Lead us in the next part of the journey

South Tyneside Council

Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development

South Tyneside Council job vacancy

7th June 2022 (noon)
Closing date


This is an exciting time to shape the future of South Tyneside Council as we launch ‘Our Council’ change programme geared towards internal modernisation and Organisational Development. At the same time, we are developing a new 20-year vision and medium-term Council Strategy underpinned by a refreshed set of values focusing on key areas where we can make a genuine improvement to some of the complex challenges we face.

Located on the beautiful North-East coastline, South Tyneside can provide an unrivalled quality of life. South Tyneside is a unique place: the natural assets, heritage and geography set it apart from the rest of the region and the resilience, pride and solidarity of the people make South Tyneside special. We have some magnificent places of natural beauty including our beaches and parks, and our local places are clean with an impressive range of housing, schools, and services to meet residents’ needs.

South Tyneside Council is an organisation where you can really make a difference. Under fresh political and officer leadership the Council is already high performing across many areas and is now looking for an experienced Human Resources and Organisational Development leader to take us on to the next level by helping us to design and implement a corporate-wide transformation programme. Responsible for the full functions of HR and also OD which has a renewed focus underpinned by new investment, the successful candidate will be people centred and committed to further developing an innovative and exciting vision and culture which also embrace and embed the principles of equality, diversity, inclusion and well-being. These new ways of working will support our employees and members to flourish through maximising our potential and be a catalyst for further organisational improvement.

About the role

Job description


  • The post will make a real and significant contribution towards the shaping and delivery of our new Organisational Development Strategy to enable the achievement of corporate and strategic objectives. This will be achieved through leading work on a change programme ensuring that organisational values and culture are reflected in themes such as recruitment, training and development, employee engagement and wellbeing, workstyles, leadership styles, induction etc.
  • The post will play a fundamental role in our Modern Workplace Programme which aims to maximise the benefits from adoption of new technology to enhance productivity, collaboration, innovation and employee wellbeing. The postholder will lead key strands of the programme to embed and promote flexible working, strengthen recruitment and retention as well as improving digital skills.
  • The post will lead on ensuring good employee relations across the Council, building upon our strong trade union partnerships. The postholder will ensure strong employee engagement and promote a healthy workplace.
  • The post will provide assurance to the Council all on health and safety matters to ensure it meets its requirements under relevant legislation and provides a safe working environment for its employees.

Key responsibilities

  • To lead and manage the HR and OD service providing flexible, enabling and solution focussed services that provides advice and support to a range of stakeholders across the Council.
  • Work closely and proactively with Elected Members, senior officers, Trades Unions, partners and local communities, to support the shaping and implementation of the Council's overall goals, set out in its updated corporate strategy and related plans.
  • Work with Elected Members and senior officers to develop, implement and review an organisational development strategy which promotes flexible working, maximises engagement and the potential of elected members and the workforce underpinned by a shared set of values, behaviours and culture.
  • Effectively manage all training and development budgets to maximise staff recruitment and retention, workforce and succession planning to ensure that employees and elected members have the capability to meet current and future skill requirements.
  • Develop effective performance management, coaching and quality assurance arrangements to stimulate improvements to service delivery and improved outcomes ensuring a “golden thread” from strategic objectives through to individual goals.
  • Champion the values of equality, diversity and inclusion and embed in the conduct and behaviours of staff and elected members as well as Council policies and strategies.
  • Lead on an effective and inclusive workforce planning strategy anticipating future requirements to ensure organisational objectives are achieved.
  • Develop performance and quality management systems that deliver excellence and innovation but also motivate and develop staff.
  • Develop appropriate systems and processes to programme manage and monitor all human resources initiatives across the Council and its partners and enable managers and employees to work effectively and self-sufficiently.
  • Lead and participate actively in a range of corporate and transformation projects.
  • Ensure that the human resources strategies, plans and programmes being delivered reflect the needs, requirements and aspirations of our communities and a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Nurture productive internal and external partnerships ensuring good employee relations are maintained between the Council and its partners.
  • Provide support to the Council’s leadership and Elected Members, assisting them to manage the Council’s reputation internally and externally.
  • Engage with other senior managers to provide senior leadership across all areas of the Council and with partner agencies.
  • Represent the Council on appropriate matters, as requested by the Director at meetings with other local authorities, external bodies or other organisations.
  • Ensure the HR and OD Service maintains a highly motivated and skilled team that keeps pace with current and future practice in the related fields and bring its knowledge to support a wide and diverse range of customers.
  • Lead the Health and Safety Team to ensure the Council meets its legislative obligations in relation to health and safety and monitors suitably risk assessed working arrangements.
  • Lead the Occupational Health Facility to support a healthy workforce and promotes strategies to improve employee wellbeing.
  • Develop excellent partnership working arrangements to deliver the human resource priorities of South Tyneside and ensure that the full range of resources are deployed to best effect.


In addition to the above responsibilities and tasks, you may be required to undertake additional or other duties and responsibilities in order meet the needs of the Council, as determined by the Director.

All employees have a responsibility to undertake training and development as required. They also have a responsibility to assist, where appropriate and necessary, with the training and development of fellow employees.

All employees have a responsibility of care for their own and others’ health and safety.

The standard working week is 37 hours. The nature of the role is such that you will regularly need to work outside normal working hours, including attendance at evening meetings.

Person specification

Key skills and attributes

  • Substantial experience in a large complex organisation as a Senior HR and / or OD Manager leading, developing, and implementing HR strategies.
  • A good understanding of best practice in organisational development delivery and current thinking to support transformation.
  • Ability to manage change effectively with demonstrable record of success in achieving sustainable improvements.
  • A successful and consistent track record and background of achievement as an HR manager in a large comparable organisation.
  • Evidence of a clear understanding of the workings of local government and the current issues being faced within the Borough and the wider public sector.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of employment legislation and experience of dealing with complex employment issues.
  • Ability to develop practical and creative solutions to the management of corporate and strategic issues.
  • Experience of dealing with difficult and sensitive situations in a diplomatic and professional manner.
  • Ability to establish and develop positive relationships with Elected Members, senior officers and employees of all levels, our strategic partners and the local community that generate confidence and enhance collaborative working.
  • Ability to lead projects including experience of applying information technology to support service transformation.
  • Experience of communicating effectively to a wide range of audiences both internally and externally to achieve corporate and service objectives of a comparable organisation.
  • Experience of participating effectively in multi-disciplinary groups to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Experience of management of employee relations.
  • A clear understanding of and commitment to equality and diversity in employment and service delivery within a large and complex organisation.
  • Experience of financial planning and managing budgets.
  • High standard of personal integrity, capable of maintaining confidentiality and discretion.
  • Ability to manage competing priorities whilst under pressure.
  • A good knowledge of health and safety law and best practice.
  • Significant experience of managing and supervising staff supporting individual and team performance.
  • A clear strategic and lateral thinker with capacity to empower others.

Supporting documents

The vacancy

The Council

How to apply

For more information, contact our consultants at Penna, Nick Raper on 07715 690463 or Kelly Ridley on 07709 512415