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Brendan Watters - HRI

2016 was a very interesting and extremely busy year for all the team in Human Resources, as we recruited over 400 staff in a full or temporary capacity.

My first major project in 2016 was the recruitment of over 250 Temporary Clerical Officers to assist with the application for Passports in our Passport Offices in Balbriggan, Cork, Dublin and London. Having the right staff in place is so important, and with the success of the Irish football teams in getting to the Euros there were lots of additional passport requests for staff to process!  I hope all the fans were issued with 10 year passports so Moscow 2018 will not require new applications all round!

The HR unit itself had a major change with the introduction of Peoplepoint in April. This Department was one of the last to join, because of the complex nature of managing staff in so many different countries and locations. Once the dust had settled on that transfer, we also joined the Civil Service Payroll Shared Services Centre, which introduced even more changes, particularly to our Salaries section. The introduction of both shared services has led to a number of changes in the work practice of the section and a number of roles previously addressed directly by HR are now referred through both Peoplepoint and PSSC. Changes all round!

During our switch to shared services a new word was introduced - Brexit. This has implications right across the Department, but for my role, the vast increase in the number of applications for Foreign Birth Registration and Passports will result in the need to recruit extra staff throughout the Department, at home and abroad.

One of my favourite parts of my role is that I get to meet and welcome staff when they are joining the Department and then follow their career path. All are given the opportunity to travel abroad, others like myself prefer to remain at home. I can honestly say that time passes so quickly in the HR Unit and if it were not for the commitment and excellent support of our team it would not be possible to provide information and assistance required by our colleagues at home and abroad.