As a self-confessed shopaholic, Lisa Bedford has probably found her dream
job as the head of HR at fashion retailer, Oasis. Her new role is the latest in
a series of high street retail posts, following spells at River Island, Sears
She will run the HR function and implement a new reward system for the
business. "Without going into too much HR jargon, I’m responsible for
making sure HR is a credible function that can be inspirational and visionary,
but at the same time deliver what our internal customers want," Bedford
During her time as HR second in command at River Island, she developed a
performance review system and implemented an online recruitment strategy. But
she decided to move to Oasis because of the opportunity to have a voice at
board level, and influence the future growth of the company.
One of the key challenges of working in the retail sector is recruiting
staff, and Bedford believes the industry needs to better sell itself as a
career option for youngsters.
"Unfortunately, retail just isn’t a preferred option for school leavers
nowadays. We all need to improve at marketing the fantastic variety of
opportunities retail can offer," she says.
Over the coming months, she hopes to position Oasis as an employer of choice
in retail by introducing a range of policies.
"It is achievable if everything is in place – from great recruitment
and selection processes to development opportunities that stimulate employees,
and proper succession plans that allow for growth."
Bedford enjoys the variety of work in HR, and says retail moves so fast she
never has time to get bored.
On the move
Claire Bonar has taken over at software solutions firm ICS Computing as head
of HR. She joins from Clandeboyne Lodge Hotel in Northern Ireland, where she
ran the HR function. She will oversee the development of 175 staff based at
various sites across Northern Ireland. One of the company’s main aims of the
coming year is to gain IIP accreditation.
Law firm Blake Lapthorn has appointed Alan Burnhams as its new director of
HR. Burnhams rejoins after a four-year stint with legal group Clarke Willmott
& Clarke, where he was also HR director. His new remit will be
co-ordinating all the company’s HR activity. The firm currently employs around
480 staff but is looking to expand.
The Learning and Skills Council has appointed Caroline Neville as its
director of policy and development. For the past nine years, Neville has been
the principal of Norwich City College. During her tenure it was selected for
Centre of Vocational Excellence status. She is also a member of the Higher Education
Funding Council for England, the Council for Industry and Higher Education and
a board member of the Association of Colleges. Rob Wye, who has been the
council’s interim director, has returned to his original post as executive
director at LSC Northamptonshire.