Variety, Agility, Trust: Looking back at my first month with AAB People

Marina Horner joined the AAB People team a month ago and in that short time has had the opportunity to work with some of our fantastic clients in the technology and life science sectors. She has spent time on site…


Blog18th Oct 2019

Marina Horner joined the AAB People team a month ago and in that short time has had the opportunity to work with some of our fantastic clients in the technology and life science sectors. She has spent time on site embedding herself in their teams and has helped with a variety of HR topics, establishing relationships and becoming a trusted advisor. Marina reflects on her first month in the role of HR Consultant.

First things first

After 7 years of working in various HR roles in the technology sector, I recently took an academic sabbatical year at the University of Edinburgh, specialising in International HR Management (M.Sc.). After a year of expanding my skillset, I was looking for a role where I could use my knowledge to make a difference. I wanted to add value. Needless to say I immediately identified with AAB People. One month in and I have already had ample opportunity to do so.

My portfolio

So far, I have taken on the responsibility of working with two of our clients. Both are in technology, yet they at very different stages of their journey. Their priorities differ and so do the areas they look to AAB People for support.

For my clients, and many others in our portfolio, I work on a variety of tasks in a variety of contexts. The following list is certainly not exhaustive, but it provides an overview of just some of the areas we support our clients in:

  • Policy Work – Handbooks, contracts, shift working, social events, home working – you name it, AAB People has done it.
  • Training and Development – setting up training programs on cross-cultural communication and dignity at work.
  • Correspondence – from the short confirmation of a change of job title to a detailed explanation around a newly set up incentive scheme.
  • Recruitment – from advising on how to reach more qualified candidates to setting up the employment contract.
  • Salary Benchmarking for a variety of roles and clients.
  • Maintaining Employee records (mostly within Breathe HR).

I work at client sites, in our co working space, in the train, in cafés and from home. This flexibility allows me to choose an environment that suits the tasks at hand. I like to work from cafés when creative work is scheduled, such as designing training packages. When I’m on site with clients, I like to meet with managers and employees to discuss open questions and projects. When I work on sensitive tasks, I like the privacy of our co-working office. No one day is the same and that’s most inspiring to me.

Trust is key

I had a quick chat with one of our clients yesterday. I haven’t met them yet, but they needed our assistance and their point of contact was not available. As we wrapped up the conversation, they said, “It’s been so nice to meet you, it’s just such a pleasure to work with AAB People”. My team members have built a great relationship and left a positive, lasting impression. This is a wonderful place to start when you join as a new team member and consultant. But it also leaves you with a responsibility to uphold, foster and develop these relationships. Trust is what makes or breaks a relationship. Trust is built by being there, by adding value, by being responsive and by solving problems. Trust is also built by being human. It’s the little things that can make a big difference. Becoming a trusted advisor to the clients I work with has been a key goal during my first month with AAB People. The amount of chat messages, emails, calls and meeting requests I get from them asking for advice indicates that this development is well underway.

The road ahead

Working with start-ups requires flexibility – and to me that is the most exciting part. Our clients are on a growth journey in particularly dynamic environments. While we get to plan ahead and advise them with their HR strategies, there’s always going to be the unexpected and we are mentally prepared to be agile, to re-adjust. We know what it’s like – not only do we have extensive experience working alongside start-ups, we are a start-up ourselves!

There are exciting new clients joining our growing customer base. We recently started collaborating with a new software start-up. We will be conducting a gap analysis and helping them to shape their HR strategy.

I am very much looking forward to participating at Startup Summit later this month – another opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs and talk about how we can help them grow and develop their business.

If you are looking for pragmatic HR support, or if you feel you could add value for our clients by being part of the AAB People team, get in touch today by emailing

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