In Your Shoes - Bob Jack

Bob Jack has been Head of Hillcrest Maintenance since 2019.

The Head of Hillcrest Maintenace has overall responsibility for delivery of a high quailty, value-for-money maintenance service to Hillcrest.

Hillcrest is one of Scotlands largest housing associations.

They have over 6000  good quality homes at affordable rents across Dundee, Edinburgh, Angus, Perthshire and Aberdeen.


Monday: Interviewing in the office

After another long period of home-working, and with restrictions starting to ease, it was nice to get back into the office. My week started with a day of interviews, as part of a selection panel. Being asked to sit on the panel was an interesting experience since the interviews were outside of my own department, and gave me an insight into another area of Hillcrest and how this part of the business works. As much as I enjoyed being back in the office, I have to admit that I did miss the comfort that wearing shorts brings, and with a tighter waistband on my trousers than I remembered, I decided it was time to get the gym bag out of the wardrobe for its first outing of the year…

Tuesday: Board report deadline day

Unfortunately, with a day of home-working ahead, my plans to get up early and hit the gym didn’t quite work out, as my appetite not to exercise continued into February. Instead, I made the 30 step walk downstairs to my home office to tackle a day of preparing board papers. These are papers prepared for our quarterly board meetings. They cover budgets, cost of living reviews, health and safety, key performance indicators, and a general operations update to keep the Hillcrest Maintenance board members updated on how the company has performed up to and including the current reporting quarter. The day finished off with a meeting with Henderson Loggie LLP to finalise arrangements for a forthcoming audit.

Wednesday: Business planning and collaborative working

On Wednesday I was invited to the Hillcrest Homes’ housing department’s business planning day. Due to current restrictions, the event was held virtually on Microsoft Teams. This event helps plan the business objectives for the housing department for the forthcoming financial year. It’s always interesting to be part of this process, and also have the opportunity to catch up with colleagues from different departments. In the afternoon I had a meeting with the new Head of Construction Services at Dundee City Council to discuss areas of the business which are replicated between the two companies, and how we could share knowledge to help each other. Health and safety and different working practices were discussed in what was a very worthwhile meeting.

Thursday: One day, two offices

Thursday morning began at Hillcrest HQ with an HR catch-up with the HR Business Partner for Hillcrest Maintenance. Over the past six months the majority of these catch-ups have been held over Teams so it was a nice change to be out and about meeting people in person again. At this catch up we discussed all HR business matters within the maintenance department. My next stop was to take part in an interview panel, still at Hillcrest HQ, before moving to my next meeting at Hillcrest Maintenance’s main office at Tom Johnstone Road in Dundee. This was to meet with the chair of Hillcrest Maintenance board in person, as over the past year face-to-face meetings have been very limited. While the main function of the meetings are work related, there’s a more personal side to meeting in person that helps build relationships.

Friday: Taxi service and voids meetings

On Friday morning I started by picking up a colleague on the way to work; my good deed for the week was done. Once in the office, the first meeting of the day was looking at how we record different aspects of time allocated for different phases of void property works. This is when properties are vacated and have to be made ready for the next occupants. There are many different stages to the process, and it is important to make sure the correct coding for each phase is used to ensure accurate reporting at all stages of the void process. There is a real cross-department focus in this process, with many teams involved. To celebrate what felt like a slight easing of lockdown restrictions, I started the weekend with dinner at my favourite local restaurant, Forbes of Kingennie. As always, the food was superb… roll on Monday so I can tease my gym bag once more, with the prospect of eventually getting out the house!