By Helen Hardy, MD at BeyondHR
What was your first job?
After university I joined the Premier Graduate Programme in Belfast. During my first placement with a tech company in Belfast, I was lucky to be offered a job in HR. Since this, I’ve worked in a variety of HR roles before being involved in the acquisition of Beyond HR.
What do you attribute your success to?
Success is a fairly subjective thing and depends on what you measure it on. I have always felt that to be good at what you do you need to enjoy it and be prepared to push yourself. That can mean spending time in the evenings and weekends researching or doing things that take you outside your comfort zone. I think it is also important to be ambitious and try and recognise the potential opportunities that, even the most difficult situation, can provide.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
I would say I’m a very organised people person who doesn’t take themselves too seriously and who is also hands on, open and transparent.
Who do you look up to in business?
I suppose I’ve been lucky in that a lot of my family connections have their own businesses and I’ve looked up to each of them over the years. Although, my interest in business generally came from being inspired by my Granny Phil who managed to steer a family business, all whilst rearing 9 children. Not forgetting my daddy who started his own meat contracting business and which continues to thrive today but now with my two younger brothers in the driving seat.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I like to get to know people first, both on a personal and professional level. I have always believed that our company’s success is attributable to the hard work and communication of our team and so all ideas or suggestions made are always welcomed and considered.
What do you see as current challenges for businesses in Northern Ireland?
Obviously, the immediate challenge is Covid-19 and assessing the impact this is going to have on the economy and levels of unemployment once the government support schemes come to an end. But we also have BREXIT lurking in the background and the uncertainty of how that will impact NI businesses and foreign investment into the country.
How can larger businesses help support others during this time?
By trying where possible to use the goods and services of the smaller businesses around them rather than taking what they may perceive as the easier option with larger corporations.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
With having two young kids at home and running a business, it’s sometimes difficult to find time but when I do I like to exercise and participate in yoga and Pilates classes. Of course, I wouldn’t describe it as a passion, but I do love the occasional glass of red wine to unwind!