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How Did I Get Here? Sue Schoormans, Managing Director, Complete People Management Ltd…continued

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Sue Schoormans, Managing Director of HR consultancy Complete People Management, reveals the problems of firing blameless employees.


7. What’s the new skill set of HR?
Strategic business partner – the issue has to be forced in if it is not already in existence within your company, for without doing so HR will always be seen as the office based administrative function or the function to deal with all the people issues that managers and directors do not wish to handle.

8. What’s the worst thing about working in HR and the best?
The worst thing is making people redundant because they have done nothing wrong (unless you argue that their performance contributed to the downfall of their roles for whatever reason).

The best thing is supporting managers to deal with difficult situations, like redundancy or discipline. Seeing the sense of achievement of the manager and often relief from the employee after the event is something that should be bottled.

9. What are the key issues preventing HR professionals from getting a seat on the board?
Understanding the business and what its people do within it along with having a can do and will do attitude.

I work regularly in Norway which now has legislation to ensure 40% of board positions are held by women. While I do not agree with this as a position should be awarded on an individual’s competence, it may be the only way to ensure HR do get board positions. It will be interesting to see the impact of the legislation in Norway in a few years time.

10. If you have a mantra or motto what is it?
If you do not try you may always be thinking “I wish” or “I wonder what would have happened”.

If you try and it does not work out then at least you did try and you learned from it – you will become a wiser person.

If you try and it works – fantastic. Well done.

11. What are you currently reading?

  • Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

  • Damian Hughes, Liquid Thinking
  • 12. What would be your desert island disc?

  • Monty Python, Always look on the bright side of life


  • 13. If you could have lunch with two famous people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
    Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein and Nelson Mandela. I would ask them what they had learned in life and what if anything they would change about their lives and why.

    14. If you’d like to be remembered for one thing what is it?
    Taking every opportunity regardless of the risks and personal fear in order to make the most of my life.


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

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