Home Office offers up to £130k for next HR chief

Chief people officer should provide "pragmatic, calm and collaborative leadership"
Photo: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Archive/PA Images

The Home Office is offering up to £130,000 for an HR chief that will help lead the department’s ongoing personnel overhaul and steer it into “becoming an organisation that can live its values and be respectful, courageous, compassionate and collaborative”.

The department has once again called in headhunters to help it locate a chief people officer who can provide “pragmatic, calm and collaborative leadership” and the skills to drive “wide-reaching cultural change and transformation”.

Global Resourcing is leading the hunt for the CPO, who will earn between £110,000 and £130,000

The advert was posted soon after the Home Office published details of a contract worth up to £300,000 that it signed in June commissioning the Green Park consultancy to fill six director-level posts, and opened recruitment on a number of other roles.

The hiring drive will support the One Home Office transformation programme, which began in April, which permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft has said is intended to establish “clearer roles and responsibilities for all teams” and create “more integrated teams”.

The Home Office is also working on a cultural overhaul in the wake of the Windrush lessons learned review that top leadership has promised will encourage staff to see the “face behind the case” and better embody its values to be respectful, courageous, compassionate and collaborative.

The next chief people officer – who will replace Jill Hatcher, who moved to become HR director at Defence Equipment and Support this month – will support both of these aims and transformation will be a “key element” of the role, according to the job advert.

The successful candidate will be the “senior trusted adviser for the permanent and second permanent secretary on people and organisational issues”, the job ad says. This includes providing challenge and support, as well as coaching directors general to develop the capability of the Home Office’s leadership team.

They will lead the Home Office’s 500-strong HR group and be a member of both the department’s executive committee and the civil service HR executive.

Applicants must have a “proven ability to persuade, influence and secure the confidence of others”, and to work with senior stakeholders across organisational boundaries.

They must also have a record of delivering services through a “compassionate and people-centric” HR function; using data to influence decisions about organisations and support outcomes; and providing inclusive leadership.

Commercial specialist sought for emergency comms network project

The government commercial function is meanwhile hiring a director general to work on the department's Emergency Services Modernisation Communication Programme – also known as the behind-schedule and over-budget Emergency Services Network programme.

The successful candidate will earn between £91,800 and £131,300 and will be responsible for "managing the lifecycle" of both existing and new "large, complex contracts" that make up the programme.

These contracts have changed frequently over the last few years as the Home Office seeks to replace Airwave, the comms network used by emergency services like police and firefighters in times of crisis, with a new system. The ESN is now expected to be in place in December 2022, three years later than planned.

The programme has been the subject of much criticism, with the Public Accounts Committee saying the department had failed to “get a grip” on whether it could deliver the programme despite extending its budget and deadline multiple times.

The commercial specialist, who will be a deputy director, is expected to "create a culture and behaviour change, both in the commercial function and the business, to ensure we meet our objectives", manage relationships with vendors and champion diversity in their team.

The role is being filled after a review of the programme's governance and management, which led to the Home Office saying it was strengthening oversight of the project at senior level, and recruiting a new SRO.

It is the latest commercial role to be advertised as the function seeks to deliver a "significant step-change in the way we deliver a commercial service" at the Home Office.

Applications for the chief people officer role close on 9 September, and for the commercial post close on 12 September.

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