Top job round-up 2005

As this is Personnel Today’s last issue for 2005, Careerwise has decided to take a look back at the pearls of wisdom provided by HR directors in our weekly Top job slot. Here we select responses to the question: ‘What are the challenges facing HR over the next five years?’ On the lighter side, we also list a selection of the hits that got them on the dancefloor, as well as answers to the question: ‘Who would play you in the film of your life, and why?’

What are the biggest challenges facing HR over the next five years?

HR’s reputation needs to move even further away from policing and processes, as it can make it appear as an obstruction to effective and efficient management. Business awareness will be a core competency for all HR professionals.
Kim Lardge, HR director, Forestry Commission

I believe that HR faces three key challenges: demographics, employee engagement and business partnership.
Kay Penney, group HR director, Iron Mountain Europe

Employee engagement and retention. And keeping up with employment legislation.
Lisa Blood, head of HR, Berkeley Scott Group

To ensure it changes and is ahead of the curve, leading the business and ensuring that the solutions we put in place continue to be relevant and add value to the business. We need to be innovative, creative, flexible and think as business leaders.
Angela Williams, group HR director, Land Securities

Keeping the momentum going and keeping up with legislation. I can’t believe we’ve still got functions that concentrate on box-ticking and keeping files neat and tidy. It’s time they were banished because, until they are, true HR departments will be continually undermined.
Paul Brewer, HR director, Quintessential Hotels

With each function having to demonstrate that it adds value to an organisation, HR can no longer feel that its contribution cannot be measured. It can – and, in my view, it should be.
Brian Wilson, HR manager, Darlington Building Society

HR’s challenges are the business challenges, which HR people should be responding to.
Rhiannon Chapman, people manager, SBAC

Equipping itself to become a true business partner, rather than just talking about being a business partner – otherwise, we may as well start up that HR outsourcing business right now.
Steve James, vice-president of HR, Hilton UK and Ireland

To stop agonising over its ‘value’ and just get on with it.
Richard Walden, HR director, Bircham Dyson Bell

The challenges remain the same – finding talent, developing talent and retaining talent. But the environment in which we do this changes, and HR people need to understand what the changes will be and plan ahead.
Kathleen Reeves, HR director, Financial Services Authority

One that is evident in the retail and hospitality sector is attracting and motivating the right people for the business. We have to make our organisation attractive to those who have the skills, but want a job or career that fits around their life and family commitments.
Maria Horn, HR director, Costa Coffee

Becoming a true business partner and adding value to the business is crucial. With government legislation steering more towards work-life balance, the task of retaining the same levels of productivity and focus on working life is going to be challenging.
Sarah Landry, head of HR, Yes Telecom

To find out more about those featured above and keep abreast of who is moving where in the industry, go to

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

Patrick Stewart: follicly-challenged, a classical Shakespearean actor and captain of the USS Enterprise. But mostly because my wife thinks he’s great.
Richard Walden, HR director, Bircham Dyson Bell

Ray Winstone: for his subtle negotiation and influencing skills.
Steve James, vice-president of HR, Hilton UK and Ireland

Goldie Hawn: because she’s fit, over 40, sexy and intelligent. Everything I’d like to be – except for the over 40 bit.
Lisa Blood, head of HR, Berkeley Scott Group

Jennifer Saunders: from Absolutely Fabulous and French and Saunders – because she sees the funny side of even the most mundane things. I try to apply the same approach.
Nicky Blatch, HR director, Ford Retail

Renee Zellweger: my life sometimes resembles a collection of very entertaining Bridget Jones moments.
Heather Angus, director of HR, 3663

Source: Personnel Today readers featured in our Top Job slot

What song gets you on the dancefloor?

Top 10

  1. La Macarena by Los Del Mar

  2. Another Chance by Roger Sanchez

  3. Dancing Queen by Abba

  4. Uptown Girl by Billy Joel

  5. Save the Last Dance for Me by Ben E King

  6. Clocks by Coldplay

  7. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor

  8. Show me the Way to Amarillo by Tony Christie

  9. Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve

  10. Shout by Tears for Fears

Source: Personnel Today readers featured in our Top job slot

Tell us about yourself…

To be included in our Top job, Rising star and On the move sections, please e-mail

Comments are closed.