It might sound cheesy but it’s the people that make Skout, well, Skout.
While our clients are very familiar with their accounts team, there is one Skout that has a different role to play within our business – our operations manager, Alex Gladwin. You see, you don’t always need to be a media junkie or content wizard to work in the world of PR and marketing. In fact, without Alex and her fantastic ability to organise everything related to operations – from finance, office and HR, we’d all be a little lost to say the least. That’s why we wanted to shine the spotlight on her role, experience, and background, and showcase what her typical day at Skout looks like (if there is one).
Tell us a little bit about your background before joining Skout
My career since university has been in HR. This includes working for a county council, a solid fuel distributor, an insurance company, an oil and gas company and as a Regional HR Advisor for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. I gained my membership to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) after achieving my postgraduate diploma in HR Management from Manchester Metropolitan University and have maintained my membership since then. In between all of that, I have had two career breaks; one for 18 months when I had my son and another one for nearly three years when I moved to Germany with my family.
What was it about HR that attracted you to pursue a career in it?
I always wanted to work in business but was not sure what sector. During my BTEC HND in Business and Finance, the HR modules including employee relations and employment law were the ones that I was most interested in and the ones I did really well in. It was in my second year when we started to focus on finding employment after university that I chose to focus my job search on a role in HR. My first job after uni was as an admin assistant in the HR department at Lincolnshire Country Council and I progressed from there.
Many people think that those working in HR want to “work with people” but that is not really the case. Of course, the “people” are at the forefront of HR but I always liked the balance of what the people want and need against what is right for the business. I have always been able to see both sides of the story and with HR you are someone that sits on the fence between the people and the business. I am very level-headed and fair and I think these attributes play perfectly into a HR role.
What does an operations manager’s typical day entail?
There is no such thing as a typical day, and no day is the same. You have to be able to multi-task, be able to move from one job to another instantly, time manage the process part of the role along with the ad-hoc matters to support the team.
However, my main responsibilities are as follows:
Finance – all the processes for a business other than the management of accounts.
Office management – everything in the office that no one else does – keeping the tea and food supplies up, stationary, IT support, social events etc.
HR – supporting Skout’s director with all HR matters for the team and business.
Any advice on how to manage a role with such a variety of responsibilities?
Time management and organisational skills are key. Being able to predict where problems may occur, and manage the expectations and requests from every member of the team are crucial. Skout’s employees are like my clients, I am there to support and so I need to know what they need, want and expect but also I need to manage them!
What is it about working at Skout that you like the most?
The team, the people I work with, the variety of the job, overseeing all sorts of aspects of managing the company. My role is moving more towards HR support. This excites me for the future, especially for how my role can support the business in the future. The fact the employee is at the centre of everything Skout does is a credit to the management team but also makes it a fab place to work.
Any fun facts you would like to share with us?
Not unknown to the team but for those outside the business, I lived in Limburgerhof in Germany for nearly three years when we relocated with my husband’s job. I took a career break during this time and also had my second child whilst out there – we call her our German souvenir!
If you want to learn more about the people that make Skout tick, please visit our Life at Skout page.