Top job: Susan Butcher, HR director, Remploy

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

For the past four years, I have been working as an interim manager with assignments in pensions, reward, and organisational change.

What qualifications do you hold?

I have an HND in business studies and a diploma in management studies.

What are the duties in your new role?

Setting the HR direction for a modern Remploy. Much of the platform has been put in place – we now need to put the people and processes in place to develop our strengths.

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

It is essential that we continue to keep development and learning on the agenda. Reward will also be a challenge as focus is changed to the long-term.

What is the most overrated tool in your job?

The PowerPoint presentation. They are either shallow or test your eyesight with small type.

And what work tool would you like to see invented?

The exercise office chair, to save going to the gym after work.

What is the worst thing about HR?

I struggle to think of anything – perhaps that we have to continually prove that we add value to the business.

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

I relax with the family.

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

Shouting to people in a hot air balloon trying to make an emergency landing next to our office.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Pragmatic, focused and chilled.

What was your lucky break?

The tenuous link between salary budgeting and job evaluation that gave me the opportunity to transfer from finance into my first HR role.

What do you regret about your career?

Nothing. I always look to make the most of any situation and it’s worked so far.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I don’t really mind as long as Gordon Ramsay is cooking and Cold Play are playing live.

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

I hold qualifications in bricklaying and plastering and have built an extension (that has passed building regulations).

Who was your childhood hero?

John Noakes. I always wanted a Blue Peter badge.

Tell us about your best ever holiday.

There have been too many, but building sandcastles on the beach must be near the top.

What advice would you give someone starting out in HR?

Know the business and industry that you are in.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Going self-employed.

Sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence.

Enjoy it.


Butcher’s CV



  • Apr 2009-present – HR director, Remploy (provider of employment services for people with disabilities)
  • August 2008-Mar 2009 – HR director (interim), Remploy (provider of employment services for people with disabilities)
  • Jan 2006-Mar 2009 – Self-employed HR consultant, Performance HR. Worked with Bespak, Nuffield Hospital, EMDA, Severn Trent Water, and Remploy

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