Nick Ulycz graduated with a BA Honours in Personnel Management and has over 15 years’ HR experience. Prior to joining HSBC Nick was HR Director at First Data, a global payment services company and in 2008 joined HSBC. Nick undertook a variety of roles within their Global Banking and Markets business, including leading HR for Global Research and establishing their ER function. In June 2013 Nick joined the UK HR team and later that year was appointed Head of HR for the UK. In this role Nick is responsible for providing strategic HR leadership and delivering HR services to an employee population of almost 50,000 across the UK. Nick’s current focus is on the development of the HR function, connectivity with line managers and developing the capability HSBC requires to be the world’s leading international bank.

 

 

Would you blow up the HR Function, as you know it?

Blow up is a bit extreme, so no! But, I would challenge the leaders of any HR function to really question their relevance. For many years we have all had roles supporting the capable, but sometimes slightly clumsy leader. I now observe a new generation of People Savvy leaders, who think deeply about people issues. How will the HR function remain relevant in a world of sophisticated leaders, who drive their own people agenda?

What is your biggest professional challenge?

Keeping pace with what is happening in the external market. I become so pre-occupied with what we are doing that I can lose track of the world around me. A big priority of my team right now is embedding performance management, yet I look in the external market place and the thinking has moved on so much in recent years.

If you could go live in another country, which one would it be?

Anywhere in Asia. I love the energy and excitement of these new economies. I also find the work ethic and ambition highly energising. We have lost some of this in the developed markets.

What part of your role do you dread?

Governance; whilst recognising the need, particularly in Financial Services, I really do wish I spent as much time innovating, thinking and creating.

What advice proved useful to you in your career?

Stop before you send that snippy email response. I don’t always adhere to it as much as I should.

What movie character fits you best?

I don’t know, but Jack Bauer from 24 is my idol. How cool would it be to bring some of Jack’s approach to the corporate world?

What would you like to do more of?

Spend time with my children. Exercise. Learn to do something new – flying, perhaps.

If there were one thing you could change, what would it be?

In the UK the lack of upward social mobility is a real problem. I really hope that we can continue to address this and ensure equality of opportunity for all, based upon merit.

What surprised you most?

That I could overcome my acute fear of presenting to large groups. It took a lot of practice and the support of some great colleagues, but I got over it.