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Head of People

Liverpool, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom

This is an exciting opportunity for an HR generalist as The Reader enters its next phase of evolution – focussing on bringing Shared Reading to diverse communities of people up and down the UK whilst developing the creative community at Calderstones (which is into its 3rd full year of operation). As the organisation evolves, we are looking for a Head of People to influence and shape our thinking by initiating and delivering some exciting and ambitious projects. These projects will preserve and build on our unique culture and ensure our people are able to do their best work while having an excellent experience.

The role will suit an innovative, disruptive people professional who can confidently drive both operational and cultural change, living our value ‘we make our own pattern in the world’. As a Head of Department, you form part of our extended senior leadership team who work closely alongside our Directors Group. Supported by a small dedicated People team (two FTEs) you will lead the strategic direction of the People function with responsibility for delivering our People Strategy and our Talent Management strategy, and with a key role to play in the delivery of key elements of our EDI strategy.

CIPD qualified or able to demonstrate you have the knowledge and skills required to deliver the responsibilities of the role. You will be the The Reader’s HR and people expert, advising and supporting across all areas of the organisation. Your sound practical knowledge of HR and employee relations will provide guidance and support to 160+ staff and our national network of c700 volunteers to deliver our charitable and social enterprise activities.

Your key areas of responsibility will be:

· Working closely with the Managing Director and Director of Literature continuing our work on defining, embedding and maintaining our culture, and on workforce planning and shaping.

· Leading the People/HR function, ensuring our people practices are fit for purpose but also aligned to our culture and values

· Leading on staff engagement, monitoring and responding to information and insights and continually looking for creative ways to maintain and improve engagement.

· Work closely with the extended senior leadership team and Directors to implement our EDI strategy and create a culture where diversity is at the forefront of our organisational thinking and embedded in all day to day activities

· Ensuring the organisation is compliant and up to date with employment law

· Delivering organisational development initiatives, as part of our People and Talent Management strategies

· Playing a key role in change management across the organisation providing advice and support to senior leaders on best practice around implementing change and helping people adapt to change.

· Responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of people analytics and data-driven insights helping to guide our decision making and show the value of our OD and people initiatives.

· Responsible for safeguarding at The Reader, ensuring all staff have undertaken relevant mandatory training, ensuring the 24/7 safeguarding service is effectively provided, and acting as the Designated Safeguarding officer, managing the team of Safeguarding leads.

Person Specification

· Excellent leadership and management skills

· Experienced in delivering organisational development initiatives

· Experienced in change management

· Be able to balance long term strategic thinking with practical operational needs

· Excellent communication and influencing skills with the ability to build rapport with a range of stakeholders

· Comfortable with uncertainty

· Clear and decisive decision maker, having the strength of convictions to make the ‘right’ decisions.

· Able to be bold and explicit in communications when required

· A clear understanding of what Shared Reading is and why it matters

· A clear understanding of the sector and the specific challenges that may present themselves in both a charity and a social enterprise

· Commitment to both personal and organisational learning

· Experienced dealing with a range of employee relations issues

· Drives sustained performance and achievement of targets, goals, objectives

· Demonstrates clear analytical skills, is inquisitive with a high attention to detail

· Able to champion and role model our culture taking action when necessary to ensure it thrives

The recruitment process for this role will be split into two stages, the first stage will consist of a Shared Reading taster session and Q&A, a task and an interview with our Director of People and Culture and Director of Social Enterprise. We plan for this to be held on Monday 26th February. The second stage will be an interview with a Trustee, our Director of Literature and Managing Director and is planned for week commencing 4th March. We will share interview questions and task in advance.

To apply please visit to view a full job description and application form.



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