Top job – Scott Jarvis, resourcing and change director, HR, Sodexo UK and Ireland

Where were you working before, and what were your responsibilities?

I was head of talent and resourcing at AstraZeneca’s sales and marketing business, ensuring we attracted, developed and retained the most talented people.

What qualifications do you hold?

A BSc in psychology and, later this year, an MSc in occupational psychology. I’m a member of the CIPD.

What are the duties in your new role?

Ensuring we have an effective resourcing strategy and modelfor the organisation, and providing leadership and expertise in the management of projects with a ‘people’ dimension.

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

Engaging employees, driving performance, fostering innovation and demonstrating greater value.

What is the most overrated tool in your job?

I’m sceptical about numerous things HR practitioners seem to adopt unquestioningly. Stress management interventions come to mind.

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

Trying to politely explain why I couldn’t read a fax from somebody who had faxed it after they had put it in an envelope.

And what work tool would you like to see invented?

A Tardis, to enable me to manage my time better.

What is the worst thing about HR?

The jargon.

How do you wind down after a bad day in the office?

My family provides welcome distractions – I’ve a two-year-old daughter, and a son who will have been born by the time this ispublished.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Disciplined, busy and happy.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Actor and raconteur Stephen Fry, comedian Bill Bailey and the cast of The Mighty Boosh.

Who was your childhood hero?

Footballer Alvin Martin.

What advice would you give someone starting out in HR?

Constantly ask yourself how your efforts contribute to organisational success. Focus on outcomes.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Potholing was hairy. Flying a Cessna jet and night abseiling have also raised the adrenaline.

Sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence.

You’ve only got one life, so make it count – and enjoy it.

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