Tim Williams has been appointed HR director of Edexcel, a company specialising in supplying academic, vocational and work-based qualifications to schools, colleges, universities and employers. It was formed as a result of the merger between BTec – the leading provider of applied and vocational qualifications – and the University of London Examinations and Assessments Council.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your career?
Never to make assumptions, to always fully evaluate a situation before taking action.
What is the strangest situation you have had to deal with at work?
Doing a double act at a conference with Des Lynam. I had to be the butt of some of his jokes, and he said some things about me which not many people would normally be able to say.
Imagine being stranded on a desert island with enough food for only two people. Who would you choose as your companion and why?
Winston Churchill, because of the way he epitomised the British spirit and rallied the whole nation, and the way he reconstructed everything with the other leaders.
If you could change something about your company, what would it be?
Edexcel is the result of a merger three years ago and there is still a lot of work to support people to get the company to work as one.
What is the best thing about working in HR?
The variety and being creative to help individuals add value to their organisation.
What is the worst?
The way people expect personnel professionals to be a soft touch – the reality is that we are business people like everybody else.
You have stumbled upon a time machine hidden in the vaults of your company building. What time period would you visit and why?
I would go back in time to the late 1960s when Wales was arguably the greatest rugby-playing nation in the world.
How do you get to work?
A combination of car, train and walking.
What would you do if you had more spare time?
A bit more exercise, and I would also like to learn to play the guitar.
What would you choose as your Mastermind specialist subject.
What is your greatest strength?
The ability to listen to people to get both sides of the argument.
What is your least appealing characteristic?
September 2000 HR director Edexcel
June 1999 HR consultant
August 1995 HR director, Whitbread Pubs Partnership
March 1990 HR director, Whitbread Beer Company