European head of HR, Almac Sciences Group
What is your new role?
European head of HR with Almac Sciences Group, a pharmaceutical company.
Where were you working before and what were your duties?
Prior to working at Almac Sciences, I spent almost six years as Northern Ireland HR manager with Montupet UK, an automotive supplier.
What qualifications do you hold?
I am a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and am in my final year of my PhD in HR management.
What are the duties in your new role?
My new role encompasses all HR, learning and development, payroll and communication activities for the group in Europe. I report to the group managing director and have 17 people in my team.
What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
This is an exciting time for Almac Sciences, as the group has grown rapidly through acquisition. My challenge is to consolidate the various divisions while continuing to meet their very varied business needs.
What challenges does HR face in the next five years?
Developing and harnessing employee knowledge and continuing to grow HR’s contribution to business strategy.
What advice would you give to people starting out in HR?
To gain as much generalist experience as possible in different environments.
What is the essential tool in your job?
Well-developed interpersonal skills and a high degree of empathy.
And the most over-rated?
Buzzwords – just get on and do the job, don’t worry about the jargon.
What is the worst thing about HR?
Not necessarily the worst, but at times the most difficult can be balancing business needs with legal compliance.
What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?
There are so many I could write a book, but I could get sued for libel.
Who is your ultimate guru?
No one person. I like to learn from many people who all display strengths in
What is the most annoying piece of management jargon?
All of it.
What is your essential TV viewing?
The weather, to check that it’s not going to be raining tomorrow.
Who would you most dislike to work with?
Anyone who is disingenuous.
How do you fill your spare time?
Full-time job, part-time PhD and my two children. I try to do some sport when I can fit it in, too.
What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
Probably leaving a job I enjoyed in England to move over to Northern Ireland when I
What is your most popular web page?
Google Earth – for virtual tourism.
What was the last book you read?
The Twits by Roald Dahl (to my daughter).
What song gets you on the dance floor?
It’s Raining Men by the Weather Girls.
What would be your dream job?
I am happy to see how this one pans out. Ask me in six months’ time.
Who would play you in the film of your life and why?
Someone like Nicole Kidman – great actress, slim and fit, all so like me.
Feb 2006-present European head of HR, Almac Sciences Group
2000-2006 HR manager, Northern Ireland, Montupet UK
1993-2000 HR and admin manager, RSCH Manufacturing UK
1991-1993 Personnel officer, Mercedes-Benz UK