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Annie Hayes



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How Did I Get Here? Jo Bond, RightCoutts MD an HR consultancy


Jo Bond, RightCoutts

Jo Bond explains why the worst aspect of working in the HR arena is people that don’t value the input of the function; read on to find out why Elizabeth I, Joan of Arc and Grace Darling would make Jo’s lunch list.

1. How strategic is your current role and what does it involve?
As managing director of a leading HR consultancy, a key component of my role is shaping the strategic direction of the business – this involves first of all reviewing analyses and trends in the economy, and how these are likely to impact our clients, the HR marketplace and our competition; then planning and guiding the company, with my senior management team.

2. How is the HR function perceived within your organisation?
We’re in the business of helping other organisations achieve the most from their human capital and I believe it is essential that we model best practice in having our HR Director as a full and active UK board member. HR is the cornerstone of our business strategy and influences our forecasting and planning.

3. How does your business use HR practices to get ahead?
At RightCoutts we are strong believers in career development and we strive to practice excellence in HR so that we are seen as employers of choice in our sector. We offer many of these services to our clients and it is important that we practice genuinely what we preach. This includes coaching, employee engagement surveys, leadership development, regular reviews of benefits and rewards; annual individual career reviews – quite separate from appraisals discussions; learning and development opportunities; flexible working possibilities and competency-based 360° assessments for our recruitment needs.

4. Why is your company such a great place to work?
There is a tremendous sense of satisfaction to be gained from helping organisations to train and develop their employees, and at RightCoutts we take pride in helping organisations to align business goals with employees’ needs.

5. How does HR win hearts and minds in your business?
By being responsive, attentive, consistent and available. Our HR team is attuned to the needs and wants of our employees and the business, and we believe in frank and genuine conversation. We try never to make promises that we can’t keep, and to explain wherever possible the reasoning behind our actions.

6. Will HR survive outsourcing and changes to service delivery?
HR will survive, providing that it adapts accordingly. Usually the parts that are being outsourced are the tactical and/or administrative elements. Therefore, the surviving elements will become increasingly strategic, and allow HR to be focused on the highest levels of business. As a result, I believe that this will enable the discipline to fully embrace and excel at new opportunities and challenges.

7. What’s the new skill set of HR?
HR is more strategic in function than ever before, and HR professionals must be recognised business partners focused on enhancing the human capital of the organisation.

8. What’s the worst thing about working in HR and the best?
The worst situations are when you are working with individuals who don’t appreciate the value of HR and you are, therefore, unable to influence business practice. The best situations are when you achieve positive alignment in companies, i.e. maximizing at the same time organisational goals and individual objectives.

9. What are the key issues preventing HR professionals from getting a seat on the board?
A lack of business, financial and commercial knowledge/expertise.

10. If you have a mantra/motto what is it?
Life is really very simple: what you give out, you get back.

11. What are you currently reading?
Farewell But Not Goodbye, by Bobby Robson.

12. What would be your desert island disc?
Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen.

13. If you could have lunch with three famous people, dead or alive who would they be and why?
Elizabeth I, Joan of Arc and Grace Darling. Three strong, inspirational women who each managed to make an enormous difference at a time when women were not recognized as having any transformational power.

14. If you’d like to be remembered for one thing what is it?
If people remembered me for having integrity, I would certainly be very honoured. It’s a quality I admire above all others.

Previous career profiles can be seen on the How Did I Get Here? page.

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Annie Hayes


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