Where were you working before, and what were your responsibilities?
I've worked most of my career in the NHS, starting out in a general management role. Following a spell in the private sector in recruitment, I returned to the NHS in a recruitment and retention role before moving into a generalist position.
What qualifications do you hold?
I have an MSc in HRM, a CIPD and a BA (Hons) in history.
What are the duties in your new role?
Assisting the trust with developing new ways of working, being responsible for setting up a corporate learning and development function, and ensuring that we embed good appraisal practices.
What are the main challenges HR faces in the next five years?
Being clear about how and where we add value, then getting on with delivering that, as well as managing organisational expectations of what we can do.
What is the most overrated tool in your job?
Anything that claims to answer all your problems.
And what work tool would you like to see invented?
Anything that does answer them.
What is the worst thing about HR?
I love the expression that 'in HR we wipe noses but we don't go any lower'. HR is hard work when you have to 'go lower'.
How do you wind down after a bad day in the office?
Rugby training for the aggression, or a walk on the beach with my wife and children for the mellowness.
What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?
Being introduced to Frank Dobson (then health secretary) by my chief executive when neither of us were expecting it.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Energetic, enthusiastic and positive.
What was your lucky break?
I've had a few.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Anyone who has a sparkle in their eyes.
What advice would you give someone starting out in HR?
You need to experience as much of HR as you can to understand good HR, but you must also understand your organisation.
What job would you like your children to do?
Anything that they enjoy and have a passion for. They are far more likely to stick at it, do it well and be recognised in their field.