Top job: Andrew Powles, assistant director, people and performance, Identity and Passport Service

Where were you working before and what were your duties?

I was working at Prudential as a people policy manager. I had responsibility for the employee engagement agenda, and developed an award-winning health and productivity strategy.

What qualifications do you hold?

BA Hons in politics Chartered Member of the CIPD and Technician membership of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

What are the duties in your new role?

Development of appropriate reward, diversity and employee relation strategies and tools that will maximise employee engagement and drive performance. I manage a team of around 17 people and report to the executive director of HR.

What are the main challenges HR faces in the next five years?

To transform the function into a more professional, customer-focused one.

What is the essential tool in your job?

A good sense of humour.

And the most overrated?

HR jargon.

What is the worst thing about HR?

The lack of confidence we can appear to show in ourselves by navel-gazing as to whether we’re strategic or not.

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

Having to interview a candidate who was clearly a little worse for wear. Needless to say they didn’t get the job.

Who is your ultimate hero?

My father, who lived to his late 80s, and always looked on the bright side of life – a real role model.

What is the most annoying piece of management jargon?

‘Let’s run this one up the flag pole and see who salutes’.

How do you fill your spare time?

Mainly entertaining my young daughter, who appears to have endless amounts of energy.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Persistent, approachable and positive.

What is your favourite web page? (the official website of Leeds United Football Club).

What song gets you on the dance floor?

I Don’t Feel Like Dancing, by the Scissor Sisters.

What is your worst habit?

Taking on too many things at the same time.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Leaving Nationwide after 17 years.

What three items would you take on to a desert island?

A coffee machine, a CD player, and a satellite dish for Sky Sports.

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

George Clooney – my wife thinks I look like him (after a few glasses of something).


Jan 2008-present
Assistant director, people and performance, Identity and Passport Service

Sep 2004-Dec 2007
People policy manager, Prudential UK and Europe (life insurance provider)

Oct 1999-Aug 2004
Senior manager, employee relations and diversity, Nationwide Building Society

Oct 1996-Sep 1999
Employee relations manager, Nationwide Building Society

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