Jill Youds has been at Clarks for almost three years and earlier this year was
named as the HR manager of the year at the Personnel Today Awards (below, with
Personnel Today’s Noel O’Reilly). She heads up the HR function for the retail
division of Clarks Shoes and is responsible for about 600 stores and 10,000

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

I hope to determine and deliver the people elements of our retail strategy
to maximise the profitability of the business.

What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?

I’ve worked with senior management teams for some years now so there are too
many to list!

Who is the ultimate guru?

I like Paul Kearns’ work and Lynda Gratton’s. I learn a lot from Homer
Simpson too!

What is your essential viewing?

The West Wing – essential training for all HR practitioners

What’s the best thing about HR?

Contributing to the business strategy and success. The best thing about HR
at Clarks is our amazing team.

…and the worst?

Managing the canteen, postroom and payroll – which fortunately I don’t do at

How do you fill your spare time?

With a Nintendo Gamecube and the man in my life.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

I moved out of HR into an operations management role for a while to see if I
could practice what I preach. That was a big risk to my credibility as I could
have crashed and burned. It was a fantastic learning experience and I’d
encourage anyone to do it, but it is scary

What is the essential tool in your job?

Camomile Tea. But seriously – benchmarking data.

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?

I’d want to run all aspects of a cruise ship, except all the navigation.

Who would play you in the film of your life and why?

I asked one of my team and they said Uma Thurman, although I’m not sure what
that says!

What’s the worst/best office party you’ve ever attended?

The worst was having to pick up the casualty issues after a major fight at a
do many years ago. I hope the best will be next week at our Madonna tribute
night Christmas party.

Youd’s CV

2000 Head of retail HR, Clarks Shoes

1998 Head of training, Somerfield Stores

1995 Divisional personnel and training manager, Somerfield

1993 District personnel and training officer, Safeway

On the move

Internet security firm Symantec has recruited Claudia Cronin as its senior
compensation analyst. She joins the company from United Biscuits where she was
a reward analyst, responsible for compensation and benefits in the UK and
Europe. In her new role she will be the sole point of contact for all
compensation issues in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Her role involves
devising salary structures, variable pay plans and sales bonus plans for 26
countries in the region. Cronin will report into the global compensation
manager, based at the US HQ in Silicon Valley.

Budget hotel Travel Inn Heathrow has recruited Christine Ireland (pictured)
as HR manager. The hotel is still under construction, but Ireland has been
brought on board to oversee the recruitment of more than 200 new staff. She
will be recruiting staff at all levels from housekeeping to management for the
new hotel, due to open in May 2003. She joins the firm after taking a gap year
where she travelled around the US. Prior to that she was group training and
development manager at Stamford Hotels and Resorts in Australia.

The Regional Development Agency (RDA) has appointed 23 new members to help
build business expertise. The new appointments represent the largest ever
proportion of industry figures to the RDA. Board members with current business
experience will now make up 53 per cent of boards overall. Some of the new
board members include: Chey Garland, Kevin Rowan, Christine Smith, Keith Taylor
and Julie Kenny.

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