Head of Recruitment

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
04 Oct 2019
End of advertisement period
18 Oct 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Location Edinburgh, GB      
Organization Name HR Directorate      

About Heriot-Watt University          

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at-heriot-watt.htm

About our Team          

Covering all University Campuses internationally, the HR Directorate provides a range of strategic and operational HR Support and Guidance to the Leaders, managers and employees of the University. The services cover the full employee cycle from the point of attracting staff as potential employees, through their recruitment and induction, career development and reward and recognition. There are HR colleagues based in Edinburgh, Dubai and Malaysia organised around five Divisions, Recruitment, Organisational and Professional Development, Reward and Wellbeing, Employee Relations and Policy and Operations.

The Head of Recruitment is a new senior leadership position and a key strategic appointment for the University. The post holder will define the talent attraction and recruitment strategy and operational processes for the University, creating a centre of excellence to manage the recruitment and selection process, supporting hiring managers with the end to end process.   They will build a small team in Edinburgh and oversee the recruitment approach globally, developing our Employer Brand and candidate proposition, positioning and selling the unique opportunities we have within our academic and professional services communities.

Attracting academic leaders and world class professional services is critical to the University’s ability to deliver its ambitious strategic goals set out in Strategy 2025. The Head of Recruitment will work with the Global Director of HR, Senior HR colleagues in the UK, Dubai and Malaysia along with senior stakeholders internally and externally to build a best in class, flexible and creative recruitment function for the University.

Detailed Description          

Purpose of Role :

  1. Take lead responsibility for Strategic Recruitment to support the University strategy
  2. Work with key stakeholders both internal and external to enable the University to build, shape and sustain a high performing and agile workforce across all campuses

Key duties and responsibilities          

Summary of Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Lead the delivery of the end to end employee Recruitment & Talent Acquisition service for the organisation, ensuring consistent quality of service and implement metrics to measure and improve the service
  2. Build and manage the recruitment team (including functional responsibility for those based at international campuses), enabling them to provide a robust recruitment service to the University, providing support and guidance as required. 
  3. Maintain the Recruitment Policy framework and develop a robust attraction strategy, working with HR Systems, Marketing and Communications teams to articulate the University’s Employer Brand, develop and improve methods of promoting the University as an employer of choice and attract a pipeline of high quality candidates across all campuses.
  4. Design and deliver consistent efficient recruitment and selection processes, agreeing standards and ensuring hiring managers are supported and guided through the process and the candidate experience is positive and engaging. Ensure the requirements relating to immigration and right to work are fully documented and maintained effectively.   Maximise the efficient use of Digital tools in support of both the process and the production of management information and performance measures.
  5. Lead on strategies for the recruitment of all academic and professional services roles including senior leadership and specialist posts developing targeted campaigns as necessary to support key strategic hires. Develop recruitment and selection plans for all key posts, engaging Headhunters and Agencies where appropriate and managing the business relationships accordingly.
  6. Oversee the engagement of casual workers and equivalent roles across the university ensuring processes are robust, consistently and efficiently applied and sufficiently flexible to support the needs of the organisation. 
  7. Develop and review service levels , designing a suite of KPIs to monitor service quality and efficiency, obtaining feedback from candidates & hiring managers on a regular basis, liaising with key internal and external stakeholders as required.
  8. As a member of the HR Senior leadership team, work collaboratively with HR colleagues across the wider HR Function to ensure that a ‘one HR’/consistent service is provided to the organisation, working in partnership with managers and other professional services.

Education, Qualifications & Experience:

These are the criteria on which the short-listing and recruitment selection will be made


  1. Educated to  first degree level or equivalent or equivalent practical experience in the workplace
  2. Demonstrable experience of managing a team
  3. Demonstrable experience of managing resources, workloads and changing priorities for self and others
  4. Demonstrable experience of managing change
  5. Ability to operate in a complex global environment
  6. Demonstrable  ability to work within a fast-changing environment
  7. Proven experience of dealing with and leading in uncertainty and ambiguity
  8. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  9. Excellent Influencing Skills
  10. Good track record of developing and maintaining positive working relationships with internal and external customers, peers, stakeholders and others
  11. Subject Matter Expert in a relevant discipline in one of the services provided by the team/Directorate
  12. Flexible and resilient
  13. Collaborative and proactive


  1. Chartered Member of CIPD
  2. Project Management skills
  3. Experience of operating in a complex global environment

Competencies, Tasks and Responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities listed under the following Competency Headings form part of all leadership roles in the University at this level and it is expected that the role-holder will perform them to at least an effective standard at all times.

Strategic Outlook

  1. Contribute to the delivery of the University strategy, drawing upon and sharing knowledge gained through engagement and close relationships with colleagues to inform and influence decisions
  2. Identify, interpret and translate University Strategies into operational planning and outcomes, keeping in mind the bigger picture and the external environment


  1. Provide leadership to the team, providing line management direction, support, mentoring and coaching
  2. Through strong leadership and example, lead and develop staff to achieve their potential, ensuring a clear understanding of their role within the team, Directorate and University
  3. Provide Subject Matter Expert advice within the team and across the University
  4. Deputise for HR Director where required

Management Responsibilities

  1. Manage the team individually and collectively, including setting objectives, managing performance, attendance, capability and development
  2. Manage and monitor the team budget to deliver value for money and fit for purpose resources and facilities

Team Work

  1. Proactively develop the team and ensure successful collaboration across the Directorate and University
  2. Build visible and effective professional relationships across the University and external stakeholders
  3. Contribute to and actively participate in team, Directorate and University projects

Championing Change

  1. Assess and lead on change management, influencing and managing stakeholder expectations.
  2. Manage the implications of change on the team, maintaining team morale and service levels

Decision Making

  1. Provide high quality, value-added analysis and commentary on reports and metrics
  2. Represent the Directorate and University on internal and external committees as appropriate

Planning and Organising

  1. Review and revise team structure and workload allocation/priorities as required

Initiative and Problem Solving

  1. Contribute to governance and risk management within the Directorate
  2. Collaborate with peers to resolve university-wide challenges

Service Excellence

  1. Provide clear leadership to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of a high-quality service, developing high professional standards and excellent customer service
  2. Ensure delivery of the service within agreed service levels
  3. Comply with University Policies when managing or processing personal and other confidential information at all times
  4. Develop and review service levels, metrics and feedback, ensuring consistency and continuous improvement of service
  5. Ensure timely, accurate and informative provision of statutory and other reports and metrics

Clear and Consistent Communications

  1. Maintain confidentiality at all times by following university policies and guidance in managing confidential information and personal data
  2. Use appropriate communication methods to ensure key messages and information are disseminated to customers


  1. Demonstrate the University Values at all times through leadership, performance and behaviour
  2. Participate in ad-hoc duties to support the team/University and for personal development
  3. Support newer or inexperienced colleagues within and outside the University by offering support, help and advice 
  4. Provide mentoring support (informally and formally)
  5. Positively promote the University internally and externally through positive behaviour and  supporting University-wide activities
  6. Build partnerships to advance the University’s strategy

This job description is intended as a flexible framework which outlines the key general areas of activity in your position. Other activities may be required which are not outlined above but which are appropriate to the position and grade. Your personal objectives (Forward Job Plan) will also set out specific tasks and objectives for you to achieve, including objectives to help your career development.

How To Apply          

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on Friday 18th October 2019.  Please submit your CV and a covering letter as to why you are a suitable candidate for the role.

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

This role does not meet the minimum requirements set by UKVI to enable sponsorship of non-European nationals. Therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK. For further information on this please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

Minimum Salary 51034      
Maximum Salary 59135      
Currency GBP                  
Amount of Travel Minimum Travel