Top job: Colette Richardson

Colette Richardson has been appointed as a consultant by Insight HR & Management Consultancy. In her new role, she will manage the outsourced HR function on behalf of Amicus Group Housing Association.

Where were you working before and what were your duties?

Sainsbury’s supermarkets as personnel and training manager. This was a generalist HR role within the superstore.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

Greater experience of another sector. Consultancy skills, job satisfaction and a good work-life balance.

Which aspects are you most looking forward to?

The strategic and functional alignment of HR. Supporting line managers to develop their skills, and continually improving the working experience.

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

One of my closest friends turned up at my workplace in her wedding dress to announce she had just got married!

How do you think HR will change over the next five years?

There will be increased shared services, and outsourcing of the function will move it to a more strategic level. And there will be even more focus on legal expertise.

Who is the ultimate guru?

Daniel Goleman for his explanations on emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

What is your essential viewing?

Grand Designs for inspiration of designing and building your own home. And Friday Night With Jonathan Ross for a good start to the weekend.

What is the best thing about HR?

The variety of work and experiences – there is never a dull moment.

And the worst?

Admin overload if you don’t have a good HR system or devolve enough to other managers.

How do you fill your spare time?

Currently revising for my final CIPD elective.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

A skydive from 12,000 feet called ‘Jump the Beach’ in Australia – I have the video to prove it!

What is the essential tool in your job?

Common sense.

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

Gain experience all round, as well as outside of HR to have a more rounded approach. Always keep your skills updated by continuing some form of professional development.

What would be your ideal job?

Chocolate taster for Marks & Spencer’s Italian Collection, with specific responsibility for quality control of the ‘Panna Cotta’ range.

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

Helen Hunt, the American actress, as I’m told we look very similar.

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

Prunella Scales in her obsessed Tesco-granny shopping mode.

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