DisruptHR London: Interview With Amanda Arrowsmith

AmandaArrowsmithAmanda Arrowsmith is an HR & Operational Management lead at Bid Lead and a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD with over 17 years generalist HR experience. She has extensive experience in both strategic and operational HR with a high level of Global HR experience and knowledge of both local and regional practices. Having worked in both the Private and Public sectors, Amanda has a good understanding of the varied cultures within different organisations and she enjoys delivering business goals whilst adding value through the development of people and organisations in line with business strategy. Amanda will be one of the speakers at the DisruptHR event in London this month. You may find more information about the event

Amanda will be one of the speakers at the DisruptHR event in London this month. You may find more information about the event here.

HR Gazette: Why did you decide to be a speaker at DisruptHR London?

Amanda: I was at another conference with Katrina and we were talking about the lack of new voices and diversity in the HR conference speaker market and she told me she was planning to bring DisruptHR to London and I should be part of it – I jumped at the chance.

HR Gazette: What will you be speaking about at DisruptHR London?

Amanda: I will be speaking about how we can’t all aspire to be the magical market leaders like Facebook, Google or Virgin when it comes to people at work and that they are full of Unicoronomic due to their brand, size, and social value – real business needs real solutions.

HR Gazette: What separates DisruptHR from other HR and Talent events which happen in London? 

Amanda: The format, the line-up, and the dynamic nature.

HR Gazette: Why is your topic important to HR and Talent pros?

Amanda: We hear and read about the same organisation all the time but need to think about what will work in the real world economy and for the ‘normal’ day to day business (where most people work). Hopefully, my topic will make people think.

HR Gazette: The DisruptHR format means you only get 5 minutes to speak to the audience. What unique challenges and opportunities does such a condensed speaking slot offer?

Amanda: It means I have to be focused and concise in my message – the story and storytelling need to hit home and give people something solid to take away.

HR Gazette: How does DisruptHR provide you with a platform to talk about Talent, Tech, and HR in new ways?

Amanda: It’s a different approach to the staid HR conference format with a whole host of voices – a great range of topics to get people thinking and talking.

HR Gazette: You’re a big name in the HR space. Please share 2 or 3 other ‘influencers’ in the space who you follow and tell us why.  

Amanda: I’m sure you will get a few of the same names but I would pick out David D’Souza for general HR at the CIPD. He’s a great thinker and proactive sharer, always keen to challenge and engage but also open to new ideas. A positive force for good in the CIPD. Secondly, I would pick out Fiona McBride – a great L&D thinker who is generous and proactive. Her thinking behind emotion at work and approaches to leadership development are fresh and engaging – she’s also a great volunteer and supporter of the wider HR/L&D community. I love the writing and no-nonsense approach of Gemma Reucroft (HR Director at Tunstall) she says what many of us would like to but in a way that is thoughtful and considered without avoiding the hard discussions.

HR Gazette: The HR Gazette is a big believer in the shift from traditional thoughts of HR to embracing modern HR as part of ‘people and culture‘. What does ‘people and culture’ mean to you? 

Amanda: We work with and live every day with people who have their own stories and their own experiences, our businesses are a collection of all these stories and they form our narrative and culture. It’s important for me that we recognise that people and culture grow, change and flow and it’s not as simple as a set of values and a roadshow – it’s about EQ, where we’ve been and where we are going.

HR Gazette: What do you think will be the major developments in the UK Talent and Recruitment space to watch out for in the next 12 months and why? For example, how does the growing numbers of Millennials in the workplace shape traditional talent acquisition and people management approaches?

Amanda: 4 generations in the work place will be a difference – but millennials are not that different from each of the previous generations at the start of their careers and we need to stop acting like they are. The economic situation, the lack of home ownership, increasing costs of living and travelling are major issues in the main towns and cities and we need to change our working practices to attract and retain talent – we’ve been talking about flexible working for years but it’s time to start truly delivering.

HR Gazette: Finally.. if you could be a superhero, which superhero would you be and why? 

Amanda: I think I would be Jessica Jones – I know she’s a bit of an anti hero, but she’s not afraid to get dirty to get the job done!

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