Gould, 34, director of recruitment and training at the Punch Pub Company, has
much to celebrate, having scooped three accolades at the recent National
Innkeeping Training Awards. Here he mulls over his career to date
How long have you been in this job?
How long have you been with your organisation?
What does your role involve?
Recruitment and training of licensees for leased and tenanted pubs.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Being involved in the set up and support of approximately 4,200 small
What is your current major project or strategic push?
How to target people new to the licensed trade who want to run their own
What was the worst course you ever went on?
Usually introduction to new computer software courses. Far better to play
What did you want to do for a living when you were at school?
A PE teacher or a lawyer.
What was your first job?
Strawberry picker. Promoted to supervisor after three summers! First formal
role was graduate trainee for Bass in 1989.
What was the best career decision you ever made?
Moving into an operations role after three years in HR.
What was the worst career decision you ever made?
Moving back to a company I had previously worked for. Big mistake.
Which of your qualifications do you most value and why?
A first class BA (Hons) in Sociology. I have never worked so hard for anything.
How many minutes is it since someone senior in your organisation said
‘people are our greatest assets"?
About 45 minutes.
Evaluation – holy grail or impossible dream?
Neither. Straightforward if you have clear measurable objectives for any activity.
How do you think your job will have changed in five years time?
Licensees will have more complicated training and development needs which
will in turn demand bespoke, tailored learning.
What do you think the core skills for your job will be in the future?
There will be an even greater need for creativity, communication and
What advice would you give to someone starting out in training and
Understand who and what you are trying to train and develop. Be clear about
the outcomes you are looking for from all your hard work.
How do you network?
I link well with the British Institute of Innkeeping.
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
I like the idea of lots of smaller jobs which really add some value to the
people I work with. I think if we are given less time to achieve, we can
deliver more. All this would cover four days a week with the other three days
for family and hobbies.
Do you take your work home with you?
Yes, too often.
What is your motto?
Work hard. Play hard.
Describe your management style in three words or less?
Communicative and involving.
How would you like to be remembered by your colleagues?
That I believed in what I was doing, did not wobble under pressure and
delivered benefits to the business.
Up close and personal
Training, development, education, learning
No gain without pain
Most loathed buzzwords?
When will we ‘touch base’ next?
Are you good at self development?
What self development have you done in the last six months?
Prepared and delivered presentations to national industry bodies.
Where do you want to be in five years time?
At my children’s school events and responsible for progressive HR practices
in the hospitality industry.
What was the most useful learning experience you ever had?
My best learning experience was being given profit and loss responsibility
for 28 pubs in Liverpool at the age of 23.
The best management book you ever read?
The Age of Unreason by Charles Handy