Job title and responsibilities


I am at the beginning of my HR career. Following my educational background (BA in Personnel Consultancy) one year ago I completed CIPD qualification ( Assoc CIPD). Additionally, I am a mother with gap in my career so I struggle to get into HR filed with no experience in HR (just 10 years work in admin and PA positions which I held long time ago).Finally, 6 months ago I found a job in a small accountancy office (with 7 employees on the board). Although the owner offered me only admin duties with some bookkeeping  she asked me if I can do HR in her company and she was very positive that I'm a CIPD member, participating in CIPD events. I created for her company new staff handbook (she asked to put my name as an HR officer for staff to contact), I informed staff about HR news and interesting tips, I updated her about legislative changes and so on.  I offered my help with creating job description, employment contracts,induction process. I've done bookkeeping (which I had to learn) and HR. The most important thing in this story is that I do never received  my job description and....no signed contract. When I asked about this docs, she sent me an offer letter with position of administration assistant..I feel cheated because this not exactly what I do and it's very low position according to my CIPD qualification (and even my previous experience). I requested for changing to HR officer/ Administrator but she refused explaining that it isn't what I am doing in her company and it is illegal (?!)..I tried to explain her that is very important for me to have a job title which is related with HR because of my professional further and exposition to social media, CV and so on but still she didn't want to change it. Finally I did not sign contract with her...I feel that she used me..I am upset because I worked 6 months for this company and I can't prove it..I know that it was my mistake that I didn't ask from the beginning for job description and employment agreement..but I was desperate to do an HR job and gain some experience...  

  • Hi Barbara, I'm not sure what it is you are asking, how may we help you on this matter? Are you still employed?

    In observation of the above, unfortunately I would have advised that you do not commence the job until you have a contract and job description to clearly outline what your role is, which you would have then negociated if you were unhappy with the title proposed. It may be that you are forced to look at this as a lesson learned and know for your next role.

    In response to her comment that to give you a 'HR title' would be illegal, I don't know what on earth she is talking about.

    If you were paid by this company, you should have proof of payment - such as payslips which will indeed prove you worked there. With regards to the work experience you gained to take elsewhere, do state this on your CV and try to move on to somewhere better!
  • I don't know what the illegal path is about - HR isn't a profession where it's a legal requirement to possess certain qualifications.

    From my short experience of recruiting, I'm much more interested in the skills learnt and experience gained in a role rather than what they were called doing that job. To be honest, I don't even look at the job title on the CV!

    I understand that lack of job title can be slightly demoralising and frustrating, but maybe use the experience to gain a next step up. You can always put Admin Assistant/HR Administrator on your CV/further applications to explain that you do both.

    All the best!
  • Hi,

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation. It can be frustrating when your job doesn't align with your qualifications and aspirations, especially after investing time and effort into it. It's important to have clear documentation, like a job description and a signed contract, to avoid misunderstandings.

    Moving forward, I suggest having an open conversation with your employer about your concerns and the value you bring as an HR professional. If necessary, you might consider exploring other job opportunities in Croydon that specifically involve <a href="www.connexusconsultants.co.uk/.../a> and HR responsibilities.

    Best of luck in finding a role that suits your qualifications and goals!
  • I wouldn't worry too much about the job title, I've had some obscure ones in my time that related very little to what I did day to day! Your CV is your CV - it's your space to talk about job responsibilities, day to day tasks, key achievements and things that you're proud of! As you'll know, it's common in small companies to have HR tasks lumped in with someone else's job, so prospective employers wouldn't be surprised to see the job title Finance Assistant, for example, then read on to see that 90% of what you actually do is say, HR Admin!
  • Forget the written contract for the moment. You have a verbal contract and evidence of you being there and being paid is evidence of a contract.

    Your refusal to not sign her new written contract letter won't necessarily change things either - you are, I assume, still there and working. It is generally accepted that you have accepted the terms as they are now - even if you don't like them.

    I think the only thing to do is to have a chat with her, explain again your motivation and make it patiently clear that there are NO implications of being called 'HR manager, HR assistant, or indeed business partner', Its just a name and means nothing (except to you and possible future employees)

    If she refuses to budge, then if you want to change jobs at a later stage all you have to do is explain to your possible future employer that the job title didn't accurately reflect your duties.