Head to head

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Head to headOn 11 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today The series where we look at similar roles in different types oforganisations This week: Clare Smith, HR director at care provider Leonard Cheshire andJanice Cook, HR director at children’s charity NCH 1. What are your main responsibilities? CS My job falls into two parts. I am responsible for everything to do withHR so that includes personnel, employment law, training and health and safetyfor nearly 8,000 employees. Then there are the general responsibilities of amain board director and includes strategic direction and support initiativesthat will have a positive effect on the lives of disabled people, such asWorkability and Jobability. JC I’m a member of the senior management group responsible for the strategicleadership. I also lead corporate policy and strategy in HR, includingpersonnel, organisational development, training and development,communications, management information and health, safety and welfare. 2. What’s the pay like? CS Recent surveys show that the voluntary sector pays directors about 20 percent less than those in the private sector and I am no exception. However,there are other compensations working in the voluntary sector and I know I ampaid fairly vis-à-vis my colleagues. JC In accordance with our salary policy for senior managers, my pay is in linewith the comparable part of the charity sector market. 3. How flexible are the hours? CS Leonard Cheshire has more than 160 operational sites, which means I amout of the office quite a lot. I have to work flexible hours as the travellingmeans very early starts and late finishes. The rest of the time I am in theoffice. JC As a senior manager with significant responsibilities, the hours aredemanding. I try to stay within the recommended 48 hours per week, but someflexibility is possible and time off in lieu is available. 4. What do you like most about the job? CS The people are great. I have a superb team, like-minded colleagues and avery supportive boss. There is also a lot of laughter so what more could Iwant? JC The corporate strategic planning and development responsibilities thatcomplement my strategic organisational development role. 5. What are the challenges? CS The biggest challenge has been the culture shock of moving frommanufacturing into the voluntary sector. My challenge now is to combine thebest of both worlds. JC As a voluntary organisation, the challenge is always the limitedresources, as our priority is always to spend most of our money directly onservices for children and young people. 6. What is your biggest headache? CS I would like to be original, but can’t. My biggest headache is providinga good HR service within a tight budget. JC Finding the time to do all the interesting and exciting things that needdoing. 7. What size is your team? CS There are eight people who report directly to me. In the personnel teamthere are 13 people, mostly part-time, giving a personnel to employee ratio of1:700. There is also a four-strong national training team as well as eightpart-time health and safety staff to cover the 160 sites. JC NCH has a devolved structure for all HR services. I have direct linemanagement responsibility for 10 posts, and functional responsibility for 90posts. 8. Who do you report to? CS I report to the director general who is also the chief executive. JC The chief executive. 9. What qualifications do you have? CS T.Cert. BA. FIPD. MBA. JC FCIPD, MSc Human Resource Management. 10. What are your career aspirations? CS Being HR director for the country’s largest charitable employer does notleave many new career opportunities. I love my job and Leonard Cheshire isstill a changing and growing organisation with many challenges. JC Chief Executive of a medium-sized voluntary organisation. 11.What training and development opportunities are there? CS Leonard Cheshire is an exceptional organisation when it comes to trainingand development. I would receive full support for most of the things I wantedto do as long as I could justify them and pay for them within my department’sbudget. JC NCH is highly committed to training and development and this is nodifferent for senior managers. I acquired my MSc with NCH funding and support,and regularly receive learning and development opportunities. 12. What is your holiday entitlement? CS Currently 26 days plus bank holidays, rising to 27 next year. JC 32 days a year, plus one extra day at Christmas plus bank holidays 13. What is your working environment like? CS Brilliant. I have an office with a nice view and best of all it’s near receptionso I can see and talk to people as they come and go (being nosy is an essentialattribute of people in personnel). JC We are on a very old site, in buildings that have been in ourorganisation for decades, with trees and grass – not bad in London. 14. What other benefits do you get? CS All the benefits most directors get but no car. JC An NCH car and a final salary pension scheme. 15. What’s the best part of working in HR? CS The infinite variety. After 25 years in personnel I thought I had seeneverything but Leonard Cheshire employees still surprise me. JC Influencing the way the organisation develops, particularly in terms ofcultural development. This is enhanced if you are working in an organisationlike NCH which has high values and high quality services. 16. How does your firm treat work-life balance? CS Leonard Cheshire offers such a wide range of working arrangements that wecan meet most people’s needs. JC NCH takes work-life balance seriously. We have had flexible workingopportunities, with support for parents and carers for many years. Abouttwo-thirds of our, mainly female, staff work part-time. 17. What’s your dream job/who do you most envy? CS Nobody. I like being me. JC Owner of a health farm. Clare Smith, HR director, Leonard Cheshire Job at a glanceSize of team: 35, mostly part-timeHolidays: 26 daysBenefits: Working for Leonard CheshireReports to: Director generalCurriculum vitae2000 Director of HR, Leonard Cheshire1991 European HR director, multinational paper manufacturer1989 Divisional personnel manager, heavy industry1986 Regional personnel manager, paper manufacturingJanice Cook, HR director, NCHJob at a glanceSize of team: 10Holidays: 32 daysBenefits: Car, pensionReports to: Chief executiveCurriculum vitae1999                NCH,director of HR1990                Head of HR at an innerLondon social services department1987                Personnel managerPre-1987         Prior to that, started atthe Bank of England and re-trained as a PA before moving into HR Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more