Mark Redmond, People & Property Director for Three Ireland, is Principal Connections’ HR Leader of the Month for October.

Mark has worked across a number of sectors including Telecommunications, Financial Services, FinTech and Medical Technology with organisations including Bank of Ireland, Becton Dickinson, A..O. Smith Electrical Products Company, PayPal International and for the last 10+ years, Three Ireland.

This month we spoke with Mark, read what he had to say. 

Q. Tell us a little bit about Mark Redmond the person, and of course, the professional?

Born and raised in Dublin (a keen supporter of Dublin GAA!), I studied psychology and business in UCD.  I have worked in a variety of senior HR roles across manufacturing, financial services and, most recently, telecommunications.  I joined Three in 2007 as HR Director at a time when we had about 50 people and less than 1% market share.  I have really enjoyed the growth of the business in the intervening years.  Outside of work, I can usually be found spending time with my family and playing (or watching) sports.

Q. Describe your company?

Launched in 2005, Three has, to date, invested almost €2 billion in building its Irish business and is now one of Ireland’s largest mobile operators with 35% market share and two million customers.

Three employs 1400 people across our head office in Dublin, our Customer Care centre in Limerick and 65 retail stores across Ireland.

Three is 100% owned by CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CK Hutchison), a renowned multinational conglomerate committed to innovation and technology with businesses spanning the globe. With operations in over 54 countries and over 270,000 employees worldwide, CK Hutchison has five core businesses – ports and related services, retail, infrastructure, energy and telecommunications. CK Hutchison is a leading global operator of mobile telecommunications and data services.

As a business, we are focused on providing a better connected life for our customers and our core values are critical to how we deliver on this promise: we focus on the customer, we appreciate each other, we work as one team, we take responsibility and we go beyond the expected.

Q. What do you see as the key challenges you face in your current role?

Telecoms is a dynamic industry and new technologies will create opportunities to develop new products and services for our customers. As we evolve our business into new areas, identifying the skills that we will require in the future is a challenge. We are working to predict the requirements for roles that don’t yet exist, so that we can build development programmes to ensure our people are ready.

Q. What in your opinion are the key characteristics of your top performing people?

I think passion is key. To deliver results and bring the best out of those around you, you need to be passionate about what you are doing and have a real desire to make a difference.

You also need to collaborate and have an instinctive ability to work cross functionally to deliver great results; the recognition that ‘none of us is smarter than all of us’.

Lastly, a growth mind-set is critical; a desire to grow, learn and be challenged and never do something because ‘it’s the way we have always done it’.

Q. What or where do you believe the biggest advances in human resources will be over the next five years?

The whole area of Digital HR really interests me.  Artificial intelligence and robotics are obvious areas where potential exists to automate many simple and administrative tasks. We need to evaluate every step of the various journeys that employees undertake at work and decide whether the contact they receive should be from technology or with a person.  It will be about striking a balance between intuitive, self-service technologies for the more straightforward services, and providing excellence from highly skilled HR Professionals in the “moments that matter”.

Q. How important are health and wellbeing initiatives to employment strategy in your opinion?

They are important.  We recognise the commitment and hard work of our people to drive the success of our business and it is important that we provide services and activities that support them.  We offer a range of activities across the wellbeing spectrum, recognising that with 1400 people we are going to have a wide variety of needs and interests.  We have physical fitness challenges and initiatives (running, cycling, HIIT classes, yoga etc), mental health programmes in association with our charity partner Jigsaw, a workplace choir, EAP and so much more.

Q. In your opinion what is required to have a top career as a Human Resources Director?

You need business acumen and an understanding of the key levers that impact business performance and an ability to demonstrate the value that a well thought out and consistent approach to HR can bring to the bottom line of the business.

A commitment to fairness and transparency is essential in building trust in the HR function and the leadership of any business. It is impossible to have a highly engaged workforce in the absence of trust.

You need an excellent team around you who will challenge you, offer a different perspective and also deliver on their own promises. Lastly, hard work. It’s a cliché, but nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without it.

Q. What keeps you motivated day to day?

I really enjoy seeing people taking on new things that were not sure that they could do – and the confidence that comes from delivering!

Seeing our business grow in a dynamic and changing marketplace and seeing the opportunities that new technologies can bring.

Working with an outstanding People & Property team who work hard to deliver for our business and have a great sense of humour and fun.

Q. What is your proudest career achievement to date?

Following the acquisition of O2 in July 2014, we had to merge two companies together, at speed, while still delivering for our customers, employees and shareholder.  This was a huge challenge but the successful implementation was very satisfying.

Q. Who inspires you professionally?

I cannot think of one individual who inspires me but I get a great kick out of working with a diverse group of people across our business who are really good at what they do.  Taking the time to look back occasionally at all the successes that we have had, all the positive changes that we have delivered is very inspiring.

Q. How do you stay current?

I read books, articles and access LinkedIn learning, but mainly from talking to my peers in other organisations about what they are doing, and if there is anything that we can learn from or ideas that we can build on.  I fundamentally believe that if we are not constantly improving, we are going backwards, so staying abreast of current thinking and always challenging ourselves to improve is vital.

Closing Comment:

Thank you to Mark Redmond for participating in our HR Leaders Series 2018.

About Principal Connections 

Principal Connections is one of Ireland’s leading global executive recruitment agencies.

With offices in Dublin and Galway, Ireland, Principal Connections partners with Large Multinational Corporations, Small to Medium Enterprises, Start-up and Family Owned Businesses, Not-For-Profit, Semi-State and Public-Sector Bodies in the identification, assessment, evaluation, and recruitment of key Management, Executive and Specialist leadership talent.

Principal Connections is the Irish Arm of Agilium Worldwide Executive Search Group, one the world’s largest and foremost Global Executive Recruitment Agencies. Together with our colleagues across 55 Offices in 30 Countries, each year we complete in excess of 1300 Assignments within most Major Industries and Functional Areas.

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