Director of Human Resources

The Natural History Museum (NHM) is a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre. We use our unique collections and unrivalled expertise to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today. We care for more than 80 million specimens, both in our London and Tring museums, spanning billions of years and welcome more than five million visitors annually. 

The Waterhouse Building at our South Kensington site, often described as a cathedral to nature, is one of Britain’s most striking examples of Romanesque architecture and one of London’s most iconic landmarks. We plan to maximise the potential of this site and our beautiful museum in Tring.

We are at a pivotal moment in our history as we seek to appoint a Director of Human Resources. In the autumn we will launch a new strategy setting out our role as the natural world faces increasing threats. Building on our world-leading collection, global reputation for science and as one of the world’s leading visitor attractions, the NHM has ambitious plans leading up to the 150 anniversary of the opening of the Waterhouse Building in 2031, making this a truly exciting time to be part of the NHM team.

About the role

To reflect how highly we value our staff, we are creating a new senior HR appointment reporting to the Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Services to lead our People Strategy at the highest level. This role will sit on a newly created Management Team, reporting into the Executive Board. 

Accountable for creating and implementing a sector-leading People Strategy that contributes to the Museum’s strategic objectives, this role is both strategic and operational in equal measure. There is a large element of project work involved in this role, some of which may include significant relocation of staff as the Museum considers options for storing its growing collections and the staff that care for and work with them.

The role is responsible for leading a multi-disciplined team, currently 17, with 3 direct reports, delivering services to a workforce of over 900 staff. This includes oversight of the Health & Safety function.

About you 

A true people person, you will demonstrate a genuine interest in people and can build rapport and gain trust at all levels of the organisation. Calm, discreet and diplomatic, you will respect confidentiality in all matters and give honest feedback, whilst being warm, friendly and approachable. We are looking for someone who is productive and proactive, a finisher who enjoys getting things done. 

An exceptional leader, you will need to manage, motivate and inspire a team consisting of HR, Health & Safety, Leaning & Development, Apprentice & Volunteering, Recruitment and Reward professionals. You will lead by example and be a role model for other leaders within the Museum.

A trusted advisor to the leadership team, you will provide insightful, pragmatic advice as well as guidance and support on a whole range of people issues. You will implement people plans that are sustainable and will deliver long-term results.

You must have deep experience of organisational development, succession planning and recruitment to ensure that we attract, develop and retain talent and our strongest performers, and have effective and comprehensive measures in place for performance management. 

We are connected, so you must have a collaborative, generous approach to work and share ideas. You must also have the confidence to make, and stand by, your decisions.

We value evidence. Data led, you will use HR analytics to identify trends, identify solutions to problems and inform management decisions.

We value creativity. You will need to be creative in your approach, brimming with great ideas, eager to try new things – enhancing our L&D offer, building upon our range of benefits, or developing new engagement initiatives. You must be commercially astute, numerate and a confident negotiator to ensure the Museum secures the best value with a wide range of HR service suppliers.

We value diversity, so you will be committed to improving the diversity of our work force by working closely with our diversity partners (ENEI), implementing our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. You will support our Apprenticeship Manager in seeking out new funding partners for apprenticeships and make best use of our Apprenticeship Levy funds.

Your written English must be exceptional. You will be able to draft new policies, all-staff communications, formal correspondence and HR marketing collateral with fluency and flair.

You should hold a CIPD qualification (at least level 7, ideally Fellowship of the CIPD) and will be committed to continuous professional development and expanding your professional network. To be successful in this role, you will have a blend of experience in private, public, academic and heritage sectors. You will have previous experience of working in a unionised environment. It helps if you can also demonstrate an understanding of, and a keen interest in, the vision of the Natural History Museum.

This is a career defining role for an exceptional HR professional. If you think this sounds like you, we’d love to hear from you. 

Closing date 25 October 2019

Interviews will be held 7 & 8 November 2019

How to apply

To apply, please visit and upload your CV with a covering letter, which clearly outlines how you meet our person specification.



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