HR giants meet up to confront key issues

Seven of the UK’s leading HR directors gathered together at a networking
event in central London last week, addressing an audience of HR professionals,
along with others aspiring to get into the industry.

The event, organised and hosted by Personnel Today and recruitment firm
Barkers, heard HR leaders tackle a variety of issues. Companies represented
were IT giant Microsoft, accountancy firm Ernst & Young, law firm
Linklaters, South West Trains, the Crown Prosecution Service, Hertfordshire
County Council and Save The Children. This is what was said:

– On HR’s image problem:

Steve Harvey, group director of people and culture at Microsoft:
"If Big Brother was based on the business world, the HR director would be
voted off first."

– On career progression:

Alan Warner, director of people and property at Hertfordshire county
council: "One of the issues we face is why some really good HR
professionals turn into crap managers. Reward structures are geared to reinforcing
that model – it is something we have to address.

– On how to be noticed:

Angela O’Connor, director of HR, CPS: "Don’t stay out of trouble
and become merely a compliance officer. I like people who always question the
way we do things."

Derek Manuel, director of global HR at Save The Children: "Take
a bit more risk – prove that HR is not a brake on the business."

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