Insight Series: Ian Hicks – HR Director at KPSS UK Ltd
In our series of interviews and profiles, we recently caught up with Ian Hicks -HR Director at KPSS UK ltd a division of The Kao Group, one of the world’s leading consumer product businesses, to ask him a few questions on KPSS, his career and everything in between…
1. How long have you worked at KPSS and what is your background?
I have had 5 wonderful years in a B2B environment with KPSS in the highly competitive hair and beauty sector.
Prior to that 6 yrs at Asprey and Garrard, luxury retailers, as Global HR Director.
I learnt about the retail industry with J. Sainsbury for over 10 years and served 4 years with House of Fraser in various HR teams.
2. What do you enjoy the most about working in HR?
I actually quite like the recruitment aspects of finding the right people for the right roles, right on time and seeing them grow and prosper. It’s the biggest contribution we can make to the business.
3. Describe the major challenges of working in HR?
For me getting the recruitment right is key, as described above.. The more you can build into your selection process, the more safeguards you have. I am a realist life is never perfect.
The old saying ‘trust people and they’ll let you down, don’t trust people and they’ll do you down’ is still true especially with new generations entering the career ladders.
I am more in control of the talent acquisition process and not distracted every 5 minutes by a caller needing the low down on a vacant role. It’s all there on our career site powered by MyPeopleBiz. I can drive direct applications to the site, can apply agency rates depending on the role we are hiring for and it really simplifies and improves the speed of communication between candidates/agents/referrers and myself.
5. Given that you now have applicant tracking, analytics, interview and agency management, as well as social networking, which single feature of the portal do you feel has been the most beneficial both in terms of time and money and how ?
It’s hard to say as they all work together to make the process more streamlined. I like the applicant tracking aspect as I can see at a glance without
having to trawl through files and paperwork, who needs to be followed up on as a badly managed process can damage your reputation.
6. Summaries if you can, the biggest challenges facing HR and recruitment in 2012?
Global business and economic trends seem to leave us with peaks and troughs of talent pools.
I want to continue to engage KPSS employees and make the company an employer of choice and when I need new hires find the very best I can utilising the smartest ways of tapping into talent.
I believe the concept of us all becoming ‘mini’ recruiters and recommending colleagues from our networks to businesses far and wide is growing in its appeal.
7. If you weren’t in HR, what would you be and why?
A sales presenter on one of those home shopping channels as I have been told I can talk all day!
8. Name two famous people you would invite to a dinner party, and why?
- Tiger Woods to look at my rubbish golf swing and ask him why he went off the rails.
- Peter Gabriel for a few after dinner songs and stories about life in a professional rock band.
9. We recently wrote a blog piece about strange interview questions, so we couldn’t resist, which car best represents you and why?
Audi R8-a little bit different, stands out in a crowd and gets from A-B without any fuss.
10. Finally share with us the most unusual interview question that either you have been asked or that you have come across?
None stand out but the answers I have had for the ice breaker question in assessment centers ….what is a secret you have never shared? …..would make your hair curl!