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"Over the next year I want to drive performance management and grow talent," says HRD at Bull

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At the HR magazine HR Excellence Awards in 2011 we named Jo Sims, who was then group head of HR at Access, as our rising star, saying: “It can surely only be a matter of time before an HR director role in a large corporate beckons.”

Our predictions were true, as Sims was last month named HR director for the UK and Ireland, at information systems firm Bull.

Sims told HR magazine: "I was, and still am, very proud of winning the award. It sits with pride on my desk.

"The fact that no-one else had been shortlisted shocked me. It's always great to be recognised in your profession and even better when it is such a credible award."

Sims added: "To achieve that recognition in your career really gives you the confidence you need to progress further."

In her new role at Bull, Sims will focus on supporting UK & Ireland CEO Andrew Carr in driving the next phase of Bull's growth both as a company and in terms of staff performance. This will include helping develop the Bull 3.0 programme and delivering a step-change in the way Bull engages with its employees.

Sims is expected to play a key role in the company's plans to bring on board "the high performance management team of the future" through the induction of employee initiatives, including a graduate scheme and a bespoke management development programme.

The programme, known as Pamplona, will take 20 high potential employees or managers in the UK and Ireland and put them through accredited business focused modules, designed to give them the right skills and the right platforms to transform them into the leaders of tomorrow.

Sims said: "We are openly inviting all of our staff, and particularly those on our development schemes, to challenge what we do and the way we do things so that we are on a continual path of improvement.

"Over the next year I want to drive performance management and grow talent. I also want Bull to be in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For, through engagement and reward."