Liz Ogden has been appointed HR director of the newly-merged Group 4 Securicor, a security services company. She was previously the HR director at Securicor Security, which was one half of the new company.
What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
Through targeted people development practices and HR strategy, I hope to combine the best elements from both companies.
Which aspect are you most looking forward to?
Next year will see the introduction of licensing within the private security industry. This will raise standards and benefit both customers and employees in the long term.
What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?
I worked a night shift with one of our security teams, and coming home through central London at dawn was very surreal.
How will HR change over the next five years?
I expect to see a gradual evolution towards HR focusing more on key strategic issues and spending less time on administration. It is important we spend our time getting to the core of issues and contributing real added value rather than concentrating too much on compliance.
What is your essential viewing?
The recent series on Venice – a city I adore. I also like X Factor and Sex and the City.
What is the best thing about HR?
HR touches everything in a business from the customer to the balance sheet.
And the worst?
Because HR is so pervasive, it’s easy to undervalue it.
How do you fill your spare time?
At home with the family or in the garden accompanied by a good bottle of wine.
What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
Leaving HR and taking up a role with profit and loss responsibility. I learnt so much and have never regretted it.
What is the essential tool in your job?
My voice. I spend most of my time talking to people, discussing problems and trying to understand people and influence change.
And the most over-rated?
Computers, Blackberries and the latest gizmos.
What advice would you give to people starting out in HR?
It is important they get experience in other parts of the business so they have an understanding of what makes it tick.
What would be your ideal job?
For now, I can’t imagine doing anything different.
What is the best office party you’ve ever attended?
We had a party this summer overlooking the Thames and the boss did karaoke on the coach.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?
Any politician. They really have mastered the art of talking without telling you anything.
2004 HR director, Group 4 Securicor
2002 HR director, Securicor Security
1999 HR director, Securicor Justice Services
1997 Senior manager, Lombard Tricity Finance
1992 Head of HR, Lombard Tricity Finance