Nicola Forristal

Nicola Forristal

Group Chief People Officer at Havas London
London, United Kingdom

About me

Commercially astute Chief People Officer, with a powerful blend of business acumen and psychological training. Proven leadership through key business challenges such as TUPE, restructures, redundancies as well as the on-boarding, engagement and development of people. A creative, innovative partner, who quickly builds and effectively maintains successful relationships at all hierarchical levels. I wanted to develop a more in-depth knowledge of the psychology of people, which led me to become a qualified therapist and bring this expertise back to my leadership and HR role. An additional benefit of my therapeutic studies, is the experience gained through working within a range of environments that were different from my day job; public health, education, mental health and charitable organisations.


UK Group Chief People Officer
Havas Group UK
London, United Kingdom
February 2016 - Present (5 years 2 months)
Human Resources Director
BBH Worldwide
London, United Kingdom
September 2003 - January 2016 (12 years 4 months)
Director of Human Resources
London, United Kingdom
September 2003 - January 2016 (12 years 4 months)
BBH is an integrated global agency with offices in the UK, Asia, US, and South America, employing over 1,000 people world-wide. BBH’s UK offices have over 40 clients, with well-known brands such as British Airways, Google, Vodafone, The Guardian, Barnado’s.

Role Summary: HR Director reporting to COO for UK agency, currently c450 employees. Direct relationship with Chairman, CEO and senior management team. Responsible for inspiring and leading HR team and accountable for all UK HR activity. Work with and influence senior partners in order to develop a HR strategy that is aligned the UK business plan.

Key Achievements:
• Created and launched BBH’s first on-line global performance management system, designed the related training programme for appraisers and appraisees, resulting in a positive transformation to the way people are developed, with the achievement of a 89% completed annual appraisal rate.
• Critically reviewed and then developed a new on-boarding programme, which was adopted by other BBH offices, resulting in a 60% reduction in time for new hires to be orientated and a 38% reduction of calls to IT help desk from new joiners for the UK.
• In partnership with Heads of Department, set the strategy for and delivery of award winning learning and development programmes, resulting in the transformation of BBH from a traditional advertising agency to an integrated creative business.
• Led the strategy and project delivery for making 10% of the UK agency redundant, with no legal challenges from employees. Part of the management team who restructured the agency post redundancies, resulting in a flatter, collaborative structure with more effective work streams.
• Through all HR activities challenged the norm and strove to implement changes to the talent mix of BBH, such as improving the talent gender and ethnic diversity.
HR Consultancy
September 2000 - August 2003 (2 years 11 months)
Freelance HR Manager
July 2000 - September 2000 (2 months)

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