Winner: Katrina Hutchinson-O’Neill, Director of Resourcing, Nationwide Building Society

At the start of 2016, Nationwide Building Society faced a talent acquisition challenge. The increasing volume of hard-to-fill technically specialist roles represented a concern for a company with no employer brand presence in those labour markets. The then CEO cited the company’s ability to attract and onboard talent as one of the primary threats to delivery of its corporate strategy. The company needed an expert in resourcing who would be able to lead a restructure of the function and transform its resourcing strategy to create a modern and fit-for-purpose model, and Katrina Hutchinson-O’Neill was recruited as director of resourcing. October 2016 to October 2017 was a period of intense activity – directed by Hutchinson-O’Neill but with her leading and engaging every member of the team to support delivery of the vision.

• Hutchinson-O’Neill has clear accountability for the budget, delivery and strategy for all aspects of resourcing – permanent and non-permanent.

• All these measures collectively enabled the company to deliver a £2.14m improvement on the planned resourcing budget position for this fiscal year – despite demand coming in on target for the year. This saving now equates to a reduction of almost £6m, or 60%, of the cost of resourcing to the organisation over the space of Hutchinson-O’Neill’s two years in the role.

• Achieving these results has required not only application of deep resourcing expertise and change leadership skills in the resourcing and HR department, but also well-honed expertise in commercial knowledge, business knowledge, stakeholder engagement and influencing skills to get the senior leadership of the organisation to buy into the new approaches and models.

• These results have made a sizeable contribution to the company achieving its cost:income ratio for the business, reduced risk in these areas, and enabled it to free up money to invest in other initiatives, both inside and outside HR.

• Hutchinson-O’Neill is active as a senior leader representing Nationwide externally – as a spokesperson for recruitment, and also covering diversity and inclusion topics for journalists.

Judges’ Comments:

“Katrina has transformed the resourcing function, delivering savings while improving performance… She demonstrates passion for her team and for the wider resourcing profession, has clear ideas on how to promote the profession, and is taking action to progress these, often in her own time.”