Name: Vicky Williams
Job title: HR director, resourcing & development
Company name: Compass Group UK & Ireland Sales: £1.9bn
HQ location: Uxbridge
Number of employees: 52,000

What's it like to work for your company? Compass is a huge catering company - we serve 3,000,000 customers a day through hospitality, retail, support services and facilities management and the diversity of our sectors and the opportunities this brings to employees are amazing. We also work with top chefs such as Gary Rhodes and the Roux brothers.

Does the company offer any unusual benefits? We offer all the benefits you would expect from a FTSE- 100 company.

How does the company differ from its rivals? As the largest contract caterer, we have a support network that is second to none: health & safety, sales, marketing and so on and, of course, HR. For example, we have a dedicated HR Support Line that takes 7,000 calls from employees every month, so if anyone has any HR questions, they can find out the answer straight away by just picking up the phone.

What's the training like? We offer a Qualifications for All programme for those with few formal qualifications who are looking to gain confidence and skills; Compass Academy, a two-year apprenticeship scheme that fast-tracks employees to management, which is in addition to the 900 apprentices we'll have throughout the business by September 2010; Evolve, a programme for existing managers to enable them to train for senior positions at some of our most profitable client sites; and Emerging Leaders Programme, a global course identifying and develop the Compass executives of the future.

Has the company won any awards? One Compass Welcome, our one-hour e-learning programme that enables new employees to have a standardised induction, won an IGD Food Industry Award in 2008 for learning and development, and our Compass Academy apprenticeship programme won a Springboard Award in 2009 for the Best Initiative to Attract People into Management.

What's your proudest achievement over the past 12 months? We have strengthened our senior management team; for me bringing in new people from outside the industry who thrive working in our business is hugely satisfying. Using our global succession plan, we have promoted five senior managers coming from Compass businesses all over the world.

What is the most important or challenging HR issue? A new resourcing system, People Online, will cope with our 18,000 hires per year.

Are you looking for any people right now and, if so, where? Typically we have 1,000 vacancies at any one times. We have 7,000 client sites around the UK and Ireland, so it's always worth taking a look at our website.

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