Personal profile

Simon Hill
has recently taken over as HR manager for the scientific instrument company,
Leica Microsystems. He is responsible for three Cambridge-based companies in
the group, specialising in image analysis software and equipment for the
semi-conductor industry.


What is
the most important lesson you have learnt in your career?

Always push
yourself that little bit further, and with hard work and determination, almost
anything is possible. Invest time in developing yourself and those around you.


What is
the strangest situation you have had to deal with at work?

to an interviewee I would not interview him after he turned up having had one
too many.


If your
house was on fire and you could save one object, what would it be?

A cupboard
full of photo albums, including ones of my recent wedding and honeymoon.


If you
had three wishes to change your company, what would they be?

employees have more time for their own training and development, and managers
appreciate the importance of this as the company rapidly expands. No more
salary grievances would be my third wish.


What is
the best thing about working in HR?

variety, and working with the most complex things on this planet  – human beings.


What is
the worst?

pulled in so many different directions. This makes prioritising a real


You have stumbled on a time machine
hidden in the vaults of your company building. What time period would you visit
and why?

The time of
the Romans. They were the first true civilisation, self-sufficient, highly educated
and innovative, creative with a keen eye for commerce and a love for the good
things in life such as literature, theatre, architecture and wine.


If you could adopt the management style
of an historical character, whose would you adopt and why?

Shackleton, the explorer. He accepted and met challenges with infectious drive
and enthusiasm. When the going got tough, he was prepared to take difficult
decisions to see his mission through. He led by example and commanded the
respect of all, while remaining compassionate and caring.


How do
you get to work?

By car, but
my conscience tells me I should cycle the five miles.


would you do if you had more spare time?

Have a
lunch break. I love the outdoors, so more time to explore the countryside and
the coastline.


If you
were to write a book, which subject would you choose to write about?

A guide to
British country pubs.


2000 HR manager, Leica Microsystems

1999 HR officer, Leica Microsystems

1998 HR assistant, Cambridge Consultants

1996 HR assistant, Cambridgeshire County

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