Top job: Brad Taylor, head of HR, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

Where were you working before, and what were your responsibilities?

I was working as an HR business partner at CIMA, responsible for delivering HR solutions within our brand and education directorates.

What qualifications do you hold?

I have a postgraduate diploma in personnel management from Kingston University.

What are the duties in your new role?

I head up the HR department for CIMA. My focus will be on ensuring that, as CIMA continues to grow globally, HR supports the organisation by recruiting and developing people who are able to deliver our mission and strategic aims.

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

Developing and maintaining talent and ensuring that HR delivers a commercially focused approach.

What is the most overrated tool in your job?

E-mail. It has led to people wanting everything in writing.

And what work tool would you like to see invented?

Something that would enable me to write documents and respond to e-mail by thought.

What is the worst thing about HR?

When people describe you as ‘HR’, as in ‘HR has said you need to…’ We have names.

How do you wind down after a bad day in the office?

I spend time with my wife and our five-week old son. I also enjoy video editing, photography and playing the keyboard.

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

At a previous company I received a phone call from a manager who wanted to know what to do with his wife, as she was threatening to come in and publicly humiliate him.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Optimistic, realistic and professional.

What was your lucky break?

Being given the opportunity to make a career move into HR at Barclays.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Actor Patrick Stewart. His Jean Luc Picard character in Star Trek was a leadership icon and he’d be a fascinating dinner party guest.

What advice would you give someone starting out in HR?

Spend time listening to people to fully understand their perspective before giving advice. Good HR is all about effective communication.

What job would you like your children to do?

Whatever they are passionate about. We spend so much of our lives at work that it has to be something enjoyable.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Leaving my last employer after a long period of time and facing the loss of security that went with it.

Sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence.

It’s a one-way journey so enjoy the people and the experience.


  • May 2007-May 2008: HR business partner, CIMA

  • June 2004-May 2006: Employee relations adviser, Barclays

  • Sep 2002-Jun 2004: Resourcing and learning adviser, Barclays

  • Feb 2001-Sep 2002: Human resources adviser, Barclays

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