People Heroes: Jo Crockford, Senior HR Business Partner at Genesis
We are so thrilled to announce this month’s People Hero - the amazing Jo Crockford, Senior HR Business Partner at Genesis. Jo kicked off her career in the People space straight after university. Since then, she has worked for a number of large companies and freelanced as a consultant, before joining Genesis.
Whilst busy laying the foundations for global expansion at Genesis, Jo has also been raising a young family with three young daughters who are fast becoming young pioneers for women in STEM - something Jo is especially a champion of.
In our recent interview, Jo shares the exciting projects she is working on at Genesis, tips for those looking to work in a fast growing company and some of the things she is most looking forward to in the future.
Could you tell us about your role at Genesis?
I joined Genesis to start up a People Team back in December 2019. At that point we only had about 35 employees and in less than two years we have increased to 135 and have plans to grow further very quickly. I am fortunate enough to work with some amazing HR colleagues here at Genesis and we have just expanded our team to have a presence in additional regions. We have a real focus on continuous improvement and doing everything that we can to make Genesis a great place to work. We are lucky enough that we have really low turnover for our industry, and we hope that some of the work that we do within the People team helps contribute to this. We aim to hire some of the best people in the business, and we want to make this a fantastic place for them to work and to contribute to our growth.
What exciting projects are you currently working on?
We are just about to launch our next people survey which is a great way for us to get feedback on what people like and don’t like, and that will drive our plans for next year and beyond. However in the coming months we will be expanding into two new global locations, as well as implementing a new culture and values programme that will be keeping us very busy in the People Team. Last month we launched the Thanks Ben benefits platform which has proved really popular and it’s great to be able to give employees more choice with their benefits, and to provide additional resources to support our focus on wellbeing and training and development.
What interested you to start a career in the People sector?
Like many people when I returned from University I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do but was fortunate enough to secure my first HR role at Majestic Wines. I had a wonderful introduction to HR and this team has such a focus on delivering a great service to their employees, with a real care and passion for what they did. This has stayed with me throughout my career in HR.
You started off your career working at large corporations, what attracted you to working at Genesis - a scaling company? Have you got any tips for anyone wanting to make a similar move?
Prior to starting a family I was fortunate enough to work at large companies such as ADC, BSKYB and Thomson Reuters. With a growing young family I decided not to return to full-time and worked for 10 years in flexible consulting roles mainly focused on small and scaling companies who needed ad-hoc and project based HR support. This has allowed me to see the best of large companies HR processes and practices and to be able to apply the best of the big company strategy to smaller organisations. I actually started Genesis on a contract basis and have enjoyed it so much that I am now a permanent member of the team. I have been fortunate enough to work across many different sectors but I often see similar challenges across different sectors. I would recommend being open to working in new sectors and challenging yourself to learn as much as you can about the company that you work for so that you can be a true HR Business Partner with a voice across all business challenges not just the People ones.
What is the biggest challenge you've faced at work over the last 12 months?
Like any working parent balancing the demands of work with a young family has been at times difficult in the last 12 months but Genesis has created a culture based on trust and performance where you are measured on what you do. I feel lucky to work for a company that has allowed me flexibility to balance both life inside and outside of work. My daughters often join in at company social events like our quizzes and they were even recently invited to a coding masterclass which they thought was pretty cool! I hope working at a Tech company will inspire them to consider careers within STEM and it has been great to be able to work for a company that is passionate about supporting Women in Technology initiatives.
What are you looking forward to this year both professionally and personally?
I am looking forward to continued growth here at Genesis, global expansion of our team and to continue to drive projects that will make a difference to what it means to work here. As a family we are looking forward to getting back on the slopes next year, and we are all hoping that the schools will remain open this winter!
A huge thank you to Jo for everything you do - you are an inspiration! You can follow Jo and her journey on linkedin here.