Top job: Catherine Weir

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What are the duties in your new role?

My remit is to ensure our company has the resilience and capability to deliver our business strategy.

What do you hope to achieve?

That Inspace becomes known in the property maintenance industry as a company which recruits and inspires the best people. I want to create an environment for employees to truly deliver their best work and achieve their full potential.

What are the challenges HR faces in the next five years?

Maintaining a strategic view of the organisation’s risks and opportunities to ensure business resilience and capability.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Coming to London with no job, but a great deal of ambition.

What is the essential tool inyour job?

Communication.

And the most over-rated?

E-mail.

What advice would you give to people starting out in HR?

Develop skills in business consultancy and get out from behind your desk to spend time in the field. Ask questions and make sure you really understand the business and the challenges of being in the front line.

What is the worst thing about HR?

We can take ourselves rather too seriously on occasion and can often risk being disconnected from the sharp end of the business.

Who would you most dislike to work with?

A leader that I didn’t respect – George Bush might be a good example.

How do you fill your spare time?

I get great pleasure from working as a volunteer for Bedfordshire and District Cerebral Palsy society. Working with some great kids at our Saturday club ensures my inner child remains intact.

What was the last book you read?

The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

Who is your ultimate guru?

For good, down-to-earth, powerful advice, Dr Phil McGraw, particularly his book Life Strategies, would take some beating.

What is the most annoying piece of management jargon?

At present, it’s ‘human capital’.

What is your essential TV viewing?

The West Wing is great drama but also has some fantastic insights into the diversity of teams and the power of leadership.

What song gets you on the dance floor?

Pretty much any soul/disco track from the 1980s.

What would be your dream job?

A backing singer for teen-pop warbler Daniel Bedingfield.

Who would play you in the film of your life and why?

Stage and film actress Juliet Stevenson, because she’s real and shows the same kind of emotion and passion as I do.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?

Jeremy Paxman – I would rather conserve the air supply. 

Weir’s CV

2005 HR director, Inspace

2001 Head of HR, Computacenter

1990 European HR manager, Xerox Europe

1986 Personnel manager, Marconi Instruments

1980 Personnel manager, Rank Organisation


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