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The Features section of brings together interviews with a range of recruiters, employers, suppliers and candidates - bringing things to life by offering insights to their work challenges and rewards as well as their motivations, interests and aspirations.

Lisette Howlett
Name:Lisette Howlett
Job Title:
Current Role:I run an HR consulting business and also do consulting delivery and interim management. In addition I run
Company Name:mlh global hr consulting and
Q: We are interested in knowing how you got to where you are. Could you describe the three most significant decisions that you made leading up to taking your current job?
A: For me I think these were: the degree I chose, my third job, and agreeing to work abroad

Q: If you could do something over again what would it be?
A: The only thing I can think of would have been to not sell my first house. But this is pure nostalgia and I would not be living there now in any case.

Q: In order to help people get a feel for your role and what you do can you please talk us through a 'typical day'
A: I am at my desk by about 7.30 unless I am busy in which case it is earlier, and end the day at my computer as well - usually around 11.00 at night. In between it can vary depending on what projects I am work on or what meetings I have. I try to manage meetings into blocks and to get at least one day of uninterupted 'desk' work. With some clients I have to travel to their offices as well.

Q: What is the most frustrating thing about your job?
A: Things can take a long time. When you are in a big company and senior you set the pace. When you are offering consulting or services to big companies they set the pace and juggle the competing priorities of which you are only one

Q: What qualifications do you need to do your job?
A: Always hard to separate what you have and what you need. I have a bunch of degrees and qualifications. To be an HR professional I would say that you need to have an HR professional qualification and some legal knowledge and psychometrics qualifications. To run a business you need to 'know your stuff' and have a broad range of business knowledge but not necessarily pieces of paper

Q: How involved are you in recruitment at your company? Can you give some examples of recruitment campaigns you have been involved in?
A: As you might imagine I have done a lot - from graduate and MBA campaigns through to hard to fill jobs, start ups and expansion programmes, and senior executive hires (including brokering the deal). I have also set up (and recruited) a couple of HR departments.

Q: What new projects are you looking forward to?
A:'s new refreshed website is one of my important projects at the moment. Also I recently launched the Forum so this takes a bit of time and attention. The third in the trilogy is some new products and services that we have developed for employers.

Q: What are your three top tips for job hunting?
A: Consider the job carefully and your suitability and select yourself out if it is not right. Be really structured, keep on top of everything, track the applications etc. Customise your cover letter and CVs.

Q: If there was one thing you could get all your candidates applying to your company to either do or to not do, what would it be?
A: Quality covering letter explaining exactly why they are suitable with examples of experience and achievement that I have identified as required for the job.

Q: Tell us about your most memorable experience of being recruited? And why?
A: Most memorable was the first telephone interview I did - I was sort of lounging on the sofa and got this call and said that I was good to talk thinking it would be a chat and soon found out it was a 'proper' interview - I sat up straighter! Most impressed was when I contacted a company to check how they were doing with the process because I had another offer and they arranged a second interview that evening (with about three people so not easy) and made a decision on the spot.

Q: What car do you drive?
A: My late mother's yellow Corsa (I live in Central London so no excuse to get a new car). Previous car in UK was Alfa GTV and in Switzerland Toyota MR2

Q: Do you have any pets?
A: Cats

Q: What is you favourite Film? Book? Song?
A: Favourite song would be Talk Talk - Time its Time. Too many films and books.

Q: What was your most extravagant purchase?
A: My current apartment - sort of bought it on a whim

Q: What hours do you typically work? Are these normal for your company/industry/job?
A: When I was an HR VP I did a lot of travel but my 'office' hours on those days I was not travelling were to be at my desk between 6.30 and 7.00 and to leave around 8.00 at night (sometimes a bit later with a target of 7.30 on Fridays). In this job it is more flexible. I tend to start a bit later (unless travelling to a client) but I also work later as well.

Q: What do you do to switch off?
A: Read

Q: When you were little what did you want to become when you grew up?
A: A vet

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