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How Did I Get Here? Linda Klassen-Brown, The Logic Group Enterprises Ltd


Linda Klassen-Brown, Group HR Manager for The Logic Group Enterprises Ltd, describes her HR career to date.

What’s your current job role?
I am currently the Group HR Manager for The Logic Group Enterprises Ltd, comprising 3 operating companies in the IT Sector – Retail Logic, Commslogic and Loyalty Logic specialising in payment card processing, loyalty/CRM software solutions and IT consultancy services. Prior to my arrival four and a half years ago, the company only had an HR administrator to assist mainly with logistics for recruitment. I now provide a full generalist HR service to the entire Group including responsibility for H&S, recruitment, training and development. I work very closely with the Group MD and the other the MDs and senior managers of all the companies.

What did you do before this?
I was the International HR Manager/Operations Manager the charity, CfBT Education Services, an international company that manages and delivers education projects ranging from providing Maths and English teachers to Colleges in Oman, managing the UK Government’s Numeracy and Literacy Project, and providing education services in prisons, school OFSTEAD inspections, etc. My role was to provide a full HR service (excluding payroll) to all the international employees in 21 countries, as well as managing projects in Nepal, Turkey and Oman with a watching brief on our projects in Malaysia and Brunei.

Describe your route into HR?
Good question! Not straight forward as I started out in the insurance industry as an underwriter managing a unit of 12 staff. This involved interviewing, appraising and training, as well as managing the business area I was responsible for. I then moved to the UK (from Canada where I was born and spent my first 25 years) to marry my English husband. I continued to work in insurance here until I had children. I then took a diploma in Personnel Management and from there I have completed my MBA and have just finished my first term of my MSc in organisational behaviour. While finishing the diploma, I took on my first role in HR with CfBT, for the first year as the Assistant Recruitment Manager and then in the role of International HR Manager/Operations Manager.

Did you always want to work in HR?
No, in the early 90s I decided it was time to return to work after having 4 children but was interested in changing career. As a result, I went back to university and took a diploma in Personnel Management.

What would you say has been the most significant event in your career to date?
Being given the opportunity to join my current company and the recognition I have received from the Directors (and my employees on a number of occasions!) for putting in place a highly respected HR service which has delivered significant and noticeable achievements. Also, in my previous role, never having had any international HR experience, taking on the challenge and again delivering significant improvements, sometimes against considerable opposition!

How do you think the role of HR has changed since you began your HR career?
This is difficult for me to answer since I have never worked in an HR department which I didn’t head up, and my experience of HR prior to that was of an administration function, following direction, not taking the lead. My personal approach has always been to automate the administration wherever possible, leaving as much time as possible to deliver added business value and always taking the lead – being proactive, not reactive.

What single thing would improve your working life?
More HR resources! Providing added value can not happen if time is not available.

What’s your favourite part of the HR Zone site?
I find it all useful, but I enjoy reading the questions and responses in the Any Answers forum.

Have you made contact with any other members?
Yes, through the various responses that I have received to questions I have asked in ‘Any Answers’ but not directly.

Do you have any advice for those looking to embark on a career in HR?
HR is a very difficult career in many ways – it is rarely boring and mentally challenging as you are continually playing a balancing act – balancing the needs of the employees against the needs of the organisation and seeking to find a win win outcome. Equally, it can be very rewarding – I get most satisfaction from knowing that being in a position of influence in both my HR roles has given me the opportunity to improve the working lives of hundreds of people while also making a positive difference to the business.

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:
Keith Hanlon, HR Manager, Quantum Business Media
Andrew Mayo, frequent speaker and writer on HR issues
Jim Brooks, HR Manager for ServiRail Ltd
Jean-Bertrand de Lartigue, Chairman of HR2all
Karen Caddick, Head of HR, Channel Five
Madeleine Tate
Keith Luxon, HR Policy and Reward Director, The Laurel Pub Company
Jeremy Thorn, Chairman and Director of QED Consulting
Roger Pattison, HR – Training & Management Development Consultant
Verity McVarish, HR Manager for Sift Media
Rus Slater
David Kelly, Head of Development and Training for Aventis
Jenny Kevan, UK HR Manager for Abbott Laboratories
William Martin, HR Manager, Telewest Broadband
Craig Truter, HR Manager, The Body Shop
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 The new Housing Association
Iain Young, Head of HR for Cofathec Heatsave

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