Simon Marshall, director of recruitment, Metropolitan Police Service

Where were you working before and what were your duties?

I have worked in the service for some time and have been involved in many aspects of policing. Recently, my role has been as business manager in large directorates, with responsibility for HR issues, budgets and resources and planning and performance.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

Among other things, to positively contribute towards the service’s objectives of making London the safest major capital city in the world by attracting and recruiting the best possible candidates.

Which aspects do you most look forward to?

Seeing some quantifiable management information that shows that the candidates that we are recruiting are better than we have ever had before.  

How will HR change over the next five years?

Demographic changes will mean that HR policies will have to be radically overhauled in order to achieve a positive position in what will be an extremely competitive recruitment market. The workforce will be getting older while younger people seek short-term training and development opportunities rather than careers for life.

What is the best thing about HR?

“Human resources” is a very emotionless word for “people” – who never cease to amaze me.

How do you fill your spare time?

The usual family and domestic stuff and, when time allows, lots of cycling, swimming and running (I try and do five triathlons a year).

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

My first triathlon.

What is the essential tool in your job?

My private office, and my personal support staff.

And the most over-rated?

Old personnel policies.

What advice would you give to people starting out in HR?

Make sure you have a very good and clear understanding of the organisation’s objectives.

What would be your ideal job?

To be the person who lets the players on the pitch at Lords Cricket Ground.

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

Tom Cruise, because we are both (or in his case, was) married to gorgeous red-heads, and achieving the Home Office recruitment targets really is “Mission Impossible”!

What is the worst office party you’ve ever attended?

I was once “directed” by my line manager to be a Tarzan-O-Gram. I still cringe at the thought.

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

Lance Armstrong, six times winner of the Tour de France. He is someone who has truly led an inspirational life, not just in terms of his sporting achievements but his comeback from only having a 5 per cent chance of living and recovering from cancer.

Marshall’s CV

2004 Director of recruitment, Metropolitan Police

2003 Programme manager, organisational growth, Metropolitan Police

2000 Director of business support, Specialist Crime Directorate

1999 Head of covert finance unit, Specialist Operations Directorate

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