Michael Evans has been appointed as head of HR at Barclays Capital investment bank. His new role will focus on the fundamentals of HR, and bringing it into a strategic leadership role within the company.
Where were you working before and what were your duties?
I have spent the past 10 years at General Electric in the US, in GE Capital. Most recently, I was senior vice-president of global HR for commercial equipment financing, reporting to the chief executive.
What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
I hope to partner with the extended leadership team to make Barclays Capital the employer of choice in the markets in which we compete.
Which aspects are you most looking forward to?
Helping my team expand their core competencies to further business growth.
How will HR change over the next five years?
We will expand our impact and contribution to the business, especially in terms of globalising our delivery and expanding our leadership development capability.
Who is your ultimate guru?
I have many people I strongly admire in both my profession and in business in general.
What is the best thing about HR?
Being able to introduce junior talent to a company and watch it grow.
And the worst?
Employee departures. These are always unfortunate and difficult. It is critical they are handled appropriately and people are treated with dignity.
What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?
Taking the lead role on several large global acquisitions have been, if not strange, the most challenging and often unpredictable experiences as an HR leader.
How do you fill your spare time?
I like to spend time with my wife and son. I try to take time to run, and I’m an avid college and professional sports fan.
What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
Moving from GE to Barclays Capital – hopefully more of a challenge than a risk.
What is the essential tool in your job?
The ability to manage and lead organisations through change.
And the most overrated?
The number of years of career experience. What is important is the breadth, scope and diversity of experience.
What advice would you give to people starting out in HR?
Take the time to learn the business activities you support. Also, you should take on the tough assignments, because that will distinguish you from your peers and help to advance your career.
What would be your ideal job?
The senior personnel officer for a growth-oriented, global business – which is the position I am now in.
Who would play you in the film of your life and why?
Hopefully someone more photogenic, and with a good sense of humour!
What is the best office party you’ve ever attended?
I have attended some incredible leadership events/parties during my time at GE and Pepsi. Hearing Jack Welch speak at his final leadership meeting stands out.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?
Someone trying to sell me something I really didn’t want or need.
2004 Head of HR, Barclays Capital
2000 Senior vice-president of global HR, GE
1997 Vice-president of HR, GE Capital CEF
1994 Vice-president of HR, GE Mortgage Corporation
1991 Vice-president of HR, Pepsi Cola Regions