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Testimonial of previous Trainee HR Officer

Sarah joined the HR team as an apprentice in 2011. Sarah had a genuine interest in HR and demonstrated to us a focus on customer service, a curious and engaging personality and the ability to get things done. Here is what Sarah thought about working for FBC, in the HR team:   

I really enjoyed my time as a trainee HR Officer at Fareham BC! The breadth of services offered by the Council meant that I had a really varied workload and I was exposed to lots of different activities and people. Being part of a generalist HR team, you will get involved with everything from Recruitment to Employee Relations and this was a huge selling point for me.

As part of the learning process, I studied the Level 7 CIPD qualification in Human Resource Management at the University of Portsmouth, this was a fantastic opportunity and meant I was able to receive a university qualification whilst also working. During my time studying I felt that I received the best support from my team – they really did want to see me do well! The HR team are an amazing resource of knowledge and they're also the best bunch to work with.

After spending over 6 years working and learning in my role at Fareham, I made the decision to specialise in Recruitment as this was the area I enjoyed most. I am now working for a major film/entertainment company in London and the skills I'd learnt at Fareham were vital in helping me get this role.

I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to become a HR Officer at Fareham BC and consider my 6+ years there to have been some of my best!

Cultural Values and Way of Working

We have changed the way we work to put our customers at the heart of everything we do.

As a Council, our customer surveys were telling us we were good but individual correspondence and complaints were telling us we weren't as good as we thought. We weren't solving customer problems at the first point of contact and were standing behind rules and legislation. We were courteous but didn't solve customer problems quickly. We wanted this to change.

We adopted a new way of working and shifted the Council's culture following Vanguard principles. We are improving our services; seeing whole processes through our customers eyes and putting them at the heart of everything we do.

We ask our customers what they need rather than telling them what we think they need. We trust employees and enable them to do their jobs rather than put in controls and targets.

We have had significant scope to simplify processes and remove waste, lower costs and spend more time with our customers.

We are still learning and the Vanguard Method is helping us achieve significant transformational change. We are a good Council and we are on track to get better.


Vanguard in HR

We started with recruitment. We had a one size fits all process and realised this didn't find the best candidates to fit the organisation and the culture. Managers did the administration including writing adverts, setting up interviews etc.

HR are now more creative and treat each recruitment exercise individually. We have taken the administration back from managers, allowing them to focus on delivering key services to our customers. We don't have an HR admin team; HR Officers own each recruitment process from start to finish. We have improved communication with candidates and ensure they receive feedback from us throughout the process. 

We've had some great feedback:

'Each time, the recruitment process gets better. HR do everything, making life easier. The process is quicker, the shackles have been removed. You can be more relaxed in interviews and this helps you get more out of people.'

'I could leave the bulk of the recruitment work to HR. The whole process was very quick and I was confident that everything that needed to be done was being done by HR.'

'Awesome! Incomparable. Immediate help and support from HR from the word go. There was a noticeable lack of bureaucracy which took a huge pressure off. It now feels like we are doing the right thing for the organisation as opposed to what the rule book says. The support was great.'


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