Olympic dream job stumbles at the first hurdle

The Interim Olympic Development Authority (ODA) risks missing out on the best HR talent because it has undervalued the role of head of HR for the 2012 Games in London, senior HR figures have warned.

The post, which was advertised at the end of November, has a salary of circa £75,000 – about half the amount expected to be offered to the marketing director. The appointee will report to the finance director.

These two key factors will put off many potential candidates, according to Alan Warner, corporate director of people and property at Hertfordshire County Council.

“They need a serious salary if they’re going to attract serious people with an impressive track record who can hit the ground running,” he said. “If they’re really concerned about their people management issues, it’s very surprising that it’s reporting to finance.”

Angela O’Connor, HR director at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “I don’t know any of my HR colleagues who would report to a finance director.

“People are the only distinguishing asset that you have, especially in such a hugely visible project. If HR is not a central focus, it makes it look as though the people do not matter.”

Bruce Warman, HR consultant and former personnel director at car manufacturer Vauxhall, agreed that the salary was a poor reflection of the job.

“As an estimate, they should probably pitch the salary at around £100,000 basic, with an annual bonus of some kind – probably 25% to 40% based on targets and completion dates,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Interim ODA said: “The salary figure quoted in the advertisement was part of a broad salary band, and the final figure will be dependent on experience.

“The head of HR reports in to the director of finance, which is normal for this type and size of organisation.”

Interviews will take place in January next year.


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and an analysis of the race for the top Olympics HR job click here

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