Being able to put a name to the face every employee in the company is not a
claim many HR professionals can boast, especially if it’s a hotel with more
than 700 staff. Alison Bates does have a bit of an advantage in remembering at
least one name though – her husband of 20 years is the head chef.

"We make it a strict rule not to see each other in work. But the fact
that we’re in the same business really helps, as we understand the pressures
and sometimes unsociable hours we both face," she explains.

Since she started work at the Welsh resort in 1997, the hotel has undergone
a £100m expansion programme which has seen the workforce grow from 200 to 700.
Bates has interviewed nearly all of them and it is the hands-on aspect she
enjoys most.

"That’s the beauty of this role. You’re with them from the very
beginning and they’re not just anonymous colleagues walking around the

In her new role she will be more involved with staff welfare issues and HR
planning and hopes to help raise the standards of the resort through the
quality of its HR function. With the 2010 Ryder Cup due to be held in Wales,
the need for quality people is even greater and Bates is confident that HR will
play a key role in the hotel’s preparation.

"The role of HR at Celtic Manor is very important and I’m involved in
all aspects of the day-to-day operation, sitting on the strategic planning team
that addresses future direction of the resort in terms of both the product and
the people," she explains.


2001 Personnel manager, Celtic Manor
1998 Employment manager, Celtic Manor
1997 Recruitment officer, Celtic Manor
1989 Personnel officer, Hilton Hotel, Newport

On the move

Mark Carroll has been appointed as
race equality adviser at the Home Office. Carroll has a background in
developing black and ethnic minority organisations as well as providing
consultancy advice at the most senior levels on diversity and race equality. He
takes up the role next month following the retirement of Trevor Hall, CBE, and
will be responsible for advising on the promotion, implementation and
monitoring of race equality in Home Office policy and programmes.

Jill McCormick is the new group head of training and
development at Carlton Communications. She joins the company from Ernst &
Young where she was senior HR manager. McCormick will be responsible for
providing the full range of strategic training and development for staff in the
group. She will report directly to Tony Williams, the group’s first dedicated
HR director. Previously, she has held HR roles at Arcadia, Woolworth’s and
Allied Domecq.

Andrew Davie has joined Chivas
Brothers as HR director. He takes up the top HR role at the newly formed Pernod
Ricard whiskey business which comprises the brands and operations of Campbell
Distillers and Chivas Brothers. Davie joined Pernod Ricard in 1991 and will be
part of a management team of nine reporting directly to chairman and chief
executive Georges Nectoux.

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