s paperless document management system so that comprehensive records are maintained and documents can be easily retrieved when required.
  • Effectively utilise the Microsoft office software, HR Information Systems and other internal computerised systems to produce accurate work/reports of high quality in the most efficient manner and to ensure that daily/weekly reporting is completed within the appropriate time-scale.
  • Escalate or refer complex HR issues and cases and any associated documents to competent colleagues to ensure that they are effectively addressed.
  • Liaise with other business departments, e.g. Payroll to ensure that queries and questions are speedily and accurately addressed.
  • Working with HR colleagues, maintain the background information on the HR system relating to depots and role hierarchy.
  • Spending time shadowing: HR Advisory Team, Business Partners, Recruitment Advisor, HR Systems and Analytics Advisor and L&D Team

Key Performance Indicators

  • To achieve full completion of the HR Apprenticeship
  • The completion of all work-based assignments and project work in accordance with the requirements set out by the business
  • To study for and successfully complete the CIPD Level 3 Certificate in Human Resource Practice
  • To be proficient in all of the key accountabilities and responsibilities (as listed above)
  • To produce all work to a high level of accuracy, working with other members of the team to bring the HR Administration Teams error rate to less than 1%
  • To take ownership of and resolve any queries/enquiries within appropriate timescales

Key Challenges

  • Managing work and study to ensure all are performed to a high standard
  • Ensuring every action is processed accurately and to the required SLA’s while facing challenges with documentation errors, miscommunication and Manager assumptions.
  • Influence Managers to be compliant with HR processes and best demonstrated practice, ensuring consistency to reduce risks of incorrect employee data and timely actions.
  • Support the HR Administration Manager in improving upon and aligning existing practices while ensuring that a continuously increasing workload continues to be actioned to a high standard and in a timely manner.
  • Building/maintaining a credible relationship with Payroll/Depot Managers/Field Sales Management where the communication mainly takes place over the phone.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

With good level GCSE English and Maths, a collaborative team-worker who is process driven, accurate with good attention to detail, the desire and ability to learn new policies, processes and systems quickly. The need to be able to deal with ambiguity and the resilience and tenacity to address the issues faced due to the independent nature of the managers requirements and communication of such.

Previous experience in administration is not required although prior experience of working in an office environment would be an advantage.

Additional Information

  • As well as the opportunity to study CIPD Level 3 Certificate in Human Resource Practice further training opportunities during the Apprenticeship will be offered, to enable you to successfully perform in the role.
  • While the company will support in the study of the CIPD qualification, some work and study will be required to be completed in your own time.
  • Travel will also be required as part of the role in order to attend training, shadow colleagues, to spend time with other functions and for the purpose of team development. Nights away from home are also anticipated.

Data Protection

All employees must not, without permission, disclose any information regarding staff. In instances where it is known that a member of staff has communicated information to unauthorised persons, those staff may be liable to disciplinary action up to and including summary dismissal.

This job description is an initial outline of the main duties and responsibilities and may be subject to amendment in accordance with the needs of the service.

Role location:

The Pavilion, Blackmoor Ln, Watford, WD18 8GH


Job Categories: London. Job Types: HR Support. Salaries: £18000. PA

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