Q&A with Lorraine McCarthy

An interview with Spearline's Chief People and Culture Officer (CPCO)
On Tuesday 04 February 2020 by Orla Clancy

 

Tell us briefly about your background and role at Spearline. 

 

I joined Spearline in November 2018 as the HR and operations manager having spent over 20 years in the banking industry. I'm the CPCO here in Spearline, which means I'm responsible for all human resource functions across all our global offices as well as ensuring that the collaborative and inclusive culture that we currently have continues. 

 

What exactly is a CPCO?
 

It stands for the Chief People and Culture Officer. Culture is a big part of who we are here in Spearline. We recently had some new employees join the team and, as part of our induction, someone from every department presents to new team members regarding each department’s roles and responsibilities. The feedback is really positive and to me that's very refreshing to hear; that's the environment that we want to promote.  If you asked me to define a culture, I would say that it's friendly, flexible, rewarding. We're innovative, inclusive, and we're passionate about who we are and what we do. What we want is people to work hard while they're here, but likewise to enjoy life once they leave work. 

 

My role also involves looking after all four of the Spearline offices: the headquarters in Skibbereen (Ireland), which is our largest and then we have our global sales office in Waterford (Ireland), a development office in Romania and an office in India, which houses a portion of our testing support team, a number of developers an HR team, some of the operations team and a new business analyst team.

 

What do you find most appealing about your role in HR? 

 

In HR, no two days are the same. Some days your desk is covered in paperwork and it's process-driven. And then other days are thinking and planning about the future and working towards the goals that we set for ourselves. Personally, I love interviewing. I love getting to meet new people. What I like to do is ask them about their achievements to date and then you can just see the passion within them and they start to flourish and talk about the successes that they've had in their career, that's the part I love the most. Usually with interviews, people are very nervous at the start, but once you get into the second, third, fourth question, people start to relax.  I always say at the start that an interview is to get the best out of you. It's not to pick at your faults, this is the time for you to tell us what you're best at. 

 

Tell us about some achievements you'd like to talk about since starting your role at Spearline. 

 

There have been quite a few.  In December 2019, we announced the introduction of paid maternity, adoptive and paternity leave from the 1st of January, 2020. It's a whole new initiative to give new parents extra peace of mind. It also aligns with our offering that working at Spearline is conducive to greater wellbeing and a more balanced lifestyle while still being able to achieve success. Following on from that, in terms of recruitment, we have seen huge employment growth in the last 12 months. During our Summit 2019 week, we had 45% growth and that figure rose to 57% in December 2019. We now have over one hundred team members.  

 

We also introduced a number of internal policies.  One was our volunteer day policy, that came out at the start of 2019.  This gives employees time to take a days leave to volunteer with a local charity while not using up their annual leave. We've had a good take up on it. The other successful one was a no smoking policy, which is across all our campuses and we've seen a number of employees who've quit for good, which is obviously great for them as well. Overall, it’s very rewarding. 

 

For more, connect with Lorraine McCarthy on LinkedIn here.