Top job: Sue Bonelle, head of training and development, Bradford & Bingley

Sue Bonelle is the new head of training and development at Bradford &
Bingley estate agents. She joins from Royal Sun Alliance, where she held
several training roles.

What will be the duties in your new role?

To expand Bradford & Bingley’s current training and development
programme for our 2,500 staff.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

To put a structured development programme into place for our staff, and to
develop employees in all job roles, both in their personal and business lives.

Which aspects are you most looking forward to?

Being part of the management team in a business that is moving forward and
investing in its future.

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

Once, while I was doing a market appraisal, the owner went upstairs to fetch
something, and moments later he reappeared naked at the top of the stairs.

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

I think more emphasis will be placed upon HR being an integral part of any
business and its future. I envisage the industry will become much more business
and objective-focused.

Who is the ultimate guru?

There are too many to mention. I have people who I look to for advice and
reality checks in all areas of my personal and professional life.

What is your essential viewing?

The 10 o’clock news and Coronation Street.

What is the best thing about HR?

I love the diversity of the job and the way it enables you to be involved
with every aspect of a business.

And the worst?

Making hard decisions that affect people’s lives.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

A parachute jump.

What is the essential tool in your job?

The art of communication.

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

I would advise anyone thinking of a career in HR to get as much work
experience as possible from a diverse selection of companies. Gaining
experience across a number of industries and different situations is the most
invaluable skill you can acquire.

Do you network?

Yes, but not nearly enough.

How do you fill your spare time?

I love spending time with my two children and our two dogs, riding horses
and drinking wine.

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

Ski-instructor or horse breeder.

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

Julia Roberts – I’ve always wished I had long legs.

What is the best or worst office party you have ever attended?

My leaving party from Royal Sun Alliance was the best party ever on the
night – and by far the worst day after.

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