Nepal November 2020

I can hardly believe I haven't written a blog in over a year! And what a year it has been, with several ups and downs. Despite some pendulum swings I managed to lose over 4 stone and regain my fitness in that year. I may do some reflective writing about that, but for now, I plan to use this blog to write about my training and fundraising for the challenge of a lifetime.

In Nov 2020, I am taking part in a Himalayan Trek to raise £3500 for Hospiscare, the amazing charity I work for. I am not a natural fundraiser and I can feel awkward making the ask, but I am just going to go for it. I hope that some of you will find what I write interesting and consider donating. For now, here's a poster and my Just Giving Link. Annette Hill Just Giving Himalayan Trek

3,400 metres refers to the altitude, not the distance, by the way :o)

Shopping for a great candidate experience

We haven’t got the time to do an assessment centre. You haven’t got the time to sort out an appointment that does not work out later on…
We’re so busy, we’ll just squeeze some interviews in next Wednesday. Appointing the right person for the post is one of the main investments you’ll make this week/month/year. This must be prioritised and planned properly.
We’ll try to do the shortlisting tomorrow. What? See above….
Does the above sound familiar? For the last 18 months or so we have been on a bit of a mission to improve recruitment and retention particularly in the retail part of our charity. I blogged about this a while ago A Matter of Manners when we had just adopted this approach. A really important by product is the candidate experience whether or not they get the job. As well as getting the best person for the post, we want every candidate to feel that they had a good morning/day/afternoon with us, received fair feedback and are likely to feel positive about our charity going forwards –…

Leadership and Management. Is there a difference? How much does it matter?

Once upon a time there was a naïve and idealistic young arts graduate, who was given her first team of 2 people to ‘manage’ in a small office down a dingy corridor in a Civil Service building. A couple of years later, from a shared general office in the middle of a hospital, she was starting out on 20+ years in the NHS in management positions. It was the late 1980s. General Management was the new shiny thing. Administration was well and truly out of fashion. What mattered most for a manager – being liked or being respected? That was a popular question. And of course, the ‘right’ answer was being respected. That person never felt comfortable with that question and the expected response. That person was me.

(Before I continue, please note, or if you are of my vintage, please recall what the 1980s were like generally, and that there was not the wealth of evidence we now have showing the clear link between treating people well at work and better productivity. I always felt intrinsically th…


I've kept my HRMixtape short and sweet, some may say sugary sweet. Motown is the theme. It has been my favourite music since I was 14, and it's is where I always turn when I need some music to enter my soul and lift my spirits. Here goes:
1. The way you do the things you do by The Temptations Because everything depends on how we in HR and professions that enable, support and develop people, do what we do. Hopefully this means talking to people, actively listening, interpreting the spirit of the policy, being kind and compassionate always - with toughness when necessary.
The way you do the things you do

2. Reach Out, I’ll be there by The Four Tops Because this gives me the chance to share my favourite flow chart (again) and because it is important that HR reach out effectively to everybody in the business, know the business really well and are there at the heart of things when we need to be.
Reach out, I'll be there.

3. Stop! In the name of love by The Supremes Because this …


I have a very simple, and achievable New Year’s Resolution for 2018, and I’m hoping lots of others will join me.
It’s not one of the usual suspects like dieting, getting more exercise, cutting out sugar, or even Dry January etc. (though all of those remain constants in my life and a drier January is very possible.)
I am going to try to avoid using single use plastic and consuming products that come in hard or not possible to recycle packaging, such as take away coffee and certain cylindrically shaped snacks.
To help me in this, I am going to keep a daily diary of instances where I do end up using plastic or other packaging that I cannot recycle with certainty. And I will take a photo of the product packaging and tweet it (#reducesingleuse). I’m hoping that this commitment to record this will help me in this quest, and that as the months go by, I will have more and more days, hopefully weeks, where the daily dairy is blank.
My motivation? Even before Blue Planet – a massive wake up call, i…

Walking reflections - a poem

On a blustery Saturday morning in early September, I Set off for a brisk, yet meandering, walk with my dog With a watchful eye on the clouds scudding across the sky What a word - scudding! Its poetic, literary meaning Lost me in thought, as the clouds continued to multiply

On a blustery Saturday morning in early September, I Climbed up towards the iconic church on the hill Limbs starting to loosen up as we went further high I love these walks, they're where I do my best thinking  And here, I’m trying to say why

On a blustery Saturday morning in early September, I Decided that we’d take the long route along the ridge With glimpses of the new cycle path through the hedgerows close by Which were laden with luscious autumn berries I decided that I’d like to make a blackberry and apple pie

On a blustery Saturday morning in early September, I Thought of everyday things, as well as reflecting back on the week past A mixed few days, with a few scatchy moments, I have to testify I’ve been doing too much an…

Ride London Tandem Charity Ride for Hospiscare.

Anyone who knows me in real life, or who has read my Twitter and blogs for a while (thank you!) will know I am very passionate about working for organisations whose purpose is to support and or care for people when they are vulnerable and need support. You may know that after quite a while in the NHS, then the Probation Service, a dalliance with independent consultancy (still doing a small amount), I now work for Hospiscare, a Devon based hospice charity. You may also know that I have taken part in various fund-raising events over the years for different charities, running (kind of) or cycling on our tandem. 
This year, I am not a participant in any event, but I’m a definite groupie, a sort of ‘born again’ charity bucket shaker, and very possibly an irritant. It’s a fine line between attracting support and donations via powerful stories, and getting on everybody’s nerves with frequent sponsorship requests!

So, this blog is an attempt to tell you why I’m walking that fine line again. My …