Our business is all about people – and we know that our clients love getting to know our team better. This month, we’re putting the spotlight on Alex Cope. He’s 9 months into his Apprenticeship with PMHR and he’s also the son of our MD.

So, you are an apprentice. What does that mean in real terms?

I am on a gap year before leaving for university and I wanted to use my time wisely and gain my Business Administration apprenticeship while learning more about the family business. Day to day, I handle most of the office admin, including writing handbooks and policies as well as answering calls to help with queries from clients. My work helps to back up the HR Advisors and to prevent a backlog from developing in the official paperwork.

The best bit of the job?

Getting to chat with a new person each day: because it’s never the same. As the director of biscuits and brews, I tend to be popular with visitors!

Your most memorable moment at PMHR so far?

Given the current situation we all find ourselves in almost everything about the way we work and live has changed. However, one thing that will never go out of fashion is crazy phone calls from clients. Just recently, we’ve had a few people call up to tell us they’d furloughed some staff and found out that the employee had begun working for a competitor, doubling up on their money, without speaking to their boss. The amusing part is our client only learned of this when the employee rang up to borrow some equipment – to work somewhere else! Crazy times lead to crazy measures!

How should employers handle millennials?

Employers should approach it with an understanding that the modern world is a place of rapidly evolving trends, meaning that millennials and Gen Z will not want to subscribe to many traditional working practices. The stereotype of laziness can be true – but only for those who are unmotivated. When properly engaged, millennials seek to innovate and improve at every turn. If you resist change it will serve only to deter many prospective employees from entering or even established in the workforce.

What’s the way forward for HR in our digital age? Could the job ever be automated?

Certain aspects of admin will eventually be automated for the benefit of everyone such as our BreatheHR system. However, the majority of our job is about picking up the phone or meeting face to face in order to understand people’s issues and give personal advice which is tailored to their unique situation. Most computers struggle to load PowerPoint so I’m confident they can never replace us!

A little-known fact about yourself?

I taught myself to play the guitar.

What’s your superpower?

It’s been said I have a memory like a trap, not much escapes and I have an answer to everything. A blessing to pub quizzes, a curse to rhetorical questions.