Our January 2022 round-up of recent people moves include a new post for HR tech firm CIPHR and global director of HR at an international engineering firm.
• See December’s Movers and Shakers
HR head in the cloud
Cloud-based human resources software provider CIPHR has promoted Claire Williams to the role of chief people officer. The Buckinghamshire-based firm appointed Williams to the role, and a seat on the board, after almost four years of service. She joined CIPHR in March 2018 as head of people, becoming director of people and services later that year.
Chief executive Chris Berry said her appointment was “instrumental to the future growth of the business” and would expand the focus and representation of HR at board level. “She will continue to play a key role in driving CIPHR’s own people strategy and helping our employees reach their full potential,” he said.
Williams worked in HR roles for 12 years at publisher Parragon Books and wine storage specialist Octavian. She also ran her own business, Ten to Five Consultancy, for three years. She said her goal was “to support and develop a strong and truly inclusive company culture, ensuring we invest in our employees to maximise their individual opportunities for success, which will, ultimately, help CIPHR go from strength to strength in the coming years.”
No grey area
Black and White (B&W) Engineering, which has offices in the UK, Middle East and Asia, has appointed a global HR director to further develop its people and culture strategy. Based at the Newcastle office, Rachel Ovington has more than 15 years of experience in HR and talent development and joins B&W from KP Snacks where she has spent the last four years leading the corporate and commercial HR team for the UK as head of HR and business partner to the KP executive team.
B&W says Ovington’s immediate priority is focused on how HR supports and drives business growth through a people-centred strategy. Her key responsibilities include enhancing employee engagement, developing great talent and establishing a strong employer brand.
Steven Horn, director at B&W Engineering, said: “In the last 18 months, our workforce has grown by over 100% in the UK alone. We have a diverse, skilled team who have not only shown great resilience during the pandemic but also delivered some of the most innovative and progressive MEP design projects on a global scale. Bringing Rachel on board will enable us to progress and enhance our holistic HR function ensuring we are supporting and developing our people to be at their best, in a way that’s tailored to both personal and business needs.”
Ovington said: “Our shared values, the passionate, considered vision and genuine connection across the team are what makes the company stand out from the rest.”
On the talent trail
Recruitment group New Directions has appointed former Acorn people chief Genevieve Nock as HR director. The Cardiff-headquartered firm said Nock would take a strategic lead to boost investment in people and teams as it looked to expand.
Nock, who worked at fellow recruiter Acorn for 15 years, said she was looking forward to developing a group-wide HR approach to underpin her new employer’s wider business strategy through the support and development of employees.
The firm’s finance and operations director Bethan Schuchardt said: “We’re a people-centric business and our biggest asset is our people, so we’re really looking forward, with the guidance and support of Genevieve, to further investing in our current and future colleagues across the New Directions Group.”
Nock added: “New Directions already has some of the best people in the business working across a number of different sectors and I’m really looking forward to building on this and continuing to do the best by our employees. The current recruitment climate is very competitive, so it’s more important than ever that we continue to attract, develop and retain talented people.”
Nesting for now
Chester-headquartered employment law, HR and health & safety support firm WorkNest has announced the appointment of Katie Muncaster as chief people officer. A CIPD chartered fellow with a degree in psychology and an HR career spanning more than two decades, Katie has extensive experience and a passion for people and engagement. She will be instrumental in developing WorkNest’s company culture across the UK, and delivering on the promises made in the WorkNest Pledge, a statement on the business’s workplace values and aspirations around ESG and D&I.
She said: “I’m looking forward to building a new internally focused people team to truly support and engage the wonderful WorkNest teams and help to further develop the culture into something that we can all be proud of.”
Gavin Snell, CEO at WorkNest, added: “Working with our leadership team, Katie will be responsible for bringing to life the pledges we recently set out with our entire team’s involvement. It’s important that somebody in your business not only has the enthusiasm to keep up a motivated workforce, but has accountability and can take the reins to develop culture.”