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// Your FirstPort Team

Getting to know… Emma Smith, Head of Talent

Tell us about your role and how long you’ve worked for FirstPort
I am FirstPort’s Head of Talent, which covers talent acquisition, talent planning, development and internal communications.  I have been with FirstPort for just over 18 months.

What do you do in the first hour after you wake up?
Currently emails if my son is still asleep. When he wakes it is breakfast and get ready for the day.

What you like most about your job?
The people. I am proud to be part of a great team, our own Talent team, wider HR and the FirstPort Team as a whole – such an amazing group of people, who are passionate and committed to what they do and the customers they serve.

What challenges do you face?
When it comes to Learning and Development, my challenge is keeping consistency across brands.  Also, making sure we are working with the business to deliver what will create the greatest impact.  At times that means asking questions and challenging back, rather than just saying yes to requests. When it comes to resourcing, my challenge is bringing in the best talent when competition for people is fierce.

What led you to take this opportunity?
It beautifully combined all of my experience and passion into one role!

What is your greatest achievement?
My greatest ever achievement is my son.
In terms of FirstPort, it’s the Talent team – finding, recruiting and developing a group of people who have different views, skills and experience (this wasn’t just me, the whole team have done this together).  We have created a great synergy, where we work brilliantly together, support each other, challenge each other’s thinking and deliver some great work. The recent response to the Covid situation is a great example, where the whole team have pulled together to support the business with comms, information, training support and being there for colleagues who needed to talk.

Who is your inspiration?
Lots of people!
My old boss at Camelot who trusted me and gave me opportunities to stretch my skills and work outside of my comfort zone (and supported me if things didn’t go to plan).  Knowing someone has your back like that is worth its weight in gold.
My previous mentor who shared knowledge and experience and was humble enough to call out when she needed help from me (even though she had far more experience than I did).
A friend who has had a year of family bereavement, illness, personal loss and other challenges, but has kept delivering in her work and looking after a toddler.  Hasn’t complained, just got on with everything.

What keeps you busy outside of work?
My son.  I love walking, so will do that when I can.  I also love to travel, so try to get away to far off lands when we can.

What personal goal have you set yourself this year?
Get fit!

What is one thing that people may not know about you?
I am a qualified riding instructor and spent the first 10 years of my career working with horses.