How would you sum up HR professionals in two words?
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Never stop learning. Whether you are learning something brand new or learning from an experience where something went wrong, there is always an opportunity to become a better version of yourself. This has taught me to constantly explore interesting books, topics and blogs and to never be afraid to ask questions.
What are some of the biggest challenges that HR deals with?
The two biggest challenges are technology and leadership. It’s crucial to find smart HR technology solutions that can add value to both the business and its people. Some of our biggest challenges have been solved through software like Bamboo HR and Small Improvements. Another common challenge in HR is learning to embrace that leadership can come from all levels in the business, not just from the top. It’s important to ensure that all employees have a voice, and an open environment to share their ideas.
How do you see the role of HR changing in the future?
I’d like to think that in the future we stop calling it HR. I don't believe in humans being used as resources – we should be treating people as people. At RedBalloon, our people come to work as themselves and not their job titles. I think that future success will involve using technology to simplify processes, accepting that people will change their minds and their jobs often and learning to disrupt the way things have “always been done”.
What’s your favoured style of coffee?
I don’t drink coffee – can’t stand the smell or taste. It’s Max Brenner hot chocolates for me!
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would that be and why?
One of my favourite things to do outside of work is to shop, and the three brands I admire the most are Burberry, Kate Spade and J.Crew. I would love to have dinner with Christopher Bailey (CEO, Burberry), Deborah Lloyd (President and Creative Director, Kate Spade New York) and Jenna Lyons (President and Creative Director, J.Crew). It would be fascinating to hear firsthand the stories of how they built their careers and their brands into the amazing success stories they are today. These are brands that know how to excel at all areas of the customer experience – social media, consistent high quality products and amazing customer service whether in store or online. Our founder Naomi Simson always says that a brand’s definition is in the heart of a customer, and this is something these brands do so well.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in HR, I’d be….
A casting director. One of my favourite pastimes is reading, and without fail every time I read a book I think about the actor that would play each character if the book were to be adapted into a movie. I guess you could say I like to match the perfect person to the perfect role, whether that be in a book or at work.