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People Services Business Partner

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 05th Feb 2021
  • Salary: £51,034.00 - £59,135.00 per annum
  • REF: 5734
  • Closes: 28th February 2021
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £51,034.00 – £59,135.00 per annum

Closing Date: 28 February 2021

The Role

In line with our Vision and Strategy, the University has made clear its commitment to put people at the centre of all that it does. We aim to provide an environment that enables our people to flourish. Having a strong people centred operations function is important in providing an enabling environment that promotes the University’s guiding principles which are: working together; visibly leading; freedom and opportunity to succeed; responding to current and future challenges.

People Services is a strategic partner in delivering the University’s vision and strategy. We have a critically important brand new role in shaping aspirational and innovative long-term people strategies that attract, develop, reward and retain a highly motivated and diverse workforce. We are a community of circa 95 people services professionals who strive for a positive and values led culture working environment. We drive and influence change initiatives, define talent and development opportunities and deliver quality lifecycle services that support our academic and professional services colleagues to succeed. Our goal is for the People Services function to be the best they can be and our positioning to be a leader in the sector.

We are recruiting a People Services Business Partner to be based in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS).

To be successful in this role you will have experience of leading and/or developing initiatives that drive cultural change and will help deliver the vision and strategy of the organisation. You will be an accomplished leader who is passionate about achieving organisational outcomes through a forward thinking approach as a People Services Business Partner. You will be providing strategic people services leadership across one of our three faculties working closely with a range of Academic, Technical and Professorial Services leaders and managers, as well as contributing as a team member within People Operations team. Seasoned in building strong working relationships you will demonstrate a high level of professional credibility at all levels.

The role requires a high degree of self-motivation, initiative and drive, and the ability to demonstrate professional resilience and reactiveness in achieving results. It also requires the ability to work with colleagues at a senior leadership level, understand challenges, determine responses using ingenuity and drive action to resolve them quickly whilst always considering stakeholder needs. The role will report to the Head of People Operations.

For informal enquiries please contact Jackie Scott, Head of People Operations jacqueline.scott@newcastle.ac.uk

Interviews will be held on 16 March 2021.

Key Accountabilities

Horizon Scanning

Identifying, guiding, supporting and advising on the effective people practices needed to achieve our strategic goals;

Ability to recommend innovate solutions and best practices and lead various initiatives as needed to enhance our organisational culture;

Plan effectively for the future, establishing policies to optimise and enable the University’s success;

Through Strategic workforce planning, contribute to our people plans focussing on recruitment, succession planning, engagement, leadership development, reward and retention;

Able to adapt to changing organisational requirements which will enhance the services we provide.

Operational Management

Operate as a highly visible leader, with accountability for a responsive and high quality customer centric People Service function within the business area;

Contribute to Faculty planning and development of Faculty strategies as a key member of the Faculty senior management team;

Play a major role in the Faculty Senior leadership Team, supporting and planning strategic developments and advising/guiding on responses to complex people services related matters;

Advise colleagues on key People Services issues relating to strategic business plans and actively participate in Faculty Executive Board, Senior Officer’s Group, Faculty Steering Groups etc. as appropriate;

Manage the employee relations portfolio within the business area providing effective and timely management of case work including disciplinary, grievance, capability, dignity and respect etc in respect of academic, technical and professional services roles;

To monitor sickness absence levels and advise managers on appropriate courses of action. Guide Heads of Academic Units and other managers in the preparation of referrals to occupational health. To liaise with Occupational health, staff and managers in resolving issues surrounding sickness absence and where appropriate manage outcomes. To facilitate meetings and ensuring reasonable adjustments are implemented to enable employees to return to work. To undertake home visits as required;

To provide advice to recruiters on talent attraction and promote diversity and inclusion throughout the recruitment and selection process;

To provide high quality management information to academic and professional service leaders and managers at all levels in order to contribute to evidence-based business decisions (e.g. turnover, colleague profiling, planned retirements, salary costings).

To provide advice to managers on job analysis and the job evaluation processes in order to ensure that jobs are formulated to meet the needs of the organisation and accurately describe the job, and are evaluated in a timely fashion;

To actively work with the campus trade union colleagues on matters of individual case work and as part of wider University initiatives;

Work with OD colleagues to identify and support the organisational development needs as part of programmes of change such as reorganisations;

To promote core University values, in particular supporting and contributing to our Diversity and Inclusion objectives.

Stakeholder Management

Work closely with senior management including members of University Executive Board, Heads of Academic Units, Deans and other key stakeholders both internal and external, to deliver business partnering requirements;

Provide support and advice to colleagues across a range of complex and routine matters;

To advise/coach managers in effective employee engagement, performance management and employee relations in order to support overall performance improvement;

To support change programmes by providing advice on organisational design working closely with colleagues in organisational development. To support managers in implementing proposals using procedures including reorganisation, redeployment, redundancy;

To take a lead role in negotiations with trade unions on major issues. E.g. TUPE transfers, restructuring.

The Team

To manage and lead the local People Services team in order to recruit, develop and maintain a high performing and motivated team to deliver an excellent service to customers;

To act as project team member/leader for central HR and/or business related HR projects in order to contribute to the University’s People strategy and the attainment of business objectives.

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

Proven experience of delivering strong People Services (HR) expertise, including driving change;

Significant experience of contribution to strategy development;

In-depth knowledge of employment law;

Proven experience of working with a range of senior managers to resolve complex and contentious people issues;

Effective communications skills across a diverse audience;

Highly developed negotiating and influencing skills;

Ability to manipulate and interpret complex data to support business decisions;

Ability to build robust and productive working relationships and demonstrate a high level of personal credibility at all levels within the organisation;

Ability to lead and develop a team with a focus on continuous improvement;

People Services (HR) experience in the HE sector (Desirable).

Attributes and Behaviour

Highly proactive nature with a solutions and goal oriented mind-set;

Strong interpersonal leadership skills with the ability to coach and mentor effectively;

Promotes and actively drives change within own area and across the organisation;

High drive and initiative, able to demonstrate professional resilience;

Exceptional interpersonal, communication and influencing/negotiating skills;

Strong track record desire in working collaboratively with colleagues, at all levels, across the organisation;

Ability to influencing and persuade to gain support;

Promotes inclusivity, diversity and equality at all times;

Creative, solution orientated approach to issue resolution;

Resilience and sensitivity when dealing with colleagues.


CIPD (or equivalent experience)

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

Requisition ID: 5734

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