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Thinking of a career in HR?

As an HR graduate, you’ll see first-hand the impact you have on the wider business. From business partnership, talent management, to reward and payroll, you can develop in many new directions. You’ll need to be able to balance commercial thinking with a real customer focus. It can be an immensely satisfying career path, enabling you to develop skills and experience across multiple functions.

We invited Sajida Zamir, HR Manager with Severn Trent Water, to talk to us about her career….

HR has given me a great career. I completed degree in Business Studies and Human Resource Management after which I undertook a number of HR roles across both the private and public sector before joining Severn Trent Water in 2008 as a HR Advisor. I have had great opportunities that have stretched me and facilitated my progression to the next level. Within 2 years I progressed to a Senior HR Advisor and then a further promotion to an HR Manager.

As an HR Manager, I am the main interface into the business for HR, and the voice of the business back into HR. I play an active leadership role in driving the people strategy to support deliver the business plan. I work with the business on driving performance and line manager capability. On any given day I can be providing expert advice on the most complex HR cases, coaching leaders to drive leadership development, recruiting talent into the business and leading continuous improvement initiatives.

One of the things I love about my job is that it requires an eye for detail alongside an ability to see the bigger picture and influence the organisation at the highest level. I have a commitment to diversity and ensuring fairness in the workplace. For me the variety, breadth, and being a trusted partner to the business makes it such an enjoyable role!

Why should I consider a career in HR?

HR provides a unique opportunity to gain exposure to all parts of the business, see how the organisation operates end to end and have an impact on this. You have the opportunity to work with leadership teams and influence them in key strategic business decisions. You will support and challenge managers as they lead their teams.

No day is the same, you’ll get involved in a wide range of areassuch as employee relations, recruitment, reward and learning and development.

One day, you could be working with management to decide on the organisation design and people needed to deliver the business strategy. The next, you could be running a training session to get the best out of people and drive performance.

What skills do you need in HR?

  • Commercial acumen and  strategic focus
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Customer focus
  • Ability to coach others
  • Great team player with the ability to work collaboratively
  • A drive for continuous improvement
  • Data analytics
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • Flexible and adaptable

Is HR a commercial environment?

HR ensures we have the right people in the right roles to deliver maximum value for the business. We support the business to ensure that it is optimised from a cost, structure and performance perspective, empowering people to perform at their best to ensure maximum return on investment.

You’ll be involved in purchasing and contract management, brand management and marketing as well as ensure employee communications are received well.

What would you recommend to someone applying for a HR Graduate Programme

  • Show your enthusiasm, do your research, think about what challenge the business faces, both people and commercial
  • Think about completing HR work experience
  • Talk to HR Professionals – join a group on LinkedIn or visit a careers fair (Editor note: we also run an HR sector event every spring)
  • Make sure you can articulate why you want to work in HR

How do I find out more about Severn Trent Water?

Our graduate programmes are open now at

One thought on “Thinking of a career in HR?

  1. Pingback: Thinking about a career in HR? HR Manager from Severn Trent Water reveals all… | Bournemouth University Careers & Employability Service Blog

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