Head of People (HR)

Job description


To head up our People (HR) function, setting and leading the strategy and direction for People. The role will be operational across two sites; Meriden and Banbury; ensuring that the agency(s) are supported with a long-term vision as a high performing workplace.

Reporting directly to the Finance Director who will support, guide and champion the HR function.


• Happy fulfilled and engaged employees and direct reports
• Setting and leading the people (HR) strategy
• A proactive approach to compliance, regulatory and employee communications
• Processes and policies to support a high performing workplace
• Reliable HR systems
• Responsible allocation of HR budgets
• Fairly and consistently handled employee relations


• Held previous position of seniority, able to establish credibility and build department accountability
• Able to problem solve and demonstrate operational and strategic skills
• Evidence of having a passion for working with people and working beyond the confines of the job description
• Comfortable in developing team members and empowering staff and supporting line managers to do the same (coaching and mentoring)
• Line management experience
• Demonstrates commercial acumen; partners with the business to deliver commercially focused people strategies and has a good overall understanding of company finances and uses this to develop policies
• Solid up to date employment law knowledge and proven experience of applying updated legislation to a variety of HR situations
• Managed TUPE situations, redundancy, change management and able to counsel and support senior management on appropriate practice
• Outstanding communication skills; able to deliver bad news and give it a positive outlook as well as ability to influence at all levels
• Proven organisation skills and ability to prioritise and meet deadlines
• Thrives on constant change
• Attention to detail with a helicopter view of how decisions impact the wider business
• CIPD qualified (level 7 ideally) with evidence of Continuing Professional Development


• Continuously review the responsibilities of the HR function and make bold decisions when necessary
• Lead on special projects, communicate and direct on strategy and implementation; support Finance Director with People (HR) strategy, plan and implementation
• Translate key data into an effective and commercially focused HR and People Strategy
• Champion a high-performance work culture and continuously review productivity and employee development making recommendations for improvements
• Continuous improvement of people (HR) policies, procedures, and guidelines which embody organisational values
• Lifestyle policies devising and revising
• Deliver/support line manager training to enable a high performing culture (conflict resolution, constructive feedback, assertiveness, difficult conversations)
• Oversee the appraisals process which supports the agency culture, values and behaviours
• Support the agency through restructure/change management /TUPE programmes
• Give counsel and oversee complex employee relations issues
• Control HR budgets and report on usage and delivery of ROI on spend
• Payroll, benefits and pension administration
• Collaborate with external partners to support various business initiatives
• Mentor direct line(s)
• Part of the management team, confidently representing HR and employee relations
• Regular site visits to Banbury (fortnightly + ad hoc)
• Assessment and management of freelancer database and contracts/confidentiality agreements
• Administration associated with the role


(experience in or willingness to take on)

• HR systems recommendations and implementation of new People system
• Inhouse payroll processing (supporting the move from outsourced payroll to inhouse with the assistance of finance department)
• Acquisitions
• Competence and capabilities programme to define how we reach our business goals

The Package

• Competitive salary
• Employer pension contribution of 4% (plus 4% employee contribution)
• Life assurance (X4)
• Fully paid for health cashback plan
• On-site free parking
• Various wellness/lifestyle initiatives and perks and so much more!

The Agency


All examples where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And none better than our stripey, honey-producing friends. When you approach the world the way bees do two plus two really can equal five. That’s why they’re an inspiration to us in the way we work (read our ‘lessons from bees’ here)

We call it togetherness. It’s who we are, it’s what we do and we know it produces better results for our clients’ business. Which after all, is why we exist.


Based in Meriden, Coventry, we are an integrated marketing agency built on the power of Togetherness. With clients spanning across a variety of sectors, we’ve been around since 1930. There are 100+ of us here at Cogent, offering services from creative advertising, PR, social media, SEO, web development and much more.