Top job: Steve Bright, global head of HR, consulting division, Hewitt Associates

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

I was the group HR director at Detica, a fast growing business and technology consultancy based in the UK. I was responsible for the HR strategy, M&A and building the HR team.

What qualifications do you hold?

I am a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

What are the duties in your role?

I am responsible for defining and implementing the HR strategy for the global consulting division.

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

There is a growing skills gap in the next generation of HR leaders in terms of their breadth of experience. With all the challenges business faces, this gap is likely to be exposed and questions raised about the value we add as a profession.

What is the most overrated tool in your job?

The BlackBerry – simply because it stops people thinking.

And what work tool would you like to see invented?

I would like to see something that compensates for the lack of emotional intelligence.

What is the worst thing about HR?

The people who whinge about the lack of boardroom respect without having earned it.

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

I wind down by meditating.

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

Recruiting someone in the West Wing of the White House.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Fair, firm and focused.

What was your lucky break?

Persuading Ernst & Whinney to recruit me when looking for someone 10 years older, and then getting involved in the merger of Ernst & Young.

What do you regret about your career?

I have no regrets.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

My wife, Renaissance philosopher Machiavelli, and actors Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and Charlie Chaplin.

Tell us something about yourself that no-one else knows.

There is nothing – my wife knows it all.

Who was your childhood hero?

King Arthur.

Tell us about your best ever holiday

It was a holiday with my family to Cape Cod.

What advice would you give someone starting out in HR?

Stay long enough to learn about the consequences of your actions.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Leaving a senior HR role at Ernst & Young to become the general manager of a 20-man consulting business.

Sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence.

Work isn’t everything.

Bright’s CV

  • Jan 2009-present – Global head of HR, consulting division, Hewitt Associates (HR consultancy)
  • 2005-2009 – Group HR director, Detica (business and technology consultancy)
  • 2002-2005 – Global head of HR and organisational effectiveness, Celerant Consulting (management consultancy)
  • 2001-2002 – Chief operating officer, Rubus (e-commerce consultancy)

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