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Director of People

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)
16 Summer Lane, Birmingham
£105,000 to £111,780
Closing date
14 Jun 2024

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Local Councils
Job Type
Human resources / OD / Training
Contract Type
Working Pattern

Job Details

In 2023, WMCA launched its new People and Culture Strategy. This People and Culture Strategy is ambitious for WMCA to be leading the way as a forward thinking, contemporary organisation. One leading recommendation was to combine all ‘people’ functions under a single people and culture lead, thereby reuniting functions that previously resided in disparate areas of the organisation. 
As the Director of People at West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), you will bring together these functions and lead the strategic direction of all people-related activities, ensuring the delivery of proactive and efficient services across both strategic and operational realms. 
You will play a pivotal role in shaping, leading, and executing the People and Culture strategy, aligning it with WMCA’s vision in a collaborative and cross-organisational manner that adapts to our evolving environment.
What will you be doing?
  • Provide strategic leadership to the people-related functions team and across the organisation.
  • Oversee the development and delivery of the People and Culture Strategy in a collaborative manner.
  • Drive initiatives to enhance employee experience, foster inclusion, and promote diversity.
  • Provide strategic guidance to senior leadership on people-related matters and organisational effectiveness. Act as senior escalation point for complex HR matters and strategic development.
  • Ensure a coherent approach to resourcing, talent management, and career development.
  • Develop strong relationships with stakeholders and partners to share best practices.
  • Represent WMCA at stakeholder briefings and ensure the implementation of best practices.
  • Oversee organisational change initiatives to promote a high-performance, inclusive culture.
  • Support WMCA’s Chief Executive, Executive Board and senior leaders in their development and organisational accountabilities.
  • Lead delivery of complex business change projects using best practices.
  • Ensure interventions and processes support good management practices and organisational values.
  • Support, coach, and challenge leadership in considering people-related matters in decision-making.
  • Provide strategic advice on senior leadership compensation and pay policy alignment.
  • Utilise technology and automation to drive efficiency across people operations.
About you.We're looking for a proactive problem solver who likes change and innovation. You'll be an innovative, “outside the box” thinker, who is happy to lead the conversation, take the initiative, and get things done. 
Below is a list of essential criteria we’re looking for. More information can be found in the job description.
  • Results driven, with experience of leading a people function, which combines HR, Resourcing, Reward, Organisational Development and Engagement, EDI, and Wellbeing (other functions will follow), in a high-growth and fast paced organisation.
  • Evidence of developing and implementing key people-operations infrastructure. 
  • Understanding of the role of the West Midlands Combined Authority, its strategic aims and objectives and the opportunities and barriers it has in developing policy and strategy for the region.
  • Data analytical experience, with evidence of using and capturing people data to drive better decisions and to demonstrate added value.
  • Evidence of managing budgets and costs and delivering value for money across people management services.
  • Extensive understanding and knowledge of relevant employment legislation and applying managing risk. 
  • Inspirational leader, capable of engaging, influencing and stimulating action among team members. 
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities, and adept at problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Outgoing, poised, and persuasive communication style, with the right mix of collaboration and influence, capable of building rapport and relationships with individuals and groups. 
  • Ability to delegate effectively while maintaining accountability. 
  • CIPD qualified to hold Member or Fellow status.
  • Commitment to continued professional development with evidence of embedding this within a team. 
Selection process key dates.
Longlisting: 17th to 21st June. 
Shortlisting: 24th June.
1st stage Interviews (in-person): 15th or 17th July.
2nd stage Interviews (in-person): 31st July.
Candidates shortlisted for 1st stage interview will be asked to complete an online behavioural and cognitive assessment. 
How to apply. On clicking ‘apply for this job’, you will be prompted to create an account. You will have the opportunity to upload a CV, which will be used to auto-populate your profile. Please note, we do not see your CV once you have applied. Our shortlisting decisions are based on what you tell us in your profile - and so it is important to format your profile so that it really stands out. Make sure to include your employment history and include any essential education and qualifications. You will be asked to provide a supporting statement. If you already have one that you have prepared earlier, you can simply copy and paste this into the application form. 
Reasonable adjustments.If you have an accessibility need, disability, or condition that means you might require changes to the application or recruitment process (for example, you might need to submit your application in a different format), please get in touch with our Recruitment Team ( We are here to assist and accommodate your needs.
Salary and benefits.We advertise salary ranges for job roles, with new appointments typically starting at the lowest salary point. In exceptional cases, where higher skill levels or experience are applicable, the salary point may be adjusted to secure the best candidate. This approach allows for potential year-on-year salary increases, offering progression and appropriate rewards to employees.
Hybrid working, location and working pattern.We believe hybrid working is the best way for our organisation to fulfil our commitment to a modern, agile workplace while continuing to provide a great service to our customers. Hybrid working means having flexibility between working in the office and at home on agreed days, where a role allows. 
The location for this role is 16 Summer Lane. It is expected that you can split your time between the office and working remotely, with at least 3 days a week spent in the office. 
Creating an inclusive workplace.We are dedicated to creating a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace that reflects the communities of the West Midlands region. We believe that building a team with varied backgrounds and experiences will benefit us as an employer and enhance our work.
WMCA holds diversity accreditations, such as the RACE Code Quality Mark, Armed Forces Covenant (Gold status) and has been recognised as one of the Inclusive Top 50 Employers and The Times Top 50 Employers for Women. We’re a Disability Confident Employer with ‘Leader’ status, committed to interviewing applicants with disabilities who meet all the essential role criteria. 
We recognise that certain groups, such as women and people of colour, may be less likely to apply for roles if they feel they do not meet all the requirements. However, we encourage individuals who are passionate about the role and want to make a difference to still apply. We value potential and encourage applicants to highlight their skills, including transferable ones, even if they don't fit the traditional "perfect candidate" mould.
We gladly consider part-time, flexible, and job share arrangements, so please don't let these factors deter you from applying. If your values align with ours and you are dedicated to working towards a future that we can all be proud of, we would love to hear from you.
Right to Work in the UKApplicants will need to evidence that they have the legal right to work in the UK. If we make an offer of employment, we will need to check that you are eligible to work in the UK before you start work. 
Thank you for considering joining our team at WMCA. We look forward to receiving your application and the opportunity to work together towards our shared goals.

Attached documents
WMCA Operational Director of People Job Description - May 2024 - Final.pdf


WMCA has a dedicated careers portal for you to register and apply for jobs directly with us.  You can keep up to date with applications you have made, create a candidate profile and choose how we keep in touch with you.  You can access the careers portal here,

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) was set up in 2016. We're made up of 18 local councils and 3 local enterprise partnerships (LEPs). Our goal is to make the West Midlands a happy, healthy, place to live. We do this by:

  • making it easier and safer to travel in and around the region
  • using derelict land to build homes
  • protecting our green spaces
  • making sure young people have the education and employment opportunities to make a great start in life
  • working together to support our communities and build a fairer, healthier and more inclusive West Midlands
  • tackling climate change 

Our role in the West Midlands has never been more important and in these extraordinary times we’ve shown we can step forward, speak up for our region and bring people together. Everything we do is focused on making life better for people in the West Midlands – that’s our reason for being here and it drives every move we make. We lead and support others to deliver our shared future vision for the region – a happier, healthier, better connected place to live and work.

We fully believe that we are only as great as the people who work for us and are committed to providing a positive, healthy and inclusive working environment where our people feel valued and respected. We’re ambitious, forward thinking and determined to find better ways of working, always leading the way in what we do. We trust and support each other to get the job done, and encourage creativity, originality and curiosity from those who work with us.

We’re committed to creating an accessible and diverse workplace, one that nurtures an inclusive environment where our people can be themselves. We are a “Leaders in Diversity” accredited organisation, are in the Inclusive Top 50 Employers List and are one of The Times Top 50 Employers for Women. 

If your values align with ours and you’re committed to working towards creating a future we can all be proud of, we want to hear from you.

Company info
0121 200 2787
16 Summer Lane
West Midlands
B19 3SD
United Kingdom

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