Could you be the next HR leader of the NHS?

So, the largest public sector HR job in Europe, and one of the biggest HR jobs in the world (at least in terms of the number of employees it involves), is up for grabs. Would you take it?

Probably not, if it’s money that drives you. The post is offering a salary commensurate with that of an average private sector HR director. But it is not money that will drive the successor to Andrew Foster.

The role of director general, workforce, at the Department of Health, will go to an executive who is strong on leadership, who can deliver change and who is a force to be reckoned with in what is a highly politicised working environment.

Not a day goes by without the local, regional and national press running an NHS story. Last week, the NHS made the wrong sort of headlines with news of job cuts, an outcry over GP pay and the prime minister’s announcement that the NHS had reached the “crunch point” in its 10-year reform programme.

The challenge is clear for all to see – to drive through reform that is politically motivated in an organisation that has already seen enormous change over the past few years. And this in a highly unionised environment which has as its customer base the entire population of the UK.

This role is strategic HR, and it will require a true HR leader, someone with vision, influencing skills and an ability to motivate all those around them. For anyone who is unsure of what such an HR leader looks like, then this is your chance to find out.

If the job goes to someone with a track record in senior level HR management, then it will be an affirmation that HR leaders can make it to the very top in the biggest organisations. And if it goes to a business leader with little HR experience – well, it will be a kick in the teeth for professional HR.

 

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