We're always curious to hear how our members and contributors tackle the challenges that the ever-changing world of HR throws at them. We've got a wealth of experience and knowledge across the site, and what better way to showcase the diversity of our community than to get them to walk us through an average day?
Want to tell us about your way of working? Email us at [email protected], or let us know in the comments below.
Giles O'Halloran is a freelance HR consultant - we've been enjoying his articles on LinkedIn for a while now and look forward to seeing some of his opinions on the Future of Work (and of HR!) on HRZone soon.
So, Giles, tell us about your average day...
07:00 – Rise and shine to my daughter telling me “Get up Daddy!” Beats an electronic alarm clock any day of the week!
07:10 – Into the shower and run over the day head in my mind…whilst shower gel runs into my eyes – ouch! Framework is prepped and I'm looking forward to what today may bring.
07:30 – Dressed and logging on to my cloud-based email, checking social media feeds and helping prep the family breakfast. Multitasking can be done - and I enjoy the challenge!
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07:50 – Sit down to scrambled eggs, Suffolk-smoked back bacon and granary toast, washed down with some OJ and a delightfully amusing conversation with my wife and young daughter. I pass on coffee as I know I will have plenty where I am going!
Multitasking can be done - and I enjoy the challenge!
08:15 – Log back onto emails and respond to some client notes – a couple from a client in the Middle East need immediate attention ready for a trip to Dubai at the end of the week.
08:45 – Pack up laptop, mobile, adapters and stuff them into my rucksack. Kiss my wife and daughter goodbye before grabbing the car keys and heading out the door.
09:20 – Arrive at the business hub and pick up a client call asking for some advice about recruitment options and what the best route to market might be. Interesting discussion about current and futures ways of doing things that could represent a saving – they seem happy with the advice.
09:30 – Sign into the business hub and set up tech ready for a “pop-up/drop-in” HR surgery for SME businesses – WiFi connected, room prepped and the door is open for the surgery…
09:50 – First client has to cancel due to a client meeting, but asks whether we can grab a coffee some other time. Bit of a disappointment but gives me more time to review various pieces of work I have on the go.
10:00 – Write up a synopsis of recent work/projects for one of the training providers I work with, giving them an idea of my recent work so they can keep me in mind. Get a response from an earlier email confirming there could be some consulting and coaching work with another client – check diary for potential dates and feed them back.
10:30 – Meeting with second appointment; discussing current HR profile and what needs they have going forward. Provided some advice that should set them straight, and they have asked for a follow up meeting – not a bad start.
11:00 – Continue writing synopsis, realising I have done quite a bit of work over the last couple of months! Eventually finish, read through and check mails – have a few to answer and a couple of social messages too, so get right on to those!
It's nice to have an ad-hoc conversation where you can help someone
11:30 – Grab a coffee and provide some “water cooler moment” advice to a small business owner around social media, ACAS Codes of Practice and the kinds of HR policies a company should have in place. They seem happy and it's nice to have an ad-hoc conversation where you can help someone. Back to the surgery room, re-open the laptop and start jotting notes for this piece!
12:30 – Finished mail for now; reading through some cultural and client information, ready for next week’s work in Dubai. Lots to read and associated docs – but it is interesting and useful nonetheless.
13:10 – Take a break for a spot of luncheon – switch off everything, grab a sandwich and take some time to read some Future of Works articles I have collated – a nice escape!
14:15 – Place rubbish in the recycling like a good boy and speak to the reception about afternoon surgery – no bookings as yet, but the door is open and I get a chance to catch up on social feeds. One social account provides me with a piece of career transition work, another a meeting to discuss how I can potentially work with a client as a freelance HR Business Partner – nice!
15:00 – Write a brief proposal for a contact who has asked whether I can provide some HR support frameworks for a new business entity. I am first choice as I am trusted – nice to know! I propose some different models and ways it can be done, with the associated prices.
16:00 – Start writing up this piece and a LinkedIn post on “The Future Fundamentals of Work.” Lots of ideas going around, but enjoying typing up my thoughts and reflecting.
16:45 – Take a call from a prospective client asking if I am around next week for a Skype or meeting – no can do, but we discuss a catch up on my return from working aboard in early November – all booked into my calender and they’re happy.
16:55 – Start to pack up kit from the day; it wasn’t great as a surgery, although it has led to one prospective coaching opportunity and a future discussion with another. However, I also got some time away from my home office and could focus on work I needed to get done – always see the positives! Say thanks and goodbye to my gracious hosts at the business hub and head off home – buy a nice bottle of wine on the way to enjoy with my wife later.
17:45 – Greeted by my lovely daughter as I get in the door and get time to play with her prior to her bath. This is something I would never have had commuting.
19:00 – Say goodnight to my daughter before reviewing social feeds, as well as dropping a few messages or comments. Read through my LinkedIn piece but hold back on sending – want to get a fresh pair of eyes on it before publishing!
19:30 – Sit down with my wife, enjoy supper together and relax – all mobile or tech devices are switched off for a bit of e-hab – and we open that bottle of wine …. Niiiicceeeee!
Now, tell us...
What would you say are your main passions or things you champion within HR?
I like to champion the changing of mindsets - around people, platforms and practices.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
I love the flexibility and variety of working in the gig economy as an HR Freelancer.
What keeps you up at night?
The excitement of new ideas or concepts. I love to ponder - I'm just a positive person really.
One tip you’d pass on to your peers?
We cannot do everything all the time - so build your networks and focus on where you get the best return on your time and efforts.
About Giles O'Halloran
Giles is an experienced HR and Recruitment professional who works as a freelance consultant, strategist, writer and coach.
He started his HR career with IBM after first reading Modern Languages at Warwick University and becoming a successful technology recruiter. He initially in worked in Recruitment and then later worked across other HR disciplines. His last role with IBM was as an HR Business Partner for the UK’s largest strategic business unit.
He has since worked in other senior HR roles across Europe, advised at Board level, and implemented both strategic and operational HR business solutions. Giles is a columnist with a leading, MoD sponsored, international career transition publication, and has also written blogs for a number of websites and organisations on employment and the changing nature of work. He is passionate about technology, the value of networks and the future of work.
He is keen to develop Digital HR as a business practice and continues to be active in the social technology space.
He has experience of working with or within the Tech, Recruitment, Financial Services, Defence, Government, Professional Services and Retail sectors. Giles focuses on career transition support for individuals (CVs/Resumes, LinkedIn, Interviews, Networking etc.), and effective people solutions for organisations (HR strategy, Talent, HR Technology, Digital HR, HR Mentoring/Business Partnering and Outplacement services).
Key skills and experience:
• Designs and facilitates strategic HR and Talent frameworks aligned to organisational vision
• Creates and advises organisations on effective resourcing models and techniques – end to end solutions
• Delivers supportive outplacement services during sensitive restructures
• Coaches HR professionals to be effective and credible business partners at all levels
• Designs and delivers training to embed good people management and performance focused practices
• Advises organisations on leveraging technology to do better HR – digital/social/agile HR practices
• Advises on the selection and implementation of effective HR technology to meet current and future HR needs