Home Office seeks HR help to drive reforms

The Home Office – under fire from all sides over its poor management – is looking for two senior HR practitioners to help professionalise the function.

The department, which was heavily criticised last week by new home secretary John Reid for its poor leadership during the foreign prisoner fiasco, is completely overhauling its HR function over the next two years.

It is looking for a director of HR services to implement the move to a national shared service for HR transactions and business partner model. The other role – director of leadership and learning – will be expected to create a leadership centre of excellence for the Home Office.

Both positions command a salary of about £110,000 and will report to John Marsh, the Home Office’s group HR director.

In the candidates’ briefing pack, Marsh said the HR challenge at the department was “one of the most interesting and varied that exists anywhere in the public and private sectors”.

“Add to this, the Home Office is currently engaged in the most fundamental programme of change in its history and it is evident that HR’s role in shaping and managing that change, through our workforce, is crucial,” Marsh said.

For both roles, the candidates are expected to be strategic thinkers and show an evidence-based approach to HR activities.  A professional qualification is also seen as an advantage.

The approach taken by the Home Office contrasts with the route taken by the Department of Health (DoH) in recruiting its new director of workforce, according to Stephen Moir, HR director at Cambridgeshire County Council.

Earlier this month, Moir was critical of the recruitment and selection process at the DoH, but he was more impressed by the Home Office’s approach.

“The department is showing the rest of the Civil Service how to run such a process,” he said.

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