When putting together careers-sites for companies, I always look to have I interviews with employees on them. And one of my standard questions is, “Describe your work in three words”. So, given I always practice what I preach:

Generalist – Business Partner – Consultant

OK, technically, that’s four words – but I hope you’ll forgive me.

I am an experienced HR professional who passionately believes in the difference that well-defined and appropriate people interventions can make to an organisation — both to its culture and ultimately its bottom line. So, I believe that being a generalist really helps (I’ve sat in every seat in the HR office) and know that being a trusted business partner is a pre-requisite to having a seat at the table. Finally, the term consultant is very much from an ‘internal’ capacity. I don’t approach a challenge with a pre-conceived idea of a solution (or a cookie-cutter answer where the company name is simply cut-and-pasted at the appropriate points) but I do challenge honestly about what’s important and deliver what’s required.

I am fortunate enough to have performed in an array of senior HR roles within companies ranging from global blue-chips to much smaller organisations (from hundreds of thousands down to tens of employees). And I’ve been able to work across many industries: private and public sector, Financial Services, FMCG, manufacturing, utilities, call-centres, higher education, start-ups and established firms.

If there is a common thread amongst these roles, it is change. All were requiring a transformation (be it small or large) and my role was integral to that direction of travel. Which is why, I suspect, that my most interest is in Organisational Effectiveness – in its various guises (organisational design, development and health).

Mark Walton Chartered FCIPD