South Tyneside Council has appointed Stephen Moir as HR director. He moves
from his role at Lancashire Constabulary. He will now manage both the strategic
HR and the service HR function across the five directorates of the council.
What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
To modernise and transform the HR service of the council and improve
Which aspects are you most looking forward to?
The challenge of taking a traditional public sector personnel function and
forging an HR service that enables managers and is thought of as an effective,
strategic business partner.
What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?
Being given a handgun to test in the firearms range on my first day at
How do you think the role of HR will change over the next five years?
The role of HR will continue to develop along human capital lines, finally
demonstrating to board members the added value that effective people
manage-ment brings to a business.
Who is the ultimate guru?
Robert Greene and Joost Elffers, the co-authors of The 48 Laws of Power.
What is your essential viewing?
The West Wing – I love the wit and intelligence of the writing.
What’s the best thing about HR – and the worst?
Telling someone they have got the job – and telling someone they don’t have
a job anymore.
What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
Uprooting myself from Edinburgh to Cambridgeshire, simply on the basis of a
career move, but fortunately it seems to have paid off.
What is the essential tool in your job?
I wouldn’t call them a tool, but the thing that makes a difference is having
a good team of people to work with.
What advice would you give to people starting out in HR?
You make your own success, so put yourself forward and volunteer for things,
work hard and don’t assume that a qualification from the Chartered Institute of
Personnel and Development or an MA means you know everything. Always be
prepared to learn something new each day.
Do you network?
All the time – networking is a great way to broaden your horizons and
If you could do any job in the world what would it be?
I’d quite like to try chief of staff at 10 Downing Street. Observing the
political process at that level must be fascinating.
Who would play you in the film of your life and why?
I have been compared to Darth Vader or perhaps a young Christopher Lee (a
previous nickname of mine at work was the ‘Prince of Darkness’).
What’s the best office party you’ve ever attended?
At my leaving party from Lancashire Police they were very generous, except
for the look-alike picture of Herr Flick from Allo Allo.
2003 Head of HR, South Tyneside
2000 HR manager, Lancashire Constabulary
1999 Personnel officer, Cambridgeshire Constabulary
1998 Employee resources assistant, Midlothian Council