Top job: Sylvia Hamilton

What is your new role?

Group HR director at property company Grosvenor.

Where were you working before and what were your duties?

I was HR director at Ernst & Young’s UK middle market services practice

What qualifications do you hold?

A degree in modern history from Durham and a postgraduate diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I’m also a chartered fellow of the CIPD.

What will be the duties in your new role?

I report to three people: the group chief executive, the UK chief executive and the managing director of fund management. I have a team of 12 in the UK and three reports in the US, Europe and Asia.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

To help more Grosvenor employees achieve their full potential by developing the skills they need to possess in a challenging and fast-changing business.

What are the challenges HR faces in the next five years?

To add demonstrable value to business.

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

Read the business press. Always have a point of view and be able to hold a business conversation.

What is the essential tool in your job?

Common sense and feedback – both receiving and giving.

And the most over-rated?

HR information systems – necessary, but their functionality is always over-rated.

What is the worst thing about HR?

The jargon.

Who is your ultimate guru?

Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank – they have done so much to bring HR to the boardroom, giving HR the language and tools to demonstrate how it can help achieve commercial success.

What is the most annoying piece of management jargon?

The people agenda – usually used by executives who want to walk a mile from it.

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

Going on a pole-climbing course at BT.

What is your essential TV viewing?

Dr Who – I have teenagers.

How do you fill your spare time?

Playing tennis with my family and improving my business French

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Knocking down our house and rebuilding it.

What is your most popular web page?

Ocado – I’m a working mum.

What was the last book you read?

Blood and Sand by Frank Gardiner.

What would be your dream job?

A timelord, such as Dr Who.

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

Billie Piper – continuing the Dr Who theme.

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

A lift engineer.

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