People

Bill Brown joins Threshold after eight years at Brighton and Hove Council
where he was responsible for providing a customer-focused HR service and
strategic expertise.

The organisation aims to double its size over the next five
years, so maintaining a quality service for tenants and staff is a key
challenge for him.

"My new role is extremely challenging and exciting. As the
first director of HR, I have to ensure that our people strategies complement
the organisation’s business ambitions. The position also encompasses the
corporate services function – bringing together fundraising, public relations
and governance. These are all new areas for me and represent a significant
learning curve," he says.

Brown’s ambition is to create a modern, forward-looking HR
function that acts as a business enabler rather than a gatekeeper of policy and
procedure.

"I have to move quickly to address issues around
recruitment and retention, diversity and leadership development which are
crucial areas for the success of our corporate business plan.

"I am really looking forward to repositioning HR so that
it’s seen as a function that is not just about administrative tasks but one
that can really help managers achieve their objectives," he adds.

According to Brown, HR has to become more flexible to respond
to what the business actually needs from its people: "I like seeing the
surprise on managers’ faces when they realise that HR people can be more than
just gatekeepers and blockers and can really help them get on with their
job," he explains.

CV

2002 Director of HR and corporate services, Threshold Housing
and Support

2000 Director of HR, Brighton & Hove City Council

1996 Head of personnel operations, Brighton & Hove City
Council

1993 Personnel manager, Brighton Council Arts and Leisure
Department

1990 Head of personnel projects, Lambeth Council Housing
Department

On the move

– David Beech has been appointed director of HR research and consultancy at
the Institute for Employment Studies. His task is to advance understanding and
improve practice in the organisation and management of people. His current
research interests include the influence of cross-cultural values on leadership
behaviour and effectiveness. He joins from Ashridge Business School, where he
worked as a client and programme director in leadership and organisational
behaviour.

– Law firm James Chapman and Co has recruited David Nelson into the
newly-created position of HR director. Nelson has spent his whole career in HR,
mainly in change management at blue-chip companies. He moves from BNFL in
Risley, where he has worked for seven years. In his new position, he will focus
on HR strategy and the development of policies and procedures to help maximise
the effectiveness of staff.

– Jenni Collins has started work as HR and central services director at
Abingdon and Witney College. In the new role, she will head a major staff
recruitment drive to help the college take on a number of new projects. She
will focus on improving internal communications across the organisation’s five
campuses. Her key challenges include developing salaries, creating flexible
hours and providing term-time employment opportunities for working mothers.

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