Kathy Allison – Head of HR at boohoo.com
How did you begin your career in HR and progress to your current position at boohoo?
I worked in the hospitality sector as a People Development Manager at Radisson Blu Hotels before joining boohoo. Throughout my time there I looked after Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool properties.
I joined boohoo after a friend encouraged me to apply. It was a lengthy interview process but I was fortunate enough to get the job and become the first Head of HR at boohoo.
What is a typical day like for you working at boohoo?
My role is so varied that it is difficult to describe a typical day. I can be doing anything from a full day of interviewing senior candidates, supporting with people issues or attending and addressing director meetings. But there is always plenty for me to do!
Do you think it is important to have a degree in HR to start a career in it?
My degree wasn’t in HR but I have gained a lot of experience to develop my career in this field. Having said that, I do think it is great to have a HR degree as it provides a foundation and you then have the technical and theoretical knowledge about HR.
What advice do you have for someone hoping to begin a career in HR?
It is helpful to know which industry you’d like to form a HR career in so that you can then gain experience in that area. As with many competitive industries, it is really important that you prove your determination and demonstrate the skills you have that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Do you have any suggestions about how someone could sell their skills when applying for a role in HR?
Have a look at your CV and make sure it is concise. Highlight your key achievements. It is important to keep it focused to the particular role you’re applying for as a ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t always work.
What do you look for in a candidate applying for a job within HR?
It is always great to see someone with a real passion and persistence to work in the industry. Candidates that stand out to me are those who can show how they will benefit the business if they are successful. A real desire to deliver success through people is also important.