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How Did I Get Here? Craig Truter, The Body Shop UK


HR Zone puts the spotlight on Craig Truter, HR Manager for The Body Shop UK. Craig recently invited HR Zone members to join a retail HR forum.

What’s your current job role?
HR Manager – Compensation, Policy & Benefits – The Body Shop UK.

What did you do before this job?
I was HR Manager (Generalist) at Reed in Partnership (part of Reed Plc).

Describe your route into HR?
I studied an Occupational Psychology bachelors degree at Cape Town University. Followed by international travel, restaurant management, an HR Generalist role in a restaurant company (Belgo Group Plc), MCIPD qualification, Reed, The Body Shop and BPS accreditation.

Did you always want to work in HR?
Yes, underwent a psychometric profile as a school-leaver that suggested a people-focussed career. As a keen people-watcher, psychology was a personal interest, and as a youngster, ‘psychology’ sounded more glamorous and interesting than I thought I was at 18 years old. Plus it looked good in the ‘year book’.

What would you say has been the most significant event in your career to date?
The successful launch of national welfare-to-work projects for Reed and working with under-privileged unemployed people in high unemployment areas – this was very rewarding and a massive learning curve.

How do you think the role of HR has changed since you began your HR career?
Now there’s more focus on being a business partner than a remote head-office function.

What single thing would improve your working life?
A time-machine! Failing that, HR having as much clout as other sectors of the business.

What’s your favourite part of the HR Zone site? Updates – I find these useful and succinct.

Have you made contact with any other members? Yes, via the Any Answers forum, which is very useful. I’ve even had a reply from New Zealand.

Do you have any advice for those looking to embark on a career in HR?
Yes, firstly, get your CIPD as early as possible, then build on it through continuous learning because information changes so rapidly in HR. Secondly, network: make and keep contacts in HR.

If you’re willing to share your experiences of working in HR to date with other members, we’d like to hear from you
e-mail us to receive a copy of this questionnaire.

Previous ‘Introducing…’ features:

Martin Stockton, HR Transformation Leader, Towers Perrin
Nick Heap, Consultant, New Directions
Crispin Garden-Webster, HR Specialist, Asian Development Bank
Sandra Walsh, HR Delivers
Carole Leslie, Director, IT Learning Ltd
Shaun Dunphy, Project and Process Manager, EMEA HR Service Centre for MCI
Debra Artlett, HR Officer, NGJ
Dianne Miles, HR Manager, Rollalong Ltd
Jacqui Mann, HR Manager, Integra NeuroSciences
Isabella Montgomery, Human Resources Officer at Thenew Housing Association
Iain Young, Head of HR for Cofathec Heatsave

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