Elizabeth Hardwick-Smith

Head of HR

Business Leadership Team

Twitterised: Me in less than 140 characters.

A forward-looking and strategic HR professional who enjoys bringing a mix of creative and pragmatic solutions to business challenges.

Why I decide to do what I do

It all started with a chat about a summer HR placement with a friend of a friend at University in our grotty living room. I thought ‘I could do that.’ I didn’t realise how well suited it would be to me and how much I would enjoy making a difference to a business’s performance through its people. Every day I work with BWBs greatest asset – its people. I explore and implement ways in which we can enhance them, unlock their potential, keep them engaged and make them feel recognised. It’s a challenging role but what’s not to love?

My potted history

My first job after graduating was at the DNA Database where I supported the Database Senior Managers and witnessed the daily challenges they faced with people management issues. This role gave me just the experience I needed to get on to Rolls-Royce’s HR Graduate Training Scheme the following year. Here I gained experience in a mix of operational and specialist roles and was lucky to get a secondment to Indianapolis for 3 months too to get a flavour for international HR.
Bitten by the travel bug I then took a career break and took off for a year to see the world, part of which involved me working in Recruitment for the Australian Tax office in Melbourne for a few months. On my return I enjoyed working in HR for Accountancy firms for a few years. I joined Ernst & Young as a HR Advisor, then Baker Tilly as a Regional Advisor/Assistant Manager. Both businesses gave me new and challenging experiences across broad generalist roles.
When I was ready for something completely different I applied to work for BWB as their HR & Training Manager. I had ownership right from the start and I have enjoyed working to make a difference across the whole business through our people. I now have the role of HR Business Partner – Business Strategy & Learning within which I work with the leadership team to shape and lead the people plan and lead the operational, recruitment and learning arms of the HR function.

The best project I have ever worked on at BWB

I am torn between working with the leadership team in developing and implementing our business plans and the design and implementation of our bespoke Academy Learning Programme. Both projects involved working collaboratively with the leadership team, sharing ideas and shaping something new and unique to make a difference to a growing ambitious business. The business planning played to my strength in being forward-looking and the Academy has enabled me to ‘give something back’ to our people and bring them on.

What I like to do in my spare time

I create edible art in the form of royal iced biscuits and have baked and designed favours for all sorts of celebrations for family & friends. I continue to love travel and also enjoy running, reading and catching up with friends & family

What I hope to be doing 5 years from now

Telling my friends and family about BWB’s awesome results in the latest Sunday Times Top 100 rankings, celebrating our IIP Gold achievement and then jetting off to a world-wide destination for some R&R.

Elizabeth Hardwick-Smith

Head of HR