Amanda Towse is the new HR director at corporate rescue and recovery company, Begbies Traynor. She is the first HR professional at the firm, and will work with the senior partners to provide ‘a competitive edge through people’.
Where did you work before and what were your duties?
At construction company Mow-lem, in its facilities management division. I was a business HR manager, focusing on business development and the mobili-sation of new contracts and transfer of staff.
What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
To work with the partners to integrate the cultures of the different offices, and to contribute to making an already successful business even more so.
Which aspects are you most looking forward to?
Being part of the overall business process, as opposed to an overhead sitting at the edge just implementing policies.
What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?
When I was younger, I worked at a video store and had to ask Keith Chegwin and Sarah Bright-man (separately!) for proof of ID before they could rent a video.
How will HR change over the next five years?
People will always be people but business and its needs will change – HR will have to be flexible and adapt to that change to ensure that it still has influence.
What is your essential viewing?
ER and The West Wing, and being in the car in time for The Archers.
What is the best thing about HR?
The diverse nature of the work and the ability to develop both individuals and businesses.
And the worst?
The sick feeling I get before delivering bad news. I know it has to be done, but it really doesn’t get any easier.
How do you fill your spare time?
I follow the dream at Manchester City Football Club.
What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
See the above answer!
What is the essential tool in your job?
Being able to adapt to different situations and people.
And the most over-rated?
Using e-mail instead of personal contact.
What advice would you give to people starting out in HR?
Don’t lose sight of the commercial side of the business.
What would be your ideal job?
Starring in a West End musical or in a Hollywood blockbuster.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
A young me would be Drew Barrymore.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?
Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown – what an objectionable man.
2004 HR director, Begbies Traynor Corporate Rescue & Recovery
2001 HR manager, Mowlem Managed Services
1997 HR adviser, Eversheds Leeds & Manchester