AXA story

Social and supportive: an insight into working in HR at AXA

Human Resources Administrator, Leah Barnes, joined AXA in 2014. We caught up with her to get the lowdown on her role at AXA and how she juggles studying for her CIPD alongside full-time work.

Why did you decide to join AXA?

Before I joined AXA, I wasn’t really sure where I wanted to work. I’d previously been working as a chef in a variety of large hotels, so jumping into an established office role at AXA was a big change – and a challenge. I started off as a Customer Service Advisor in AXA Travel Insurance, then I transferred to AXA Assistance after a year, joining the HR department. That’s what’s great about AXA; there is so much scope to move around because it’s such a large company.

What do you do in a typical day?

From going through terms and conditions with new starters to helping out with interviews and even payroll, our days are really varied. We also do project work, where everyone has a different project that they work on throughout the year. I’m currently working on a ‘Grab Box’ for the business continuity plan, helping us make sure that we’re prepared for a variety of situations. For example, if the building flooded, how would we get all the information from one server to the other? How would we pay people and how long would it take?

What’s been your biggest challenge so far?

It’s been a while since I left college, so getting back into that routine and staying after work to study for my CIPD has been a bit of a challenge. I thought it would be really tough to balance my studying with my work life, but AXA have provided me with all the materials I need and everyone is so supportive that you don’t ever feel like it’s too demanding or at all stressful.

Are there lots of social events that you can get involved with?

AXA is the most social company I’ve ever worked for. As well as social BBQ’s, open days, quizzes and games, each department has a different open day so there is loads of opportunity for networking and meeting different people in other teams. It’s great to see how much AXA care about making their people feel appreciated.

Do you have any advice for people applying for a role at AXA?

Show your personality in the interview and demonstrate that you’re willing to learn, even if you don’t necessarily have the skills. Also showing that you have common sense and are able to get on with other people is also very important. I would recommend AXA to anyone.