We love celebrating our team, their achievements and their highlights at Sigmat. Who better to catch up with next than our very own HR Manager, Harriet! Harriet has been leading our HR function since 2017 and is the first person all our new starters spend time with, understanding the business and the team that make Sigmat who we are today.
Tell us a bit about your background before joining Sigmat.
After graduating from university in 2008 with a degree in Sports Journalism, I joined a global medical devices company called Covidien. Here I gained invaluable HR experience, the first three years in Leeds, then almost two years developing myself in Ireland which was fun! I then moved home and joined the happy world of Haribo where I worked for 3.5 years (lots of free sweets!) before joining Sigmat in November 2017.
Can you tell us a little about your current role and history of working at Sigmat.
I joined Sigmat in November 2017 as a standalone HR Officer. I saw this as a great opportunity as it was essentially a blank canvas HR-wise; lots of standardising processes, introducing policies, and looking at other initiatives. I was promoted to HR Manager after a year and started to build my own team in 2019 which was great development for me also. I am now part of a wider Etex UK HR team, which we are already seeing the benefit of, and I am looking forward to sharing different experiences and learning from each other.
What training and development have you had?
HR-wise, Sigmat paid for me to complete my Level 7 Masters that I have just completed passing with a merit which I am really proud of. I have also been put through mental health first aid which I have found very helpful in my role – it has made me view things differently as I am a real advocate for mental health. Outside of HR it has been really good working in a completely different industry and I have learned so much about construction and steel that I never thought I would!
How would you describe Sigmat’s culture?
It sounds cheesy but it still has that family feel about it. we are not fully integrated into Etex yet so there is still that SME feel about it which is nice, but with the wider support of a global company
also. Etex also seem to be really people focused so I don’t think that feeling will be lost as it will be a big change for people moving from an SME to a larger business.
What do you like about Sigmat?
The people make the business; there are some really good people within Sigmat and we work hard but also have fun. I also like the industry that we are in – it’s what my mum would call “salt of the earth,” – really down to earth and laidback but with the final goal in mind. The system that we have is really amazing and a great sustainable way of constructing. We also have some really good benefits and I believe we are pretty competitive in our industry.
What’s the best part of working for Sigmat?
Again, it’s the people. HR is HR wherever you go really, you still have to deal with the same things but it is the people that make it different.
What would you say to a prospective candidate?
Sigmat is a great place to work, and being part of Etex will only make it stronger. There is a real people focus within the business now, with some great initiatives coming down the line, and there is a real sense of community within Etex. If I was 10 years younger I would be jumping at the chance to work for a business like Etex – you learn so much for global businesses like these, and there is always the prospect of international mobility so there’s so much opportunity!
Finally, how do you like to spend your spare time?
I live in the Yorkshire Dales so spend a lot of time outside with my husband, Sam, my stepson Oscar (when he visits) and my Cocker Spaniel, Rupert (who is my fur baby!).
I also love reading so spend a lot of time with my head buried in book!