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Executive Director of People and Organisational Development

University of Manchester
Manchester, Greater Manchester
Closing date
17 May 2024

Job Details

Executive Director of People and Organisational Development

Job reference: PSX-025392

Salary: Competitive

Location: Oxford Road

Employment type: Permanent

Hours Per Week: 1.0 FTE

The University of Manchester is recognised globally for its pioneering research, outstanding teaching and learning and commitment to social responsibility. The world’s big challenges demand urgent action now and we’re bringing together the brightest minds to work across boundaries and disciplines, helping to create healthier, greener and more equal futures in Manchester and worldwide.

As one of the UK’s largest single-site higher education institutions, with 13000 colleagues and 46000 students hailing from 170 countries, when you join our University you become part of a truly diverse and global community. 2024 also represents an exciting time as we celebrate our bicentenary, welcome our new President and Vice-Chancellor, and look ahead to what our third century may bring. As our new Executive Director of People and Organisational Development (People and OD) and member of the University’s Senior Leadership Team you will play a critical role in shaping our strategic direction as well as leading, organising, and directing the work of the People and OD Directorate to deliver against the University’s vision and objectives.

We are looking for an experienced senior People/HR professional who shares our values and can blend advocacy, exceptional judgement, authentic and inclusive leadership with the ability to turn strategy into delivery and impact in a large and complex organisation. You will have experience of developing and delivering People strategy, building and managing a large multi-faceted People/HR team, delivering transformational change, and a track record of successfully applying innovative and progressive practice that builds organisational effectiveness and creates a high-performance culture.

Key to your success will be your ability to inspire confidence, and gain trust, respect and credibility quickly. You will have a collaborative style with outstanding relationship-building skills and high emotional intelligence. As a critical thinker, you will confidently and sensitively challenge the status quo and with a commitment to high standards of service delivery, you will develop and shape the People and OD team to provide efficient, reliable and highly effective professional advice and support across the University. Of vital importance will be your ability to be a role model for our values and demonstrate commitment to equality, diversity and an inclusive culture.

As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of age, sex, gender (or gender identity), ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

If you have the vision and ambition required for this critical role and would welcome an informal conversation, please contact Emma Wilkins at

How to apply

For further details including the candidate brief and person specification please visit:

Applications should be made via email to and must include on separate documents:

  • A letter of application setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the person specification.
  • A comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV).
  • Details of three referees and notice period (referees will not be contacted without your permission).
  • A completed Personal Details Form (available above).

Closing date for applications is Friday, 17 May (5pm).

Longlist interviews will be held with Dixon Walter via Microsoft Teams in early June (Dates TBC).

Final interviews will take place on campus in early July (Date TBC).



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