Name: Sally Austin
Position: : Group HR Director
Organisation: Costain PLC
Time in post: 4 years
Number of employees in organisation: 4,100
Number of people in HR department: 47
Latest financial figures/business performance indicators: £1.7bn revenue, £48.7m operating profit (18% increase on 2016), £3.9bn forward order book, 90% repeat business, 10.3% staff attrition. Ranked for the first time in 2018 Times Top 50 Employers for Women.
Over the past four years, I, along with a great team, have delivered tangible results that have contributed to the success of Costain.
My top three highlights are:
I’m proud to have built and led Costain’s people agenda over the past four years and can’t wait to see the success stories continue. There is certainly plenty of opportunity.
“It is a credit to Sally to be nominated for this award. In 2017, Costain delivered another great year’s performance with an 18% increase in operating profit, a forward order book of £3.9bn and 90% repeat business from our clients. Such results can only be delivered by a business with a clear purpose and strategy and exceptional teams led by a clear people strategy. Sally has driven our people agenda with passion and professionalism.”
Andrew Wyllie CBE, CEO Costain
Name: Alison Bell
Position: HR Director
Organisation: MTR Crossrail
Time in post: 3.5 years
Number of employees in organisation: 760
Number of people in HR department: 22
Latest financial figures/business performance indicators: £3.3 million
I believe Alison is a worthy winner of the HR Director of the Year category for a number of significant reasons.
She has provided amazing support to me personally through a number of activities we needed to undertake in order to build a new business (MTR Crossrail) from scratch in 2014. She has been integral in recruiting key personnel into the business, implementing policies and procedures and managing a TUPE transfer in a short 11 month window. Thanks to Alison, MTR Crossrail have strong union relationships which are recognised across the industry as leading the way, creating a culture of transparency through her manner of working.
These strong relationships have helped MTR Crossrail become the first train operator in the country to sign to ASLEF’s Charter for Apprentices, which demonstrates a strong commitment to futureproof training and development. Alison’s recruitment team pushed for more diversity in the railway, trebling the number of female drivers since start of concession, which is one of the highest rates in the UK and more than double the industry average.
Finally, Alison always looks to be innovative and break the industry mould in how her team approaches and implements various initiatives. Whether it be recruitment, training or management, she is always providing ideas that can really provide a point of difference and further engage the workforce she cares so passionately about.
Steve Murphy, Managing Director, MTR Crossrail