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Job description - Head of Human Resources

Head of Human Resources
Up to £75,000 per annum, 37 hours per week
Permanent Contract

Witney/Cirencester/Coleford/Cheltenham/Agile and Home Working

Can you support our greatest asset, our people, to be the best they can be and the best for our organisation?
Have you experience of driving significant cultural change and transformation strategies?
Can you be a strong manager and a mentor, who can take a lead with your peers, partners and stakeholders?
Can you get under the skin of an organisation and bring simple solutions to complex problems?

About the role

We are looking for an experienced people professional who can help us be the great place to work that we aspire to be. We have already made huge progress, with Investors in People accreditation, and you will help us take the next steps from good to great, by helping us to make the best of our greatest asset: our people. You will want to make a difference, and with us, you can.

You will represent the HR Department consistently and with professionalism across Publica and partner Councils and Clients, providing strategic leadership across the HR team to ensure a strong, sustainable future for Publica, working closely with Business Manager peers, Assistant Directors, the Executive Leadership, Senior Officers at the partner Councils and the company Board. You will need to have a strategic mind-set and be able to champion a performance culture and continuously review productivity and employee development making recommendations for improvements.

As part of this role, you will act as the senior manager for our Human Resources team and you will support our Assistant Director, Organisational Effectiveness on our People Strategy, cultural shift, our Great Place to Work plan and our aspiration to create a value add Human Resources function. Bringing your broad experience to bear from the private, third or public sector arenas you will drive improvements to modernise the people function. You will also be able to support the development of your team across HR to be the best they can.

We are looking for someone who has experience in change and organisational design, establishing departmental accountabilities for the range of HR functions, which include Talent, Recruitment, Wellbeing, HR Support and Reward.

We think this is an exciting role. We often say that every year working for Publica, providing services for four Councils in two counties alongside our sister Teckal company Ubico and other external partners, is the equivalent of four or five years at a single Council!

We have produced a comprehensive and up-to-date Job Description that will give you a strong idea of the agenda we have in mind.

If you think this sounds like a role where you could thrive, truly make a difference and bring the creative, forward thinking Publica is looking for, we look forward to hearing from you.

Our future

The pace of change in the world of local government is getting faster, whether it be levelling up, climate change or local pressures, such as affordable housing, we are being asked to do more, faster and with less money. Publica has already established a strong track record in delivering savings and improving services, but we want to go further. The Head of HR is key to driving organisational effectiveness. We also want to explore ways to provide more of the things that our existing Council partners want and to look beyond our existing boundaries to see how what we do might benefit new partners.

You will need

  • To be CIPD Qualified, Level 7 or equivalent
  • 15 years + experience within HR and a track record of leading a range of HR functions
  • A proven track record of developing and implementing change and transformation strategies
  • Knowledge of HCM systems and implementation requirements
  • Experience across multiple companies in OD and working within large, complex organisations or shared services
  • To be able to problem solve and demonstrate operational and strategic skills
  • A passion for continual learning
  • Experience of implementing DE&I work streams with positive impact on culture
  • Knowledge of working with trade unions, partner clients

Special conditions

  • Use of a car for work purposes
  • Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS)
  • This post is designated as politically restricted in accordance with the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Politically restricted post holders are restricted from canvassing on behalf of a political party or for a person who is, or seeks to be, a candidate for election to a local authority, the House of Commons, or the European Parliament

Who are we

Publica is a unique place to work – we’re a local government organisation with a twist! Publica wants to transform the way local services are delivered. To help do this we have started to fundamentally rethink the way we design our services in the digital era so that Publica is a customer focused organisation driven by real user needs.

What can we do for you

  • Agile working allowing a mix of home and office working
  • Flexible working arrangements (depending on the role)
  • 27 days paid annual leave (pro rata if you are working part time) plus bank holidays and an extra two volunteering days off a year for you to support a charity of your choice
  • Health cash plan giving you cash back on health, dental and eye care
  • Pension scheme with a good employer contribution of 5% of your earnings
  • Employee Assistance Programme 24/7, providing positive, preventative and supportive advice and counselling to deal with everyday events and issues
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Salary sacrifice car lease scheme with huge tax and NI savings to be made on electric cars
  • Access to digital financial advice (covering your pension scheme, mortgages and other finances)
  • Generous sickness cover above statutory entitlements
  • Additional income protection, covering 50% of your salary for potentially a further five years if you are unable to work due to sickness or injury
  • Life assurance, currently four times your annual salary

Terms and conditions apply.

These are just a handful of the benefits that you can enjoy when you join us!

How to apply

To find out more and apply, please click on 'Apply now' below. For a confidential informal discussion with our Recruitment Manager, please contact Sarah Isley on 01285 623319, Email:

Please submit an up-to-date copy of your CV, along with a supporting statement (four sides of A4 maximum) addressing the criteria set out in the role profile and using examples to demonstrate how you meet the essential requirements.

Documents should be emailed to Please include and upload the below information in two documents only. If you experience any issues whilst applying, please contact

Applications should include:

  • Your full contact details.
  • Names, positions, organisations, and contact details for two referees (we will ask your permission before contacting referees).
  • Notification of any dates when you are not available throughout the recruitment process.

Your application will not be considered if you have not provided a supporting statement, in addition to your CV.

Publica are accredited with the disability confident employer scheme, which is a government scheme designed to encourage employers to recruit and retain disabled people and those with health conditions. We guarantee to interview to all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies - Please state this within your covering statement or in a separate email. 

Safer recruitment practices are applied to all job vacancies. Successful candidates will be required to complete a pre-employment medical questionnaire; provide references; proof of identity; nationality and immigration status; three years’ employment or education history (if applicable) and, in some cases, verification of criminal record.

  • Closing date: Sunday 25 June 2023
  • First stage interview: Friday 30 June 2023
  • Final interview: Friday 7 July 2023

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