Top job: Jan Wohlman, HR director, Ceridian Centrefile

Jan Wohlman has been appointed HR director at Ceridian Centrefile, the managed HR services company. For the past three years she has been working as a freelance HR consultant on a range of projects, including outsourcing and implementing reward and recognition strategies.

What are the duties in your new role?

I have a unique dual role that is internally facing for the business and
externally facing with customers.

I have responsibility for evolving and driving the strategic people plan within the company, supporting more than 800 employees across the UK.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

I hope to develop a team that really makes a difference to the business and drives the people plan. We have five key strategic areas to focus on, which are fully integrated within the overall business plan.

Which aspects are you most looking forward to?

Being part of a great team.

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

Swimming through a cave with no natural daylight in very cold water while on an adventure trip.

How will HR change over the next five years?

HR outsourcing will evolve and grow – it will become the norm. In particular I think this will apply to the transaction processing activity, but I also believe we will start to witness a trend towards outsourcing other more strategic HR activities.

Who is your ultimate guru?

My husband.

What is your essential viewing?

American Chopper – a TV programme about Orange County Choppers – a company based in New York that builds customised motorcycles.

What is the best thing about HR?

Having the opportunity to get to the heart of the business – the people.

How do you fill your spare time?

Riding my motorbike.

What is the essential tool in your job?

Ears – listening is essential.

And the most over-rated?

E-mail.

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

Really get to know and understand the business of the organisation that you are working for and always look for opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the team you’re working in. 

Do you network?

Speaking to other HR professionals enables me to benchmark my organisation against others and provides an opportunity to share ideas and experiences. It is always good to hear about something that really worked in another organisation.

What would be your ideal job?

HR director at Harley Davidson.

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

The guys from the show American Chopper – I would be quite scared, but with their mechanical skills they’d probably be able to fix it.

Wohlman’s CV

2004  HR director, Ceridian Centrefile

2001  Freelance HR consultant

1999  Head of HR, Ceridian Centrefile

1996  HR director, Wang Global

1994  Head of HR, William Sutton

 

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