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Joy Sellars
Job Title
Head of HR & Talent Management

Reed’s graduate scheme offers a fantastic opportunity to build a successful career. Joy shares her experience of climbing the ladder from the grad scheme to Head of HR for Reed Talent Solutions.

What motivated you to join Reed?

I originally joined Reed via the Graduate Training Scheme (GTS), it was pointed out to me by a family member who said that they had seen Reed on the list of top employers to work for! I liked the look of the GTS as it seemed really varied and a route that I could really utilise to build a solid career.

What opportunities presented themselves to you on the graduate scheme?

I started my first placement with Reed as a recruitment consultant, based in Birmingham. I remember finding it quite daunting when I first started as I had never done recruitment before, but the team were extremely welcoming and showed me the ropes. I was working with schools and nurseries to understand their recruitment needs and matching them with candidates for permanent, interim and supply roles. As our education division is a high-compliance area of the business, I learnt a lot about the compliance and background checks needed for candidates working in these environments, and I worked with internal teams to achieve this.

During my first year, I had a mentor who worked within the HR team, and I quickly realised that this was the route I wanted my career to take. I started my CIPD Level 7 course which was supported by Reed. But when it came to my second year of rotation on the programme, there were no opportunities within HR, so I moved to become an executive assistant to one of our directors. I am not sure I would have thought of this opportunity if my mentor hadn’t suggested it, but I am so glad I did. I was able to gain so much experience understanding what a ‘day in the life’ is like for our senior directors and the challenges and decisions they are faced with every day. I loved this role but knew I still wanted to get into HR, so when the position of HR assistant became available, I was lucky enough to move across.

At the point of joining the HR team I did not have any HR experience and it is amazing how much exposure and support I have been given to help me develop my career in this area.

How has your career evolved over time, and what do you enjoy most about your current role?

Since joining the HR team in Reed, I have been able to climb the career ladder from HR assistant, to where I am now - Head of HR. What I love most is the fact that I am still learning! No two days are the same and the role still challenges me.

What support have you been given in your role, both in your immediate and wider team?

There are a lot of experienced co-members within Reed’s HR teams. Everyone is always willing to help and point you into the right direction. I also really value how HR is viewed as a key contributor within Reed. We are a people-focussed business and our people are important to us. This is evident in the way our operational teams work, we collaborate closely with them, and ‘people’ is never a forgotten agenda point.

Can you tell us about a projects you’ve worked on that you are particularly proud of?

The variation within my role means I have been lucky to be involved in a number of HR projects, some have been complex change projects, and others have been smaller engagement projects. More recently, I have developed a Career Hub – a digital space with accessible advice to help our co-members develop their career,. And I have also worked on a Reed Talent Solutions campaign which focussed on a different initiative each quarter including ESG, getting active, building your team and charity – educating and updating our co-members on these topics.

What do you think makes Reed unique and why should someone consider working here?

I think the people and the opportunities. You can build real friendships within Reed and people are friendly, collaborative, encouraging and fun! It makes coming to work more fun and it also means that when you are facing something challenging, you know you have people around you who you can work through it with. In terms of opportunities, I have been able to build a really exciting career here and there are countless examples of others around me who have worked hard and done the same.

What’s next for you?

Who knows? Reed is constantly changing and growing which means my role changes and grows as well, I am excited to see what happens next.