All of her working life, Vicki Jackson has nurtured a love for HR and hospitality. Transforming businesses was second nature to her. And when it came to her personal career transformation, she knew where to turn…
HR is everything to me. Even at university, I managed to get my first human resources role part-time. I believe that people are the pillar of a business, and so I like managing a company’s perspective on its people, and advising how to build off that idea.
Asda and The Co-operative Group were my initial forays into HR development. After a few years, I wound up at an independent, regional brewer, where I was responsible for their entire human resources strategy. They gave me full autonomy and control. I sketched a ‘simple but effective people plan’ that guided everyone – from new, floor-level recruits to directors – on how to recruit the best hires, act, inspire leadership, stay within the law, and communicate with each other.
Eventually, though, my ambitions outgrew them. The brewer felt the role I was doing needed board recognition and asked me to consider and apply for the role of HR Director, but it was essentially what I’d already been doing and a name change didn’t seem like much of a step forward. It had been 14 years, after all… I wanted something bigger that could stretch me and lead to a much larger impact.
My contacts pointed me towards Daniel and the SPE Resourcing team. He came with glowing reviews. We met over a glass of wine in Manchester, and as we talked, everything came into focus. He really understood the depth of my experience, which – as it turned out – put me in the running as a senior HR professional for Greene King, the UK’s largest hospitality collective.
Was it a daunting switch? Not really. I was informed during the hiring process that I’d be driving and embedding the culture for Farmhouse Inns: only a portion of Greene King’s revenue, yet one that raked in an annual turnover of £150m across 69 sites from Aberdeen to Southampton. This was markedly different to my time in that single, regional brewing business. But Daniel thought I was ready. And that gave me confidence.
His network is amazing – hands down, it is his knowledge of customers (and what they care about) that makes him so adept at hospitality recruitment.
When I landed the role, I was so excited to begin. And I was right to. Greene King have proven they’re a well-oiled machine.
Thanks to my affinity for a pub’s individual aspects and cultures, I am now able to provide close, tailored guidance at every site, whilst adhering to Farmhouse Inns’ mantra at large.
Without Daniel and his colleagues, none of this may have happened. I’m so glad it did… He dug to the core of my ambition, and found me a senior placement that’s everything I hoped it would be. I’d recommend the SPE team to anyone.