Q&A with Jodie Martin, Human Resources Manager

At Starrett UK we have a strong belief that the people behind the company are just as strong as the company itself and we can think of no better way to showcase our incredible team than by getting to know them in our new monthly ‘meet the team’ blog.

These are people who keep Starrett running and have helped build up the company to what it is today, from the shop floor machine operators, welders and cell managers to the sales team, customer services and operational team in our offices. Each team member is interlinked and as important as each other and we believe it’s important to highlight and recognise everyone’s skills and input.

Kicking off the first in our series, we believe there’s no better place to begin, than with our Human Resources (HR) Manager Jodie Martin, who has helped build up, bring together and nurture our Starrett UK team.

Jodie, apologies for putting you in the spotlight first, but tell us a little about yourself.

I can’t believe that you’ve chosen me to go first, surely there’s nothing more boring than a HR Manager!

I live in Eyemouth, a historic small coastal town in the Scottish Borders, close to Berwick-upon-Tweed, so it’s an hour’s commute into the office each day. I’m married to my husband Jason and together we have a five-year-old son, Jack and our family dog, Dudley the Bichon, who run rings around us and keeps us constantly on our toes.

Outside work you’ll find me living in wellies. As Jack is my main focus, we’ll regularly go off to the BMX track, skate park or motocross track together - it’s not a typical day out if we fail to come home covered from head to toe in mud.

Why did you choose a career in HR?

In all honesty, I can say that I never intended to go down this career path, as I always wanted to be a police officer or vet, but this would have been the worst decision I ever made, because I’m terribly sensitive when it comes to animals.

I somehow fell into the HR career path at a young age, as an Administrator and progressed from there, which I’m very pleased I did. I think it’s fair to say that my career is my hobby and I’ve worked very hard to be in the position where I am today. I know its cliché to say, but when you love your job it doesn’t feel like work and you don’t dread going into the office.

Why did you choose to work for Starrett and how long have you been with the company?

I’ve been with Starrett for two years now. During that time there has never been a dull moment; in manufacturing it’s something you need to get used to and it’s hard to find anything that compares to it.

Tell us what your job involves. How many staff members do you look after?

I’ve come across it all in my two years. HR is a service provider to the entire business and with this comes its own challenges, from supporting business strategy to ensuring the workforce is taken care of – getting the balance right is key and with around 140 team members, I can assure you that it is no mean feat.

What is it you love about your role?

Seeing the impact that the human resources department has on the business and how this supports future development plans. Starrett is a fast-moving business and being part of that strategically and transitionally is superb.

What challenges are you currently facing?

Without a doubt, the phrase on everyone’s lips - Coronavirus. As the situation and advice keeps changing, it is something we’ve been closely monitoring. Each day we’ve been busy putting new practices into place, but each evening with the Government’s address, new precautions are being advised so its something we need to keep revisiting. At the same time, it is crucial for us to keep our workforce updated as it unfolds.

Other challenges we are looking at include workforce development, succession planning and the impact of national minimum wage.

Why should potential applicants work for Starrett?

I’ve been in HR for over 12 years now and I’ve never been in a more humanistic and family orientated environment – the team are just brilliant, and I truly mean that! When there’s a job to be done we get it done together. That, right there, is what sets us apart from many other businesses.