Our top interviews with... high street brands
We look back at some of our best interviews with HR professionals working for high street brands
As part of our new personal development series, we take a look back at some of our most exciting profile interviews. Ever wondered what HR professionals in your sector are up to? Then look no further, as these curated collections will give you the lowdown in no time.
Here we look to high street brands. What is it like heading up an HR function for a company with hundreds of branches across the UK? And how should you approach that much-talked-of threat – the death of the high street?
Did you know River Island was started by the chairman selling knitting wool on an East End bombsite? It’s no wonder the high street clothing brand is described by its HRD as a "little bit quirky". We explore how HR Excellence Awards HR Director of the Year Karen Beaven transformed a transactionally-focused HR department into the strategic function it is today.
Superdry is a true retail success story, but until late 2012 had no HR director, despite going through huge growth. HR magazine spoke the woman tasked with putting a core, strategic HR function in place, Andrea Cartwright, who reveals how to get the nuts and bolts right while maintaining an agile, creative culture.
Greggs' HRD Roisin Currie managed a “massive amount of change”, including nearly 400 redundancies and moving into new markets. Keeping staff engaged and motivated was essential, she reports.
The Post Office is going through a process of modernisation, transforming its branches with new technology and a fresher look and feel, and opening them for longer to better meet customer needs. Group people director Neil Hayward talks about working for an organisation that everyone thinks they own.
Group HR director Martin Brook says that if you focus on people’s strengths you can make them great. That could explain why 20% of the executive leadership team at Estée Lauder have worked their way up from the counter, improving social diversity. “If you show the passion, drive and enthusiasm, we will equip you with the skills and move you across the organisation,” says Brook.