Esther O'Halloran

Esther set up her own independent HR Consultancy offering Business Savvy Commercial skills, practical solutions and insights to Senior Leaders and HR teams, sharing her vast business knowledge, commercial and people skills. Formally Managing Director at PAUL Bakery promoted in January 2012 after more than 5 years as HRD. This followed 11 years HR professional experience in specialist and generalist roles gained from working in a variety of retail and hospitality organisations. Early career started in retail fashion management for Jigsaw, Wallis and H&M, before moving into Area Operational roles for Whitbread’s responsible for branded Brewers Fayre restaurants and Premier Inn hotels within the hospitality sector, this provided invaluable business, customer service and operational experience of both industries from the front line. Esther has 4 years Recruitment and Retention HR specialist experience with brands including Costa, Café Rouge and TGI’s, before joining Pret a Manger as Head of Recruitment during major expansion. In 2003 she moved into HR generalist roles; Head of People for EAT sandwich retailer setting up the HR function, Head of HR for SpaceNK luxury beauty brands and 5.5 years HR Director for PAUL UK, a French family owned Artisan patisserie and boulangerie retailer in London before being appointed as the Managing Director in 2012. She achieved Investors in People status for two organisations and was successful in winning a number of HR awards.

Esther is a Fellow Member of the CIPD, an active Volunteer Committee Chair of HR in Hospitality networking group, promoting career development and continuous learning through events. She actively promotes careers in hospitality for the young and disadvantaged through supporting work programmes and skills training with Springboard Charity. She has recently taken on a non-executive Directorship for Superwellness offering organisation wellness strategies based on nutrition. Her first degree is a BA (Hons) in Fashion & Textiles and a Masters in Personnel Development from Westminster University. When not working (which isn’t often), Esther enjoys “Extreme Baking” by adapting recipes and indulging in her passion for art painting acrylics on canvas.

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