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Friday May 24th, 2019

Interview with HRD Manager Caroline Murdoch: “Our Success is Our People”

Moving from startup to scaleup is an exciting time for a growing business like B-Secur, and making sure we have only the most committed and talented individuals with us on the journey is vital. We are delighted to welcome Caroline Murdoch as HR development manager to the B-Secur team. Caroline brings over 20 years’ experience across multiple technology sectors and expertise enhancing leadership skills and knowledge.

In our ever-popular interview series of people behind the B-Secur brand, we talk to Caroline about her first month with the company, her plans for people development and what attracted her to work with B-Secur.


Tell us a little about yourself, Caroline.
I’ve been married to Richard for 20 years and am mum to Ben who is 18 and about to sit A-Levels, and Abby who is 15. I also have Amber, my lively four year old King Charles Cavalier/Border Terrier dog, so I’m always on the go. I try to keep active by walking each day with the dog, and also doing a little bit of running. I like cooking and catching up with friends at weekends. When get time to relax I’ll be hooked on a good, gripping drama series on TV.


Your role as HR development manager is a new position at B-Secur. Can you share more about what you’ll be doing?
I’ve joined B-Secur at a really exciting time. Essentially, I’ve been recruited to support the business and in particular the teams as they move from start up into scale up phase.

Over the last 12-18 months the primary focus was on attracting and recruiting the best talent. Now the teams are established, it’s essential to make sure their skills stay aligned with the business objectives, as our technology gains momentum across commercial markets. My role will involve developing and delivering a people strategy which will support the needs of teams both for today and in the future.

That strategy will include new learning and development initiatives for all levels of managers and leaders, both accredited and non-accredited programmes. We will also develop initiatives for all team members to avail of, whether that is professional membership, personal development programmes, support for further academic development or volunteering opportunities.


What are your previous experiences? Have you always been interested in developing people?
I have over 20 years’ experience in people development working in great organisations including in food wholesale, automotive engineering and financial services. Within the first few months of my career all those years ago I knew working to support people, teams and organisational growth was my purpose and still today I believe I have the best job in the world.


I have worked with so many people over the years at all levels and I have loved seeing people grow and reach their potential right in front of my eyes. Being part of the journey with them has given me endless personal satisfaction in what I do. I have worked with so many people over the years at all levels and I have loved seeing people grow and reach their potential right in front of my eyes.

How did you become aware of B-Secur, and what attracted you to working for us?
I’ve observed the growth of B-Secur for some time and previously worked with the CTO Adrian Condon. It was clear that B-Secur was embarking on a very exciting journey. I visited the team and I was hooked. There was such a buzz in the office.

I was inspired by the young dynamic team, the very modern, flexible environment, the energy and passion that I could feel for what the team were working on and the technology itself, all of it filled me with opportunity. I felt I could make a difference here. The flexibility was a key attraction and being able to fit my hours around family life and work from home was a welcome added bonus.


Belfast sits in an interesting position when it comes to recruitment, particularly tech. With multinationals increasing attracted to bases in Belfast and Dublin, how will you help B-Secur find the best of local talent among tough competition?


Business is thriving in Belfast. Our tech base will always be in Belfast and we want to be an employer of choice. Our success is our people and we will continue to build on our reputation as a flexible employer offering an experience. We promote not only our environment, but also the opportunity to grow and develop at B-Secur. We work closely with the two main universities here to raise our profile and get our name out there early to future employees. We are certain in the months and years ahead B-Secur’s name will continue to be synonymous with being a world class employer.

The Secret to Our Growth

Our success is our people and we will continue to build on our reputation as a flexible employer offering an experience.


Have you witnessed any interesting trends in HR and development, in an increasingly-digital landscape?
Yes, absolutely. In my view, technological and social forces are transforming how work gets done and that has led to developments within the HRD (Human Resources and Development) function. New business models are emerging, accelerated connectivity is part of everyday life, and as disruption and uncertainty over Brexit still lies ahead of us, the future of work is evolving rapidly around us.

We need to consider how jobs are designed and work to support teams as they adapt and learn for the future. More autonomous agile working brings new challenges which those in HRD roles need to understand. We need to support our leaders to lead through complexity, to lead through change and through the pace of technology. Effective performance management processes and systems are critical, in particular in a scale-up phase where the focus is on productivity and the potential of teams are better used.

Increasingly, financial results are not the only measure of a company’s success but in today’s era of social enterprise, organisations are being judged on the impact they have on the surrounding social and physical environment, as well as their customers and people who work for them. All of this has led to the HRD function working as partners with teams, becoming employee champions, listening to and understanding their needs, understanding the capabilities which teams possess and providing context for development.

Learning is most effective when engaged in real time and with real meaning, and within an environment that promotes collaboration and creativity. HRD professionals have a key strategic role to play in making this happen.


Have you worked in a tech environment before? If not, how have you found getting up to speed with B-Secur’s offering?
I’ve worked for 15 years in an engineering environment in the automotive sector so I’m very comfortable surrounded by engineering and technology experts. I’m still very much learning the language here and getting to grips with the technology but my primary focus is people, so it’s more important to me to get to know their challenges and what’s critical to the business. Thankfully I’ll never have to be the person explaining ECG algorithms to the customer, but I’ll be the one supporting the engineer who is.