Insights: The Network

Back to listing

Spotlight on Niamh Kelly

A huge welcome to Niamh (pronounced “Neave” and meaning “radiance”) into our network. Niamh has opened The HR Dept Shropshire and will be helping local businesses there to prevent people problems. Niamh has 25 years’ high-level HR experience in education, healthcare the corporate life. Lets find out a little more about her…

What kind of silly stuff have you been asked during your HR career?

“This ‘mandatory training’ – do you mean we have to go?”.  This was in relation to legal compliance training required for the company I was then working for to retain its licence.  A reminder that no matter how many times you think you have communicated something, there is always someone who feels your message could have been clearer!

What has been your biggest challenge since working in HR?

On three occasions I’ve had to discuss “end of life” with employees, and help them plan for their families’ wellbeing after they were gone. It wasn’t something I ever expected to have to do when working in HR. I had always assumed that my role would stop when I left work each day.

It brought home to me the importance of remembering that the “resource” in human resources is the person. And that my role was to ensure that we supported our people to the best of our ability.  I’ve always tried to think of that when dealing with difficult processes such as redundancy or dismissal.

How have you found being a licensee for The HR Dept so far?

Exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time!  It’s different from working in large organisations. There you are both constrained and supported by the myriad of policies and procedures.  Now, it’s very much “thinking on your feet” and remembering all the reasons why you went into HR in the first place – to make a difference!

If you weren’t working in HR what would you love to be doing?

I’ve always wanted to do archaeology – I even started an online foundation course!  But now I fulfill my love of history by finding out more about family trees – both mine and my parents-in-law. And I’ve found a few skeletons, including a murder and a link to Jack the Ripper (not on my tree I hasten to add!).