Interview with Guy Pink

Guy Pink, HR director, Addaction, a drugs and alcohol charity

How did you get to where you are now?
Hard work, seizing the opportunities that came my way, identifying the issues that add value to the work that we do and networking – a most underrated HR skill.

What takes up most of your time at work?
E-mail and acting as the interface between the HR department and the chief executive.

Which three attributes are needed to do your job?
Passion, enthusiasm and a ‘can do’ attitude.

What legislation causes you the most headaches?

How do you keep up with new and changing legislation?
Being linked into lots of law firms for newsletters and seminars as well as a subscriber to Xpert HR.

What’s HR’s biggest legal challenge?
Resisting the increasing number of spurious and frivolous tribunal claims. And TUPE.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
The variety of the work: no two days are ever the same. The teams that I work with and the fact that the organisation makes a difference to the lives of thousands of drug and alcohol misusers.

What’s the most challenging case/situation you’ve had to deal with?
Dealing with a TUPE transfer from the statutory sector where the union was fundamentally opposed to the transfer and had written to local MPs before we had even met with affected staff or their representatives. The situation became extremely political and I had to take lots of legal advice around pensions and contracts. Happily this was all resolved and the service is performing much more effectively and cheaply than had it stayed in the statutory sector.

What would be in your room 101?
Superfluous street furniture, street fundraisers (chuggers), badly designed and uncomfortable chairs, telephone sales calls, commuting, and The Beautiful South.

What really annoys you in life generally?
That there are never enough hours in a day and the days now seem to get shorter and shorter.

If you could wish one employment law away what would it be?
TUPE of course.

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?
Redistributing the huge wealth that just a few people have.

When you were a youngster what was your ambition?
To be an airline pilot, but I’m colour blind so it was a no go. Still, HR’s not so bad in comparison.

Who’s your hero?
Kris Stewart – first AFC Wimbledon chief executive who resurrected the football club I love and support.

Describe a turning point in your life.
Finding the London HR Connection. Here was the opportunity I needed to become part of a network group and gain experiences I was not getting in my working life. So much so that I became vice chair, chair and am now secretary. I don’t think I would have moved into my current job without the experiences of managing a board of HR professionals and of dealing with the issues around marketing and PR that I now use every day.


2005-present  – HR director, Addaction
1995-2005 – HR manager, Victim Support
1993-1995 – Personnel manager, Southern Housing group
1986-1989 – Personnel officer, Sports Council
1986-1989 – Recruitment officer, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

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