Game of the Name reveals inner HR

If you want to get ahead in HR, it helps if your name is Michael or Susan.

Exclusive research from Personnel Today reveals the most common names of the top HR people. And it seems the most common names are the… er… most common names, with all those Xaviers, Ruperts, Lolas and Anastasias clearly not fitting the HR mould and having to opt for dead-end careers in the somewhat less glamorous film and theatre industries.

The survey was conducted across more than 900 public and private sector organisations by Guru one afternoon last week when the computer servers went down and he couldn’t find anybody to go to the pub with. The membership list of Personnel Today’s HR Directors Club was lying around, and it seemed like a good thing to do at the time.

The full research report (including the names in 11th-20th positions) is available by writing to the usual address and enclosing a cheque made payable to ‘Guru’ for £495. Guru is also available to share his research highlights at your forthcoming conference for £1,000 plus travel and expenses. Coming soon – look out for Guru’s HR Director surname analysis.

To change your name to Michael or Susan, just visit Deed Poll.

League table of HR director first names


1 Michael/Mike

2 Steven/Stephen

3 David

4 John

5 Ian

6 Paul

7 Andrew/Andy

8 Robert/Bob

9= Peter

9= Richard


1 Susan/Sue

2 Catherine/Kate

3 Karen

4 Linda

5 Alison

6= Jacqueline/Jackie

6= Sarah

8 Carol

9 Claire/Clare

10 Helen

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