Top job: Christine Ireland

Christine Ireland, HR manager, Heathrow Travel Inn Hotel

The UK’s largest Travel Inn Hotel, being constructed at Heathrow, has
recruited Christine Ireland as HR manager. She will oversee the recruitment
drive to employ more than 200 new staff for the hotel, which is due to open in
May 2003. She joins the firm after a year out, but has extensive HR experience
in the hotel sector.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

Initially, I look forward to achieving a successful hotel opening.

Which aspects are you most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to preparing and conducting the team training.

What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?

Forming a human barricade line from the hotel entrance doors to the lift, so
on-looking customers did not approach Michael Jackson as he went in and out of
the hotel.

What is your essential viewing?

Sex and the City – what can I say, it just makes me laugh so much.

What’s the best thing about HR?

The chance to have a positive influence on many peoples working lives.

…and the worst?

Holding up the mirror to a person.

How do you fill your spare time?

Travel, travel and more travel.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

White-water rafting in Africa where crocodiles frequent.

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

To be an effective HR manager, in addition to having specialist HR
knowledge, you also need to have all-round business skills in marketing, sales,
finance and business knowledge.

Do you network?

Yes, I always network. Many of my network contacts have become good friends.

If you could do any job in the world what would it be?

I would be a singer/songwriter – but trust me… you really don’t want to hear
me sing.

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

Cameron Diaz, because she is intelligent, humorous and I would like to have a
figure like hers.

What’s the worst office party you have ever attended?

It was when I had to dress up in a skimpy outfit and be part of a dance
routine for ‘Hey big spender’ – well, it was bad for me anyway. I think the
rest of the team had a great laugh.

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