Vicky Williams: HR director, food services, resourcing and development, Compass Group
What is your new role?
HR director, food services, resourcing and development, Compass Group UK & Ireland.
Where were you working before?
I have worked at Compass for 15 years in seven different jobs. Before that, I worked at Marks & Spencer in HR.
What qualifications do you hold?
I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
What are the duties in your new role?
The centralisation of the resourcing function and learning and development. I have seven direct reports, and I report to the UK HR executive director.
What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
To support the group’s businesses by providing and keeping good people, and offering meaningful training solutions.
What are the challenges HR faces in the next five years?
Finding good people and keeping them.
What advice would you give to people starting out in HR?
Remember that where it really matters is at the front line.
What are the essential tools in your job?
Tenacity, passion and commitment.
And the most overrated?
What is the worst thing about HR?
Getting caught up in policies and processes and not adding value.
What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?
Breaking my leg while serving Christmas lunch to the staff dressed as a female GI.
What is the most annoying management jargon?
‘I hear what you are saying’.
How do you fill your spare time?
I have just become chair of governors at my local primary school – it’s great to be able to use my skills doing something different.
What is your essential TV viewing?
The X Factor – I could say it’s because of my children, but I won’t lie.
What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
Leaving Marks & Spencer. It was, in the good old days, a time when no-one left their job, and definitely not a company like M&S.
What is your most popular web page?
Up to last year, www.primelocation.com. We wanted a new house on a certain road, and I couldn’t trust the estate agents to let me know when one came up for sale, even though my brother and sister are both estate agents.
What was the last book you read?
Lonely Planet Guide to Florida.
What song gets you on the dance floor?
Uptown Girl, by Billy Joel.
What would be your dream job?
Chocolate taster for Selfridges.
What is the best office party you’ve ever attended?
A night in Hamleys toy store.
Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
My 10-year-old twins, but with their school bags. They would then have to do their homework, and we would be rescued by Shayne Ward (winner of last year’s X Factor), as a treat.
Oct 2005 to present: HR director, food services, resourcing and development, Compass Group UK & Ireland
June 2003-Oct 2005: HR director, All Leisure Division, Compass Group UK & Ireland
Sept 2000-June 2003: HR director, Restaurant Associates Division, Compass Group UK & Ireland
Sept 1999-Sept 2000: HR director business and industry – London and East, Compass Group UK & Ireland
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