A Thursday in the life of… a Head of HR

By July 1, 2021 News
Catherine F

Catherine joined Medialab last year, heading up our HR department, where she looks after all things people. Since taking on the role, the company has grown significantly, which means a Catherine’s day is more varied and interesting than ever…

6:30am

I’m usually woken up by one of my children jumping into my bed like it’s a trampoline, which is followed by my husband and I running a militant tag team operation to get everyone ready for the day and kids out the door and off to school by 7:45am…

8.30am

Sat at my desk, with a strong flat white in hand –  our new coffee machine was the best Lockdown purchase we made! This morning I’m talking to the Board in our weekly call, about all things people related. Today, the focus was on recruitment as we support an exciting growth period for Medialab. I also shared an update on our newly created job descriptions, a project we’ve been working on to incorporate a competency-based framework, switching from being action based to behaviour based job descriptions, which will help us embed the values and behaviours we cherish as a company.

9.30am

A quick catch up with our Managing Director, Alex, to finalise mentor matching. Roughly a third of the company are signed up to our internal mentorship scheme, and with lots of new joiners, there are others wanting to get involved. With Alex, we agree on the most appropriate mentor/mentee matches, based on what they want to get out of it most.

11am

Having previously attended the Advertising Association ‘All In Summit’, which was a half day of sharing back the results of the recent industry wide Diversity & Inclusion ‘All In Census’, I’m taking time to review the results and prepare a presentation to share the headlines and actions to the Medialab team in our next Together We Stand session – an open forum where everyone at Medialab is invited to discuss topical D&I issues and how we can overcome the barriers our industry faces. Every 6 months, we host an internal survey asking the company about their thoughts and feelings towards our own diversity, inclusion & belonging policies and developments, so it’s been really interesting to see how we stand up against industry standards. It’s reassuring to know we are doing well, but there’s still a some way to go.

Lunch

I’ll pop downstairs to make a quick salad for lunch, before heading out to enjoy the long awaited British sunshine. I’ll plug in my headphones and listen to a 20 minute Blinkist; today it was ‘Why I Am No Longer Talking to White People about Race’ by Reni Eddo-Lodge.

1.30pm

Back to it, catching up on emails and sending longstanding Medialab member, Lottie, my congratulations for reaching her 5 year anniversary at Medialab, meaning she receives our long service award which gives her an additional 2 days holiday and a £500 bonus to spend on that extra long weekend! It’s back to back for me today, and so I’m jumping on a call with Elle, our HR and Recruitment Executive, to talk through our new Digital Bootcamp entry level training scheme which we are launching this week, debuted at the IPA Creative Pioneers Talent Fair last week. It was a great turnout, and we met some brilliant fresh talent who we will definitely be speaking with about joining Medialab for an internship this summer, with a view to a permanent job at the end.

4pm

There’s some standard operational admin to take care of, another catchup with Alex to finalise payroll (arguably, the most important meeting of the day!) before joining an interview for the last 30 mins of the day.

5pm

With our flexible working from home policy, it means that I can dash off to pick up the kids from school, which has been amazing. They’ll come running through the house and straight into the garden and the trampoline (they like jumping). I’ll do a bit of homework with them, make supper and then read the Gruffalo for the 365th time this year. Once in bed and asleep, I’ll check back in on things work wise. Once I’ve logged off, I’ll try and catch the last bit of sun by getting out for a long 10km walk, tracking it all on Strava – Medialab have made a pledge to donate to some selected charities if we as a company hit a certain amount of kilometres walked, run or cycled before the end of the summer. It’s great inspiration to get out and do some exercise, knowing the effort is going towards a good cause!

If you weren’t at Medialab, what would you be doing?

Putting my interior design degree to good use and renovate our house.