Name | Victoria Sumpter Role | Associate Director Human Resources Joined | July 2022 Academic background | CIPD Postgraduate Degree in HR Management
Tell us about yourself? What is your background?
I started my career as a receptionist at a telecomms organisation and it was in this role, where I was reporting into the HR Manager, that I started to get involved in HR. I undertook my Certificate in HR Practice and followed this up with a Postgraduate Degree in HR Management whilst working as HR Assistant for HFL Limited in Fordham. I spent 14 years with HFL (who became Quotient Bioresearch and LGC through acquisitions) working as HR Advisor then HR Business Partner then HR Manager. After all this time with one organisation I decided a new challenge was needed, and accepted the role of HR Manager at Concept Life Sciences in Cambridge where I set up the HR function at this site from scratch. I even helped paint the site over a weekend as it hadn’t had much investment in the past! I spent 2 years at Concept, and then accepted a HR Manager role at Alzheimer’s Research UK where I worked for 3 years before joining bit.bio on a 12-month FTC as HR Manager in July last year.
I obviously did something right, because in September 2022 I was offered a permanent role as Associate Director, HR.
What does your current role, Associate Director, HR, entail?
My role is incredibly varied, and this is what I love. No two days are the same. My main focus within the People & Culture team is to manage all HR processes through the entire employee life cycle from onboarding, performance management, through to offboarding as well as working closely with the Talent Acquisition team.
As a HR professional, relationships with people are my passion. I value my ability to support employees and managers to achieve their goals. As well as being passionate about the people I represent, I am also passionate about technology and ensuring we have first-class systems to make processes for everyone simple and efficient.
What would you say to someone who was considering applying for a role at bit.bio?
To apply ASAP! bit.bio has so much to offer! Not only do we have cutting edge science and technology, we have a vibrant office space, social and welcoming employees and a magnificent benefits package!
What is your vision and what have you built within the People’s team so far?
It has been a very busy 6 months for sure! The organisation has moved from start-up to scale-up, so many of the initial systems and processes that were put in place at the beginning of bit.bio weren’t fit for purpose anymore, so in the time I’ve been here I have already implemented a new HR Information System, rolled out a new Career Ladder and Performance Appraisal process, implemented a Recognition platform, introduced Wellbeing events, launched LinkedIn Learning and a Leadership Development programme, and am now in the process of building a HR Intranet.
bit.bio HR and TA team.
What achievements are you most proud of?
I’d have to say the new HR system and the new Recognition platform. When we first started looking at providers, and I told them the timescale I wanted to work to, they were hesitant - but we achieved both in under a 6-month period with great success. The feedback has been amazing, and it's so nice to see people recognising each other and our new HR Metrics are fantastic if I do say so myself (even if that does sound a little geeky!).
What do you enjoy outside working hours?
I’m married to Paul, a VP of IT at a Pharmaceutical company and have a 17 year old son called Alfie, who’s currently at CRC training to work in construction (and also learning to drive which is very stressful!). We are all huge football fans, and never miss a Liverpool FC game (even though their performance this year isn’t up to scratch!).
Husband Paul and son Alfie visiting a match together.
I have a dog called Rocky, who’s a Jack Russell Chihuahua Cross - so lots of walks with him, especially along the river in Ely which is a favourite at weekends. I enjoy reading, TV and cinema, and may have recently signed up for the bit.bio netball team despite not having played for many years!
Victoria's dog Rocky.
What's the culture at bit.bio like?
We have a fantastic culture at bit.bio. One of our company values is collaborative, and this really comes through as soon as you walk through the doors. Employees are encouraged to provide feedback and their voice is really listened to. Wellbeing is of key importance, as is the social element. The company encourages team-building as well as other social events including games nights, Halloween and Christmas parties. It's fast-paced, so things move quickly and this can take some getting used to for some people but if you want to work for an innovative organisation look no further!
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