2020 applicants
New vacancy

Director of People and Culture

Mixed group of four students walking along a pathway from the Tony Rich Teaching Centre towards the Hex.

Come and join the family

Byrn Morris

Thank you for your interest in the position of Director of People and Culture at the University of Essex. You can find out more about the University, our strategic priorities, the People and Culture Section and this job in the other parts of this document, which I hope you will find informative. However, don’t just turn straight to the small print, important though it is, because this is a job that is all about a vision.

We are in the early stages of our six-year strategic plan period. We are looking for an outstanding new Director of People and Culture with the curiosity and imagination to help us deliver leading edge people-related services and innovations in support of our University’s mission and to support the achievement of the bold ambitions we have set for ourselves. We want someone to take the central people aims of our Strategic Plan and shape them into a cultural vision that can make them a reality.

Of course, we want someone with all the expected attributes and experience: a senior human resources professional who shares our passion for delivering excellence in education and research; a leader who can manage large teams and get the most out of them; someone who appreciates the impact of the ongoing changes in the external environment and what our University will need to do to thrive in that context; someone who understands the impact of cultural change on an organisation and can help lead the University on its journey. But we want so much more than the usual attributes.

At Essex, we are committed to attracting and supporting students who have the intellectual potential to benefit from, and contribute to, a research-led education. Our staff have the spirit to be active partners in our students’ learning and university experience; they are brave enough to have ideas and generous enough to share them. We work in partnership with them so that they can achieve their potential. We have come a long way in developing our organisation and its culture – but there is still more to do. We are looking for someone with the passion, vision and insight to see how cultural change can add more value, to understand where our people services can enable us to deliver more and to ensure that we are able to realise those benefits. We have increased the numbers of our students by 50% over the last five years, and have augmented our academic staff base - and we continue to grow. We expect to be a university of about 20,000 students by 2025. Our practices need to be sustainable, agile and inventive – keeping pace with our growth and stimulating new ways to enhance the impact of our work. If you think you have both the head and the heart to take the development of our people and our organisational culture into the next phase of our growth, then this could be the opportunity you have been looking for.

I do hope you’ll be excited by our vision of the University of Essex as a community where bold change happens and by the pivotal role our Director of People and Culture will play in realising that vision. If you are, then now is probably the time to move on to the other sections of this brief to learn a bit more about the detail. If, having done so, you have ideas or questions that you’d like to explore, then do please get in touch to talk about the role, because you sound like the type of person we’d like to talk to.

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