Jabbar Sardar is the Global HR Director for BBC Studios, the commercial subsidiary of the BBC that combines the strengths of the UK’s most awarded-production company with a world class distributor.
As Global HR Director, he is responsible for all HR activity for the company’s 6,000 staff and freelancers across 16 countries. Sardar joined the BBC in January 2016 and reports into the CEO of BBC Studios and BBC Group HRD. He is the Chair of the BBC Studios Pay Committee. He is also a member of both the BBC Studios’ Executive Team and the pan-BBC HR Leadership Team.
Sardar joined the BBC from Cafcass, where he was Director of HR and OD and led an agenda of total organisational and cultural change, culminating in 2014 when Cafcass was assessed by Ofsted as ‘Good with Outstanding Leadership.’
Before Cafcass, Sardar was a senior HR professional within multiple large public sector organisations. Sardar has served as Chair of the International Advisory Board at the University of Bradford, School of Management since 2017. He is also a trustee for Citizens Advice and serves on the Steering Group for the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA).
Learn more about leaders in the UK CHRO Community here.
Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.
My career started at the University of Bradford in 1990. During the first 13 years of my career, I had the great pleasure of working with inspiring leaders and managers, enabling me to gain experience across multiple HR areas: Reward, Diversity and Inclusion, HR Operational and Strategic work, and Management Information.
I then spent several years at Cafcass in HR Director positions, working with the leadership team to transform the culture and workplace. This culminated in 2014, when Cafcass was assessed by Ofsted as ‘Good with Outstanding Leadership,’ a particular moment of pride for both me and the organisation.
Since 2016, I have had the tremendous privilege of working for the BBC and latterly the BBC’s Commercial arm, BBC Studios.
What is one of your guiding leadership principles?
To be authentic, know yourself, choose your team well and inspire.
With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a CHRO going in the next 1-2 years?
A greater focus being placed on inclusive workplaces, including the successful management of hybrid working. A strengthened talent attraction and retention proposition. Lastly, the ever-increasing need to focus on sustainability.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CHRO?
Be inspired and motivated by what you do – we have a long career ahead and having fun whilst doing the day job is so important. Surround yourself with the right people (internally and externally) as part of your own development.
Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.
I’m a plane spotter, I can speak more than 3 languages, and I love travelling.
What is the value of participating in a professional community through Evanta?
It’s essential as a CHRO to network, learn from others, gain professional knowledge and insights from the best in the HR industry, and constantly use this to challenge yourself.
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