The HR Forum

Hi All, 

This is my first post; I'm just starting out on my L5 in HRM in Nottingham, my welcome webinar was yesterday! 

I will be leaving my current role and moving into another role in the education sector, setting up an HR Function in an academy trust where there currently are six admins (one per academy) doing HR administration as a very small part of their role, alongside a retained solicitor. The plan will be to begin to centralise the function, beginning with just myself working alone and (hopefully) as the business grows and work loads increase, creating a team underneath me. 

The point of my creating this discussion is just to ask whether anyone has any tips or ideas as to how I can begin to establish HR in a business where there has been nothing beforehand. What would you suggest my first steps within 3, 6, 12 months be?

Thanks for your help!


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  • Hi Rhiannon! I am almost in the same boat as you :) I started in my current role as an HR Manager (the only HR professional in the company, it's quite small now but I hope it will grow) in a about 6 months ago. I just passed my probation (YAY!). The company I am with want to have a strong HR presence but as the role so far (and currently part of my job as well) also includes office management it's difficult to set people's minds on the importance of the HR role.

    I really would like to show people importance of the HR role not only to my MD and management team but also to people within the company. I would like to show my value and be able to impact on company strategy and in the long run on the company future overall.

    Would be great to see how you are getting on and what you find useful and I will be happy to share any ideas and success I manage to achieve :)

    Take care


  • This sounds so exciting! Not many people get the opportunity to shape something themselves pretty much from scratch. Level 5 CIPD is an excellent thing to be doing as well. It will definitely provide you with a lot of useful tools to help you with this.

    It would be great if you could share excerpts from your blog on here too. It would direct people to it to offer you support and be a brilliant resource for others.

  • Hi Rhiannon and well done for using your new HR network already :)

    Sarah and Mike have shared some great resources and at each workshop we will have a discussion on how we can apply the content we cover back at work, so I'm sure you will develop quite a long list!  As always, the focus will be very much about how HR can contribute to delivering the business strategy, so Sarah's guidance on understanding your stakeholders' needs will be crucial to knowing how to apply your learning.

    Looking forward to meeting soon and to seeing your blog - let us know where to find it!


  • Sounds like a great opportunity to put HR as a key part of the business Rhiannon - Sarah has shared a great resource below and there are a couple of other good reads below 

    Priorities when you start a new HR department

    Setting up the HR Function

    and the latest one from HR Zone 

    Setting up a HR Function from Scratch

    Hope these help and good luck!

    Your Top 7 Priorities When You Start a New HR Department
    Whether you're new or experienced in HR, are you charged with starting an HR department in your organization? These steps will make the department su…
  • Hi Rhiannon

    Welcome to your programme and the HR Zone and what a great post to start off with.

    I have found what may be useful article to help with this task, I think initially I would want to meet with my key stakeholders to understand what their expectations are of the function and also to understand what the key deliverables are for the organisation.

    I know there are a number of learners out there who currently work in academy roles it would be great to hear from your learning of setting up an HR function in this environment. 

    I hope the above is of use.

    KR Sarah

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your response, that's really helpful! As part of my CPD I'm thinking about beginning a blog, I think that the start of this new opportunity would be a great place to start, hopefully I can share my experiences with others who may be in a similar situation to me.



      • No problem I have two people in mind from my Birmingham programme who may be able to help I will email them and see if they are happy to share.

        The blog sounds great!!

        KR Sarah

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