How I see HR: Barry Spence, chief executive, Cubiks

HR should be represented on the board. At Cubiks, the director responsible for HR is the chief corporate officer, who is a member of the executive board, and reports directly to me in my role as chairman and chief executive. I have a formal meeting with the chief corporate officer at least once every fortnight, and our agenda covers headcount, training and development, remuneration and individual issues.

My biggest frustration with HR has largely been resolved by transferring the department under the chief corporate officer. Before that I found that there were insufficient metrics and reporting. We now have all the key data relating to HR built into our management reporting system.

Cubiks has transformed itself from a small department of an international management consultancy to a wholly independent employee-owned business. We orchestrated an employee buy-out and therefore each of our employees has become an option holder or a shareholder. They take a very active interest in the financial performance of the company. The HR function is key to managing this unusual dynamic.

I believe that the strength of our business lies in the quality and capability of the team. We are a relatively small organisation (120 people) but have become a highly profitable one and have seen our share price double over the past three years. We will only be able to maintain our current level of expansion if we attract and retain the highest calibre of individual. New joiners have to be capable of competing effectively in the current marketplace while building our business reputation. Without the right skills in place, our reputation in the market would suffer. Selecting the right staff, who are going to make a positive contribution to our growth, is critical and the most important objective for HR

In the case of Cubiks, we need an understanding of international as well as national employment legislation. There is also a requirement to understand the complexities of the tax regimes relating to share ownership in each country. I also expect the HR team to be able to apply Cubiks’ own selection instruments to our recruitment process.

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