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Karen is based at the Smiths News Head Office in Swindon, where she is an administrator supporting the company’s HR department with its people-focused work. This includes employee relations, the promotion of company benefits and the opportunity to help employees thrive and develop.

Karen Rendell

HR Administrator, Swindon
Smiths News

Tell us about your job

I work part-time for 30 hours a week, which gives me a really good home-work life balance and that’s really important for me with my two young boys. Although I am based at Head Office, I spend some time working from home in a 60:40 hybrid arrangement. HR can sometimes seem a bit doom and gloom, but dealing with problems is just a really small part of it. There is a huge amount of work around developing colleagues, promoting them and helping them to grow.
When you’re working with people, there is always someone who does something that you’ve never experienced before. There’s a predictive randomness to the things they do. On a day-to-day basis, I liaise with managers and generate a great deal of correspondence across the board, from communications on absences to highlighting the benefits we have in place to support our colleagues’ physical and mental wellbeing and to save them money.
The people I work with are a massive draw for me, as they are so friendly, encouraging and empowering.

What’s it like to work for Smiths News?

I feel really supported and the company is very understanding if I have a problem with the kids when they’re poorly, so there’s never that pressure. They know that I work hard and do my job whether I am sat in the office or at home. The company is also incredibly flexible and has allowed me to change my working hours to our mutual benefit.
Smiths News is a really friendly place, whether I am in the office at Rowan House or out on site. It’s an inclusive company where you have a voice to express yourself and are encouraged to give your opinions. It also feels great to be part of something so successful.

Tell us about your career path

I have worked for Smiths News for 13 years. I joined the company as a Resourcing Administrator before becoming a Resourcing Advisor and later, after two periods of maternity leave, returned as a Reward Administrator, then took up my current role.

What do you do in your downtime?

My two boys like to play football, so I’m very much a football mum. I watch them play on Saturdays and Sundays, cheering from the sidelines. I also like to crochet and socialise with friends.

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