Deputy Director, Head of People Services

Contract Type
Human Resources, Management
£71,000 - £118,000
Expiry Date
The government spends around £49 billion each year on contracts with third-party providers. Not only is this a huge sum of money, it also represents a vast array of important (and often life-enhancing or life-saving) goods and services.

Job Description

The Head of People Services is the most senior HR professional within the Commercial Function and owns the functional HR strategy for the profession. The function has developed significantly to standardise, improve performance and capability across government and to become the central employer of the most senior commercial specialists through the Government Commercial Organisation (GCO). The underlying people strategy is broad, covering building capability, resourcing, reward, leadership, and diversity and inclusion.

The post holder will work closely with senior leaders from across government to develop the strategy and deliver this cross-cutting agenda. You will also work closely with the other Functions to ensure alignment with the wider Functional agenda and represent the function on the Cabinet Office People and Operating Board among others.

Alongside the Functional Agenda, the Head of People Services is also responsible for providing strategic leadership and operational oversight of the People Services team who deliver a range of HR related services to departments and individuals including those outlined above.


- Previous experience in a Strategic Leadership role with a significant track record of successfully delivering at a senior level in HR roles

- Exceptional interpersonal skills with the ability to build high trust relationships with senior stakeholders and the confidence and credibility to confront situations both assertively and sensitively when necessary

- Evidence of providing visible inclusive leadership; building capability and employee engagement and valuing and promoting diversity

- High attention to detail and the ability to interpret and use data / management information to support and drive conversations with senior customers;

- Business Change/Transformation experience with a focus on continuous improvement and a strong desire to deliver high quality customer-experience, and evidence of introducing new methodology / processes and making best use of available technology;

- Resilient and robust with the ability to influence, challenge, support, persuade and negotiate at all levels.

Desirable :

- Creative and innovative, able to encourage others to think imaginatively about new ways of working

- Experience of working in/enabling an operational environment

- Ability to deliver on time and to a high quality even in ambiguous circumstances

- MCIPD or working towards


- Leadership
- Seeing the bigger picture
- Making effective decisions
- Managing a quality service
- Delivering at pace
- Communicating and influencing


Strategic Direction & Vision:

- Setting the HR Strategy for the function, continuing to build a world class commercial function which attracts, retains and develops a diverse pool of commercial talent

- Creating an environment in which the people services teams can work effectively together and manage dependencies across the wider capability team to deliver the benefits and outcomes defined in the functional and programme plans

- Engaging with the team to realise its vision; coaching and developing staff to improve personal/team effectiveness; dealing with difficult situations and championing new ways of working

- Evolve the scope and purpose of the blueprint service which supports commercial functions in developing their longer-term strategic thinking, clarify delivery plans and quantify the benefits of achieving their target state

Operational Delivery and Continuous Improvement:

- Lead, manage and coordinate the work of the People Services team which includes 4 direct reports, and a wider team of around 35 FTE

- Represent the GCO on the replacement of the current SOP HR and finance system with a new SaaS cloud product, including membership of the SoP2SaaS Board

- Developing and implementing the people, workforce and resourcing strategies, for the GCO, supporting the delivery of their priorities and ensuring they are aligned with wider Functional strategies

- Responsible for ensuring that the functional D&I strategy is actively embedded into the HR process and policy of the GCO

- Being accountable for ensuring the strategic and operational risks and issues are identified, prioritised, assessed and mitigated

- Expanding the Blueprint offer to include OD&D insight and support to commercial teams to drive efficiencies and ensure commercial is structured in a way that meets business needs


- Set the budget and deliver the programme of work within that budget (£4m per annum plus, operating against a backdrop of continued and increasing pressure on the availability of funding. Create business/investment cases and approval for additional expenditure if required

- Further accountability for the c£40m income and expenditure model for the employment and deployment of Commercial Specialists across Government

Communications & Stakeholder Management

- Building consensus across a large and diverse group of stakeholders and developing strategic relationships with central government departments. This includes Commercial and HR Directors across government on a regular basis

- Work with colleagues across the HR function to ensure that department needs are appropriately represented and, where necessary, commissioning services from corporate HR teams and HR service providers

- Work collobaratively with COHR and across the HR community to share insight and best practise from the GCO model and function whilst supporting the CS HR functional strategy


- Being an active member of the Commercial Capability Senior Leadership Team, taking a corporate wide strategic perspective and ensuring People Services are coherent with the wider organisation vision and objectives; providing expert advice and delivering solutions as appropriate

- Represent the GCO and Commercial on a number of cross-cutting boards

- Being a visible role model as part of the Senior Leadership Team: demonstrating its values and those expected of senior civil servants; building capability and inspiring Commercial Capability staff to achieve better outcomes; contributing to shaping the culture of the organisation; demonstrating and promoting good behaviours

- Being a champion for Commercial both internally and externally: enhancing the reputation of the GCO/Function through actively promoting the organisation; sharing good practice and proactively influencing development of the profession


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

Seeing the Big Picture
Making Effective Decisions
Managing a Quality Service
Delivering at Pace
Communicating and Influencing