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the HRD talks

Author: Actons Solicitors

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Nic Elliott, employment lawyer at Actons talks to HR Directors and People Directors about their journey into HR, gets their insights into current trends in the world of work and takes their advice on the future of HR and how HR professionals can deliver value and progress their careers.

Actons is the independent Nottingham law firm.  We’re well-known for our open and friendly culture, underpinned by top-quality legal advice. Whilst our origins date back some 200 years, we’re a modern, progressive, ambitious law firm.  We're proud to work with SMEs, owner managed business, individuals and large corporates, providing practical and commercial legal advice. 

LI: The HRD Talks | Podcast

12 Episodes
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In this episode Dawn Browne, People and Talent Director at Fuller’s talks to Nic as the podcast goes on tour, recording from the Hercules pub in central London!Dawn shares her career journey, having never intended to work in HR, starting out at British Airways, joining Quantas, then Compass Group, before joining Fuller’s 12 years ago. Nic asks Dawn about the leadership lessons she learned working with baggage handlers and cabin crew!Dawn talks about how she fell in love with Fuller’s as...
In this episode Neil Morrison Group HR Director at Severn Trent shares his career journey, from the NHS to Argos, through to Penguin Random House Publishing and then Severn Trent. Neil shares his thoughts on good work, the importance of creating jobs, and organisations looking after their workforce. Neil talks about how Severn Trent have sought to take 100,000 people out of poverty by providing employment or the skills to find jobs elsewhere. Nic asks Neil about the future of work a...
In this episode Vicky Walker, Group Director of People at Westfield Health shares her career journey, including 20+ years at Tesco and working her way up to her current role at Westfield.Vicky shares her thoughts on the profession, ranging from “toilet rolls to disciplinaries” and explains her more strategic role as Director of People. Nic asks Vicky about their success winning best employer awards and the journey towards platinum Investors in People.Vicky and Nic also discuss the “coac...
In this episode Karen Jewell, Director, HR and Organisational Development at Equip UK Technologies Ltd shares her career journey from HR roles in the energy sector, to HR Director at Derby City Council, to leading the people strategy for the Rab and Lowe Alpine outdoor apparel and equipment performance brands.Karen talks about her experience at Equip during COVID, taking brave decisions to continue buying and fulfilling orders where others couldn’t, and creating opportunities from the challen...
In this episode, Pat Woodfield, Executive Group Director, Business Strategy, People & Culture at YMCA Robin Hood Group shares her career journey from executive personal assistant, to HR Manager, to COO and CEO roles, to Executive HR positions.Pat talks about the great work the YMCA is doing, including their new site in Newark, the Malt Cross music hall, and the famous caves of Nottingham!Nic talks to Pat about the changing nature of the people function and what People & Culture actual...
In this episode, recorded back in March 2023 on International Women’s Day, Charlotte Coore, Head of People & Culture at 200 Degrees Coffee and Zoë Ogden, People Director at Impression share their career journey in HR and experience working in rapidly growing SME businesses. Zoë and Charlotte talk about the differences between working in larger corporates and smaller SMEs and the challenges of working in a standalone HR role. They also share the challenges of being female and o...
In this episode Adam Dilks, Group People Director at Nightcap Plc shares his career journey in HR from a training scheme at Tesco, to his current role helping Nightcap achieve its goal of becoming the leading late night bar group. He claims it’s not just about the cocktails!Adam tells Nic about the entrepreneurial approach at Nightcap, led by Sarah Willingham (ex-dragon’s den,) and how they are focusing on delivering their belief that “everyone deserves a great night out”. Adam co...
In this episode Ben Horner HR Director, Boots UK & ROI and No7 shares his experience from nearly 20 years at the company. Nic talks to Ben about his transition from the Boots legal team to the role of HR Director and the challenges he faced taking on that role during a global pandemic!Ben shares a variety of initiatives Boots have introduced relating to menopause and disability, designed to support their team members and customers alike. Ben shares his advice for HR professionals st...
In this episode Maria Hawley, Director of People at Fisher German LLP, shares her journey from selling underwear on a market stall, to a career in nursing, through to building a successful career in human resources, working at law firm Nabarros, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, and eventually her current role as Director of People.Nic and Maria also discuss Maria’s recent success winning “HR Leader of the Year 2023” at the British HR Awards, and the importance of Maria’s team in supportin...
In this episode Andy talks to Nic about his journey from selling TVs in Currys into the People Director roles at some of the UK’s most recognisable brands.Andy shares his views on how the world of work has changed post COVID and how employers must adapt to new ways of attracting, developing and retaining talent. Nic talks to Andy about building successful teams and the importance of transparency in the area of reward and career progression.Andy discusses his work in the area of customer exper...
In this episode Jane shares insights with Nic from her wide experience, having worked at Babcock, in professional services, Awbery Management and Bistrot Pierre. Jane contrasts her experience of working “in-house” as a People Director with a role operating as a consultant supporting a diverse range of clients.Nic and Jane discuss the importance of leadership and openness, and consider the new world for employers post COVID, where expectations have been reset and things have become chall...
In this episode Sarah Taylor, People and Culture Director at Staffline plc, shares her experience of working at BAE Systems, Boots, Carlsberg and most recently Staffline, who currently engage approximately 40,000 workers every day across the UK and Ireland. In a comprehensive review of the world of work, Nic and Sarah discuss the importance of leading people well, shaping a people strategy, and creating a culture of success. Sarah also shares the challenges of the recruitment sect...
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