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Future leader: Charlie Barclay, Catella APAM



Charlie Barclay, senior operations and HR manager at property investment firm Catella APAM, shares her vision for the future of the HR profession.

I fell into my HR career after taking a mobile receptionist role. I was supposed to be taking a teaching course after university but discovered a passion for developing people and teams and applied for an HR role.

Following this, I joined Catella APAM in 2014 which was a start-up at the time. Having supported the growth from eight to 70 employees, I have been lucky to build my knowledge through experience. APAM has a strong environmental, social and governance focus and the leadership team really values talent management.

The future of HR:

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My main HR concerns are how it can continue to rapidly evolve and steer businesses through uncertainty. The economic downturn and changing attitudes towards work/life balance means 2023 is set to bring more changes, and agility will be key. HR needs to foster a culture that supports employees to adapt quickly and overcome barriers to effective performance.

It’s important for training to go beyond technical needs, so at APAM we invested in a firm-wide resilience workshop.

Companies still have a long way to go when it comes to ESG. A successful ESG strategy will play a vital component in attracting and retaining talent and employees will expect more than just empty words.

I hope D&I remains a priority beyond my retirement. Businesses have five generations working side by side. With each new generation, HR will need to support businesses to adapt to changing expectations.

Tackling D&I is not as simple as building teams that represent society. APAM has focused on creating an inclusive culture, and tracks diversity as a key indicator of success.

As hybrid-working models continue to shift expectations, the key will be shaping a culture that attracts people to the office. Having onboarded over 20 new roles across lockdown, we have experienced the difficulties of remote working. We need to support the business to be forward-thinking, adaptable, analytically savvy, and inclusive.


This article was first published in the April/May 2023 issue of HR magazine. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk.

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