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Annie Hayes



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How Did I Get Here? Kate Price, HR Director, Punch Taverns


Kate Price started out in an administrative capacity working for the Royal Air Force, today she heads up the HR team for the UK’s second largest operator of leased and tenanted pubs; read her story on ‘military to hops’ to find out how she made it.

1. What’s your current job role?
I’m the HR Director for Punch Taverns, the UK’s second largest operator of leased and tenanted pubs with 8,200 outlets nationwide.

2. What did you do before this job?
Prior to getting this job in January 2005, I worked as an Executive Development Consultant for Capital One.

3. Describe your route into HR
I began my career as an Administrative/Personnel Officer in the Royal Air Force and after six years moved to join a large retailer to understand the private sector in both the commercial and personnel field. I also continued with my education, attending university in Belfast to gain a post-graduate qualification in Training and Human Resource Management during this period.

My next position was with a company that was new into Europe and involved seven years of covering various aspects of HR, from Head of Recruitment to change consultancy, evolving as the company grew. This role also took me across to the headquarters in the USA where the role became focused on executive development, succession planning and coaching of the senior team.

4. Did you always want to work in HR?
I always knew that I wanted to work with people, even when I was in the military I realised that my key motivations were centred around roles that involved managing/ leading groups of people. One of my most challenging and rewarding roles was as a ‘Flight Commander’ at the school of recruit training in Lincolnshire.

This role involved leading a group of 60 individuals through a six week intensive training course, both academically and physically.

5. What would you say has been the most significant event in your career to date?
Influencing a business to realise just how valuable a role people play in order to make the business successful.

6. How do you think the role of HR has changed since you began your HR career?
The role has become much more strategic – influencing and driving business strategy in partnership with the board it has become more proactive, not just reactive.

As a consequence of this the role and the function has also had to become more measurable and accountable.

7. What single thing would improve your working life?
Better supplier systems that deliver good quality and consistent data.

8. What’s your favourite part of the HR Zone site?
I like the HR tips and the employment law news and features – I find it really useful.

9. Have you made contact with any other members?
Not yet, but I intend to. I’m looking forward to seeing who I know on there.

10. Do you have any advice for those looking to embark on a career in HR?
You need to really understand yourself – have a good personal awareness and an ability to listen, engage and influence others.

11. How does your business use HR practices to get ahead?
By creating award-winning training programmes. We have been short-listed for four awards in this year’s prestigious National Innkeeping Training Awards (NITAs) for various induction and training courses, which is a great endorsement of our work for all elements of the Punch business.

12. If you have a mantra/motto what is it?
You can never learn too much.

13. What are you currently reading?
I’m studying for a diploma in psychotherapy and counselling, so at the moment it’s all educational literature and case studies!

14. What would be your desert island disc?
I love Alicia Keys – ‘A Woman’s Worth’.

15. If you could have lunch with three famous people, dead or alive who would they be and why?

  • Audrey Hepburn – for her grace and elegance

  • James Dean – for his fearless love of life

  • Michael Palin – because he has travelled the world, seen so many places and experienced their different cultures

16. If you’d like to be remembered for one thing what is it?
Being authentic.

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

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Annie Hayes


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