Head of HR

Job Title: Head of HR
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: London, United Kingdom
Reference: KH/15397
Contact Name: Kirstin Hunt
Contact Email:
Job Published: July 13, 2020 19:53

Job Description

Job Title: Head of HR

Our client is a niche investment firm which supports the development of financial markets in lower income countries across Africa and Asia. The role will be based in London and report into the Chief Operating Officer. We are looking for a flexible candidate, who can handle a variety of operational and strategic HR tasks, working with the outsourced HR advisory and benefits provider. This work will involve liaising with staff across all of company’s locations, and a need for someone with a high sensitivity to cultural differences.

Role Summary:

The Head of HR will have a responsibility to foster and maintain a culture that encourages a collaborative approach between all stakeholders, whilst handling highly confidential information in an honest and trustworthy way. This work will involve liaising with staff across all of the company’s locations, and a need for someone with a high sensitivity to cultural differences as well as a strong affinity with the company’s mission and values.

Valuing diversity is essential to the company’s work. We aim to act in accordance with and promote equality legislation by avoiding unjustified discrimination and recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All employees are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies. The organisation is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect diversity at every level within the organisation.

Main Responsibilities

The main work streams of the Head of HR are:

  • Design and implement an HR strategy that focuses on the people and organisational development activities to support high performance; encompassing attraction, recruitment, induction, engagement, performance measurement and management, reward, retention, succession planning, process and system improvement, cultural development and talent development.
  • A key member of the Executive Committee (Operations and Performance), meeting monthly to discuss finances / budgeting, business performance and ensure delivery of operational aspects of business plan as well as driving forwards strategy on gender and operational improvements.
  • Perform administrative support for HR processes in-house, liaising with the outsourced HR provider to ensure timely processing of HR requests (e.g. offer letters, contracts) and that all internal records are kept up-to-date on a timely manner and that the online HR portal (Breathe HR) is updated. Ensure all HR-related operations and processes are undertaken in a timely, efficient and accurate way.
  • Lead on developing and implementing a rolling annual training programme, the company Academy, working with the Leadership Team to develop a plan that supports the team in developing both technical and soft skills, and addresses the development requirements in individual Personal Development Plans, as well as stratifies the training approach across the levels and sub-teams within the organisation. Liaise with external training providers to deliver the training, dealing with contracting, budgeting and logistical planning.
  • Lead on the recruitment processes for all roles across the organisation, liaising with recruitment consultants, maintaining the recruitment inbox for direct applications, supporting the recruiting managers with long-listing and short-listing, arranging interviews and supporting with the hiring process.
  • Ownership of the on-boarding and off-boarding processes to ensure a smooth process for new hires and leavers.
  • Lead on the appraisal process, including administering the 360 feedback forms, ensuring that all line managers are aligned and delivering the process, and supporting the Remuneration Committee and ExCo in their review of the outcomes of the appraisal process. Support the COO and Finance Director with the pay rise, bonus and LTIP administrative processes, liaising with the outsourced HR provider to do so. Perform internal and external salary benchmarking exercises to ensure that pay is fair and appropriate.
  • Management of the annual promotions process, assessing suitability against the competency matrix and presenting each submission to the ExCo.
  • Liaise with the Communications Director to ensure critical internal communications regarding HR matters are delivered in a timely, clear, motivating and sensitive way.
  • Work with the Finance team to deliver Board reporting on HR metrics, providing insightful analysis and recommendations from the results.
  • Lead the Staff Survey process, assimilating the results, presenting to the Executive Committee the findings and any recommendations, and discussing with the wider team to promote high employee engagement.
  • Support the COO in the delivery of any internal change ensuring the most effective use of employee resources and ensuring employee satisfaction and motivation remains high.
  • Own and update the Employee Handbook for any changes in Company or HR policies.
  • Support line managers with resolving any sensitive or complex employee relations issues, bringing in the COO and potentially the outsourced HR provider if required.
  • Support the Finance Director in the administration of benefits, liaising with the outsourced HR provider to do so.
  • Any other reasonable duties as may be assigned by the company from time to time. Travel to the company’s locations may be required in the course of business.



  • CIPD Level 7 qualified or equivalent
  • Significant knowledge in all aspects of Human Resources; recruitment, selection, on-boarding, learning and development, performance management, reward
  • Knowledge of organisational change and development in an agile and fast-paced environment
  • Knowledge of the principles of workforce development and the appropriate use of learning interventions
  • Knowledge of reward mechanisms and job benchmarking
  • An understanding of, and a commitment to, equal opportunities and diversity
  • Current knowledge of best HR practice and solid employment law knowledge, with proven experience of applying updated legislation to a variety of HR situations


  • Ability to work in a stand-alone capacity, being comfortable with rolling your sleeves up for transactional tasks, whilst also delivering on strategic tasks
  • Demonstrates commercial acumen by partnering with the business to deliver commercially focused HR strategies and has a good overall understanding of company business plan and uses this to develop relevant practices and solutions
  • Creative and strategic thinker with flair for organisation development
  • Well-developed programme and project management skills; the ability to design and deliver projects to schedule
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines while working with ambiguity
  • Confident communicator and well developed written business English
  • Expert in change management, coaching and business partnering
  • Strong people management and interpersonal skills with the ability to establish credibility and build department accountability
  • Evidence of having a passion for working with people and working beyond the confines of the job description
  • Proven organisation skills and ability to priortise
  • Thrives on constant change
  • Budgeting skills
  • Intermediate IT skills (MS Office including Excel)


  • Significant broad HR experience
  • Experience of writing, developing and implementing HR Strategies, policies, procedures and supporting managers and colleagues
  • Experience of managing HR case-work and guiding business managers on all employee relations matters, including resolving complex and sensitive cases within a required timeframe
  • Experience of working in a multi-country environment


  • Affinity with the mission of the company and a desire to work for an organisation that makes a difference in our chosen markets
  • A tactful and discreet approach when dealing with difficult situations
  • Professional and diplomatic approach with people at all levels
  • The confidence to present and provide a compelling reason to support HR best practice approaches
  • High energy, drive and resilience with demonstrable passion for effective people development and engagement
  • Evidence based, thoughtful and highly organised
  • Builds solid relationships based on high levels of emotional intelligence
  • Likes working in a fast-paced organisation

This role will suit someone who has been working as an HR Business Partner/HR Manager and looking to step into a Head of HR role.

If you are interested in discussing the role further please contact Kirstin Hunt at

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