Sally Hopper, assistant director of HR, Hertfordshire County Council
Ellie Froggatt, September 17, 2019
Hopper has oversight for the people strategy for the council and associated traded companies
Her role is to ensure the complex range of services the council provides have people with the right skills to operate in the most effective way. Hopper is currently leading a ‘Future Workforce’ review to consider the way the council will work and provide its services. Keen to start and keep the conversation going on mental health and wellbeing, Hopper introduced mental health first aiders across the council in 2018.
Passionate about the apprenticeship levy, viewing it as a key enabler to social mobility, Hopper set up the Hertfordshire Apprenticeship Alliance (HAA) in 2016. She worked with the Local Enterprise Partnership to bring together all public services and learning providers across the county to use the apprenticeship levy to address skills gaps. The HAA has been held up as an example of best practice by the Department for Education.
Prior to joining Hertfordshire County Council Hopper worked as the HR director at the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), better known as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, after the 2012 Olympic Games. She led a change programme to bring together all the organisations involved in the games to form ‘one organisation’.
Before LLDC Hopper was head of HR at The Scout Association where she introduced a new performance management system and undertook a total reward review.
Earning her ‘HR stripes’ Hopper spent nearly 20 years in the City of London Corporation and proudly talks about the development opportunity this job afforded her, starting as an administrative assistant in 1989 and leaving as a senior manager in 2008.
A keen advocate for the environment, Hopper is a trustee of the London Playing Fields Foundation and a lifetime user of Epping Forest, where you may spot her litter picking. Hopper has provided HR support to a number of charities on a pro-bono basis and this inspired her in 2015 to become a founding member of the Guild of HR.
Hopper has a continual curiosity about organisational life and behaviour and is two-thirds of the way through her doctorate in management.