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Name: Julie Barrow

Job title: HR manager leading the caring about our people routine

Company: Tesco

Job responsibilities

It is a new corporate role: ensuring that Tesco is a satisfying place to work, looking after the health and wellbeing of staff.

Previous jobs

I was an operational HR manager at Tesco head office; before that, HR manager at a Gordons Gin manufacturing site and at pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp and Dohme.

What attracted you to working in your sector?

The emphasis on customer focus at Tesco was particularly interesting and the fact that retail is changing very fast.

Which of your previous jobs has had the most impact on your current role?

My first job at Tesco, as a commercial HR manager at head office, was fascinating because I was close to the line, and getting involved in business. I do see myself as a businesswoman and not just an HR manager.

What are the key skills that you need to succeed in your current role?

Listening to staff, influencing colleagues and also tenacity, in helping bring about change in a huge organisation.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Helping to shape the future vision for Tescos people, and the variety of people that I meet and work with.

What do you enjoy least about your job?

It has taken longer than I thought to get agreement on the scope and direction of my new job, but thats all settled now.

What has been your greatest achievement in work?

Perhaps it is yet to come in this new role. But at Merck it was when I had to build an entirely new sales and marketing force.

Who has been the greatest influence on your work?

Probably my first boss, when I was working as HR manager at a small retail bakery business. He was very charismatic he could get people to do almost anything for him.

How big a part does human resources play in your company?

Obviously it is absolutely key. We use the balanced scorecard approach at Tesco people are 25% of that scorecard. Customers and staff are at the heart of what we do.

What is the most important contribution that HR makes to business?

It is the focus on people, working with that resource.

Which business person do you most admire?

Terry Leahy, our chief executive. He is passionate about the vision, and no one tries harder for customers.