Job Title
Human Resources ManagerName: Rena Dunn

Company: Coca-Cola Great Britain & Ireland

Professional Qualification(s):
6 O levels 3 A levels 2:2 Honours degree in Business Studies specialising in personnel

Degree studied at
Hatfield PolytechnicBrief job description
The key responsibilities within this role are to support the line managers within the business in the management of their people

My career so far…
1992 – 1995
Joined the RAC as a Training Supervisor and then moved into their Graduate Trainee Scheme. I had two work placements during the graduate scheme, the first working with an Operations HR Function supporting the Call Centre Team in the development of Quality Improvement Initiatives and then with a Head Office HR function supporting policy development.

1996-1997
Joined the Abbey National on a one year contract, as part of an HR Team of four people, including the HR Manager, and was involved in the set up of a new Call Centre to handle general insurance sales and enquiries. In this role I was responsible for recruitment and training of new employees.

1997-1999
Moved to work for Marks & Spencer Financial Services as a Resourcing Manager, managing a team of 15 recruiters for their head office in Chester. Worked closely with senior managers to define, develop and implement appropriate resourcing strategies for different business areas and resolve general HR queries.

1999-Present
Joined the Human Resources team at Coca-Cola and was promoted to Human Resources manager after six months. Responsible for working with line managers to meet their team’s generalist HR needs and deepen their understanding of the HR processes that support our business.

What does your job involve in a typical day?
I have an interesting and varied role with no two days similar to one another. Typically I start the day by reviewing what meetings I have scheduled or deadlines I need to meet that day. My meetings might include discussing a new HR initiative or policy we are developing for areas like employee development, or planning staffing strategies for the client groups I support in order to fill or minimise vacancies. I also spend a lot of time helping to resolve employee relations queries for line managers and employees on a variety of subjects.

I work closely with a team of seven other HR professionals and we cover all areas including compensation and benefits and training. If I don’t know the answer or want to check anything I always ask the team as you never know who might have the answer.

What do you like most about your job?
Coke is a fun company to work for. Everyone is very passionate about the job they do and the contribution they make to the business and I find that very inspiring.

What skills are required for your job?
Having strong HR knowledge helps but that only works if you can be creative in the solutions you are suggesting and pragmatic in your approach with line managers. This is a very dynamic environment so you need to be able to adapt to change quickly and be comfortable with this. You also have to have mature and professional interpersonal skills in order to develop credibility with senior managers.

How many people work for you?
I have no direct reports

What is your advice to people looking for a career in the food and grocery industry?
The food industry is very fast paced and you need to be able to react and respond quickly to different situations. If you have the opportunity to do work placements in any of the companies you are interested in it will give you a real feel for the environment you would be working within.