Job title: Human resources manager
Company: De Roma Ice Cream
Running the HR department, employee relations, recruitment, resource planning, training and development.
Personnel associate for BAE Systems from 1997 to 2000; prior to that recruitment consultant for Hera Recruitment from 1995-1997; began on HR ladder in the NHS after university.
What attracted you to HR?
I wanted to be in a role that involved a lot of interaction with people but where I felt I could make a difference.
Which of your previous jobs has had the most impact on your current role?
The experience I gained at BAE Systems taught me a lot about best practice and the latest in HR fashion, but also about how difficult it can be to act as an individual in a large company.
What are the key skills that you need to succeed in your current role?
Patience, diplomacy, tenacity, focus on where you want to go and a sense of humour are all essential to doing any job well.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The constantly changing environment and planning for the future to ensure success plus all the ice cream we can eat.
What do you enjoy least about your job?
Too much to do and too little time, which unfortunately means some things just dont get done I hate that.
What has been your greatest achievement at work?
Persuading managers that HR does contribute to the business, that it can be measured and that it delivers to the bottom line.
Who has been the greatest influence on your work?
No single person has influenced my work, although I like Tom Peters. Im very reliant on former work colleagues for advice.
What advice would you give to people starting out in an HR career?
Never give up. Its very hard to get your foot in the door but if you want something badly enough you will have it.
What is the most important contribution that HR makes to business?
It moves the company forward through the introduction of new skills. It provides an environment for people to develop and it educates the business to focus on its biggest asset people.
Which business person do you admire?
I particularly admire anyone who has developed a truly great invention or concept and has never given up trying to succeed, no matter how many people tell them it wont work.