Top job: Rita Dora, director of human capital, Crown Castle UK

Rita Dora has been appointed director of human capital at technology company Crown Castle UK. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing the company’s recruitment, devel-opment, performance manage-ment and reward programmes.

Where did you work before?

I was chief people officer at Sequence UK – Royal & Sun Alliance’s corporate estate agency.

What are your qualifications?

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

To add value as a member of the senior management team and to gain sustainable credibility as a human capital function.

Which aspects are you most looking forward to?

Apart from working in a different industry, I am looking forward to being able to develop an integra-ted approach to people strategies.

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

Having to implement a re-skilling programme for 2,000 people, harmonise their terms and conditions, and develop a new performance management scheme all at the same time. It wasn’t just strange, it was scary.

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

I believe that if HR isn’t recognised for adding value in a commercial sense, then it will disappear as a strategic function and certainly lose its place on management boards.

Who is the ultimate guru?

Charles Handy. He has wonderful insight into people and society, and is not afraid to change his opinions and views.

What is your essential viewing?

I don’t get much time to watch TV, but I’m a fan of BBC4.

What’s the best thing about HR?

Done well, it can make an incredible difference to an organisation. HR should have a kitbag of effective tools and techniques to help the organisation succeed.

And the worst?

Not enough people with commercial and financial acumen.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Not going to university. I wouldn’t recommend young people today take that same risk.

What is the essential tool in your job?

A great HR management system that can provide me with people metrics – enabling me to measure both HR and organisational performance.

And the most over-rated?

Personality questionnaires, because you can hide a personality trait.

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

Work in a business or financial function before moving in to HR, it will give you the credibility with your colleagues in the business.

Do you network?

As much as I can. I am a member of Personnel Today’s HR Director’s Club, the Institute of Directors and a number of other forums.

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?

Ladies fashion buyer for Bergdorf Goodman in New York.

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

Renee Zellwegger. She is petite, blonde, a bit scatty at times and does a great English accent.

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

George Clooney.

Dora’s CV

2004 Director of human capital, Crown Castle UK

2001 Chief people officer, Sequence UK

1999 HR director, Worldwide Group Office, Royal & Sun Alliance

1996 Resourcing and development manager, Global Risks Division, Royal & Sun Alliance

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