Nicola Mackay, HR Technology Business Partner at The Edrington Group based in their amazing new Glasgow office. Edrington makes some of the world’s best-loved Scotch whiskies, including The Macallan, The Famous Grouse, Highland Park, Cutty Sark and The Glenrothes. The portfolio is complemented by Brugal, the leading premium rum in the Caribbean, and by Snow Leopard vodka. Nicola works extensively across technology and innovation developing the Edrington business globally. Nicola attends a number of technology forums and is influential in some of the significant changes that the business is making across the globe.

Tell us about your current company/role in 30 words or less?

HR Business Partner supporting the FLT functions.  50% of my role is focussed on HR Technology where I am responsible for setting the technology strategy.  My role involves setting the strategy, seeing it through to implementation and overseeing business as usual support thereafter. 

What drives you in your role?

My driving force is a determination to deliver transformational change through the implementation of leading edge technology.  Enhancing the employee experience is a key focus which in turn increases engagement and productivity.

What advice would you give 21-year-old you?

Identify what you are curious about.  Explore avenues of employment that will provide opportunities to find out more about it but don’t limit yourself to one career path.  Keep an open mind about other opportunities or other things you are interested in as having cross-functional skills and experience will be your USP. 

What is your key career achievement to date, the one you are most proud of?

Setting an overall strategy for HR Technology at Edrington and then seeing it through to fruition.  This involved the configuration and deployment of 5 modules in 5 languages across 5 continents.  It has taken 3 years and we are now investigating what the next 3 years strategy should be. 

What is your absolute favourite technological advance to date and why?

 The smartphone as it allows me to access and do so many things easily.  Banking, navigating around a new city, booking travel, applying for holidays, keep the kids amused with games, listen to music, take photos…. The list goes on! 

What, in technology, impresses you the most?

 Innovation and speed of implementing change.  Facebook launched a new feature in the morning and it has been adopting globally a few hours later. 

What, in technology, scares you most?

The indication that social networking can potentially affect our mental health and ability to engage with one another in person.

Who is your TECH-HERO, and why?

Probably Steve Jobs as he was responsible for the creation of my iPhone