This week Paul Mosson, director of HR at Dewar’s, and Peter Radcliffe, HR
director at Interbrew, compare notes on their careers in the drinks trade
1 What are your main responsibilities?
PM My responsibilities are in the area of strategic HR, mainly
culture and organisational development, HR policy, communications, people
development and talent retention.
PR My key responsibilities are human resources, internal
communications and risk management. Most of my time is taken up dealing with
the strategic aspects of HR but, on a day-to-day basis, internal communications
are also very important to me.
2 What’s the pay like?
PM The pay is very good – I have a base salary, plus a bonus related
to business and individual performance. In addition to this I get a package of
PR It’s enough for me! I get a basic salary as well as all the usual
stuff that you’d expect.
3 How flexible are the hours?
PM The hours are fairly flexible. Typically I arrive at 8am and leave
at around 6pm. However, I often attend events or dinners in the evening and I
travel considerably both within John Dewar & Sons and internationally with
the Bacardi Group.
PR I suppose the answer to that question is we’re very flexible. As a
company we really encourage flexible working where it’s appropriate for the job
or the individual.
4 What do you like about the job?
PM In my job I like the team work with all of us striving to the same
ends to achieve our goals. I also enjoy the space for creativity, the dynamic
environment, and the many interesting people I get to work with and meet.
PR I like all the variety of the role as well as the stretch and the
challenge. I’ve always worked in either the fast-moving consumer goods or
retail sectors, and I like close contact with customers.
5 What are the challenges?
PM The challenges I face professionally are keeping up to date with
the changing HR world and getting people to appreciate that change will be
constant. On a personal level, time management is a bit of a challenge as I
have a tendency to over commit and get exhausted.
PR The main challenge is achieving our business targets. As a company
Interbrew wants to achieve double-digit growth every year and that’s what is
required. It’s everybody’s responsibility to help achieve that.
6 What is your biggest headache?
PM The biggest headache for me is conflicting priorities and diary
management, as well as remembering to do everything I’ve committed to. I have a
very small team of two people because transactional and operational HR is
largely devolved down the line.
PR The main headache in this job is finding the time to fit
7 What size is your team?
PM As I mentioned before because the line managers deal with certain
aspects of the HR function, I currently have a team of just two.
PR It’s difficult to split up the individual specific roles that
people have, but there is a team of around 70 staff in the department.
8 Who do you report to?
PM I report to the managing director, and I’m part of the Bacardi
Global HR Group.
PR I report directly to our managing director, Stewart Gilliland.
9 What qualifications do you have?
PM I have a BA Hons degree in Psychology, an MSc in Psychology, and
I’m a member of the British Psychological Society and the CIPD.
PR The main one is a degree in economics and business studies from
10 What are your career aspirations?
PM My career aspirations centre on developing my knowledge of
strategic HR (especially culture), and eventually achieving a bigger position
in a complex multifunctional business.
PR To remain challenged and enjoy myself professionally and
11 What training and development opportunities are there?
PM They are excellent. We have an extensive e-based open learning
centre, which covers everything from "soft skills" to performance
management, finance and operational management. I find that talking and meeting
other practioners and business leaders in many ways is the best development one
PR We wholeheartedly believe in each individual owning their own
learning and development and our role is facilitating them to help achieve
this. We want to empower our staff by allowing them to exploit these training
opportunities. Training and developing our people is one of the four main
planks on which we develop the whole of our business at Interbrew.
12 What is your holiday entitlement?
PM Thirty-three days per annum including statutory days.
PR Five weeks a year.
13 What is your working environment like?
PM Good – I work in a modern building and have my own office which I
use for all my meetings. It is also the place where I keep all my books,
journals, and other stuff. Having said that, I work all over the place – in my
kitchen, at home, on planes, everywhere.
PR It’s a pretty informal atmosphere. I work in a modern, open plan
14 What other benefits do you get (company car etc)?
PM All the usual benefits, including a company car and private
medical care. The one that makes most people envious though is 24 bottles of
our company product each year!
PR It’s all the usual stuff that you’d expect. I get a car,
healthcare and a pension. We also get a product allowance depending on what
part of the company you work at. The Stella Artois beer allowance is a pretty
good benefit though.
15 What’s the best part?
PM The best part for me is the intellectual stretch, and having the
freedom to be creative, and a bit unorthodox.
PR I think just being at the heart of a very good company and helping
to build a successful business.
Director of human resources, Dewar’s (part of the Bacardi group)
Job at a glance
Size of team: Two
Qualifications: BA Hons in Psychology and an MSc in Psychology
Leave: 33 days
Best part: Having the freedom to becreative
1999 HR director, Dewar’s
1995 HR manager, Stoddard Carpets
1993 HR manager, Yorkhill Hospital
1989 Personnel officer, United Distillers
HR director, Interbrew UK
Job at a glance
Size of team: 70
Qualifications: Degree in economics and business studies
Leave: Five weeks
Best part: Being at the heart of successful company
1995 HR director, Interbrew UK
1992 HR and marketing director, Whitbread Pub Partnership
1988 HR controller, Whitbread Inns
1976 HR director, Threshers