Top job: Claire Jefferies

What is your current role?

I am head of HR at Intrum Justitia, which is a credit management services firm. It’s my third role at the company, having worked as an HR manager and an HR officer here.

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

I worked for a manufacturing company as a personnel manager – a very generalist, ‘standalone’ role.

What are your duties in your current role?

I am responsible for ensuring that HR’s objectives are in line with business needs and requirements. Covering England, Scotland and Ireland, there are nine in the team (including me and the pay and benefits team). I report to our managing director.

What qualifications do you hold?

I am MCIPD qualified.

What do you hope to achieve in your role?

To continue working with a multi-skilled, high-performing team that works in partnership with the business. This will be achieved through a proactive approach to HR strategy, and a vision that people understand and aspire to achieve.

What challenges does HR face in the next five years?

Forever-changing employment law.

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

Always be open minded; remember there are two sides to every story; never accept anything at face value; and do not be afraid to challenge others.

What is the essential tool in your job?

Ears – though that may sound cheesy.

And the most overrated?

The Outlook calendar – probably more a reflection of my IT skills rather than the tool.

What is the worst thing about HR?

Having to step in to help correct mistakes that could have been avoided if someone had taken the time to come and ask.

Who is your ultimate guru?

Lou Handley – the person who gave me my first job in personnel and set the standards I aspire to today. He gave me a base to grow from and the confidence to move on.

What is the most annoying piece of management jargon?

‘Taking a step back’.

Who would you most dislike to work with?

Someone who doesn’t appreciate the value we add to the business.

How do you fill your spare time?

Finding excuses not to go to the gym.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Leaving a job that I hated without having another one to go to. Fate was looking after me, so I just took some time out to travel and then joined Intrum Justitia.

What is your essential TV viewing?

Shamefully, I am a total TV addict. Current must-sees are Little Britain, Lost and Rome.

What was the last book you read?

Demons and Angels, by Dan Brown.

What would be your dream job?

As a natural show-off, taking the lead in a West End musical.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

I say Kylie Minogue. My colleagues say Dolly Parton.

What was the worst office party you ever attended?

Someone’s leaving do, when I was the only person who turned up.

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

Donny Osmond – now that’s blown my street cred.


Claire Jefferies’ CV

  • February 2005 – Head of HR, Intrum Justitia
  • November 2001-January 2005 – HR manager, Intrum Justitia
  • January 2001-October 2001 – HR officer, Intrum Justitia
  • August 2000-December 2000 – Career break
  • July 1999-August 2000 – Personnel manager, Munster Joinery UK
  • November 1994-June 1999 – Various HR roles, Group 4

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