Kim Lardge has joined the Forestry Commission – the government department responsible for the protection of the UK’s forests – as HR director. She joins after a spell with the Royal Bank of Scotland, working in group HR.
What will be the duties in your new role?
To define and deliver an HR strategy that supports the business vision. I will also be leading the HR function and providing advice and guidance to the members of the executive board.
What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
To refresh the delivery of HR for the organisation by introducing a more business-focused perspective. Initiating business changes, which will ensure the longevity and efficiency of the organisation.
What aspects are you most looking forward to?
Getting out and about within the business, speaking to employees about their roles and needs, and helping to find ways for them to do the best they can for the Forestry Commission.
What is the best thing about HR?
Helping others fulfil their potential.
And the worst?
Being party to some really sad personal events/stories from staff.
How will HR change over the next five years?
HR’s reputation needs to move even further away from policing and processes, as it can make it appear as an obstruction to effective and efficient management. Business awareness will be a core competency for all HR professionals.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in HR?
Volunteer for every opportunity, and don’t be tied to one room or desk.
What is the strangest situation you have ever been in at work?
Presiding over an audit at a vasectomy clinic. It was a little disconcerting for both me and the men attending the clinic that day.
Who is your ultimate guru?
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the French author and poet.
What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
Standing by my principles within an unprincipled organisation.
What is your essential viewing?
Nothing really, but my essential listening is the Today programme on Radio 4.
How do you fill your spare time?
Chilling out with my horse – riding, grooming, mucking out, and watching him graze.
What was the last book you read?
The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho.
What would be your ideal job?
Maximising the commercial possibilities for a country estate without compromising its essence.
Who would play you in a film and why?
Elizabeth Taylor – I believe she can ride a horse, can’t she?
What is the best office party you’ve attended?
While working for Sky, the Christmas and summer parties were all pretty cool.
2005 HR director, Forestry Commission
2003 Senior technical partner, re-muneration and benefits, RBS
2000 HR director, operations, BSkyB
1993 Consultant, remuneration and benefits, BBC