Strategic Head of HR – Manchester City Council

£76,422 - £82,558 (+ pay review pending)

**This role has been appointed to. Please do get in touch with us if you are looking for a similar senior role.**

Strategic Head of HR

Manchester is a thriving, modern metropolis, respected as a leading economic centre, with transformational urban regeneration and renowned globally for our sports and culture.  We are one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe, brimming with confidence and ambition.

Our people are at the centre of all we do – in their communities and in our workforce. This role is at the heart of the dynamic City Council, delivering high quality services whilst leading, supporting and shaping change that embraces a new future

As a Council we’ve a lot happening. We’re always looking to innovate, to modernise and to improve, introducing new technologies, embracing change and developing our culture. We want more for our people and our place, and this role supports every facet of our journey across the Council.

The Strategic Head of HR oversees a wide span of key HR services, supporting every aspect of Council operations whilst helping to shape and support culture change.  Our size and scale mean the span of influence and oversight is comparable to many Director roles in smaller organisations, and more than many Deputy HR Directors.  We want someone who can have an impact corporately and in the HR Service, able to strike the right balance between strategic and operational leadership; a sophisticated senior manager with the ambition and hunger to grow.

We’re less worried about where our new Strategic Head of HR is now, and more focused on their skills, insight, judgement, management depth, leadership ability and capacity to grow and perform in a fast-paced, ambitious Council.

We want someone who has overseen a breadth of comparable HR services, including many of those functions covered by this role.  They must have experience of working through different managers within HR to deliver change, and supporting, empowering and enabling service managers to be better.  They’ll have gained valuable experience in a dynamic organisation, with a wide range of services, of sufficient scale to have a significant HR function, in a unionised environment, but not necessarily in local government. They will have exercised insightful judgement in their role, probably while overseeing a complex ER or knotty organisational change related challenge. Our new Strategic Head of HR must have the potential and ambition to go further, an aspiring HR Director. Finally, they’ll already reflect our values and behaviours drive our commitment to improve equalities, diversity and inclusion.

We recognise we want a lot. For the right person, we’ll provide support to adapt to this role – whether it’s about learning the language of local government, learning about our services or adapting to our scale. You don’t need to be the finished article or tick all the boxes, but we’ll need to be sure you have the core abilities to succeed, can have an impact across the Council with the potential to go further.

If you’re excited, inspired or just intrigued, and want to find out more?

If you’re excited, inspired or just intrigued, and want to find out more? Speak in confidence to Steve Cooley on 07747 698 829 or or Mark Tobin on 07717 725 844 or

To gain the most from this conversation see the “Related Pages” over on the right hand side of this webpage. Here you will find more information on the Council and its HR service, plus guidance on How to Apply. This will enable a more informative conversation about the role and your suitability.We can answer any question you have on the role or recruitment process.

Structure above and below the role

Director HRODT has reporting in:

  • Strategic Head of HR
  • Strategic Head of OD & T
  • Strategic Head Health & Care Workforce
  • HR Business Partners
  • Head of Service Design
  • Change Programme Manager

Strategic Head of HR – team of c 100 people – reporting in:

  • Head of HR Operations (Payroll & Resourcing where the largest numbers sit)
  • Workforce Change Manager
  • ER Manager
  • Casework Manager
  • Specialist Recruitment Lead

Creating an inclusive team at Manchester City Council 

At Manchester City Council, we strive to create a fair and inclusive workplace that is as diverse as the communities we serve.  We want to further increase the diversity of our workforce, in particular the number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and disabled staff at all levels of the Council. This advert is open to all applicants, and we would particularly encourage applications from candidates identifying with one or both of those characteristics.

If you want to find out more about the role, our ways of working, flexible arrangements or any workplace adjustments, please let us know by emailing If you are invited to interview, we will ask you if you require any adjustments for you to best demonstrate your suitability for the role in the interview process.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

As part of our commitment to inclusion, we offer guaranteed interviews for specific groups of people. To qualify, you’ll need to meet the minimum requirements for the role, and identify with one of the below criteria:

  • Members of the Armed Forces and veterans
  • Are currently in care, or have previously been in care
  • If you consider yourself to be disabled or if you have a long-term health condition


As a Disability Confident Employer, we provide support for employees with physical or mental-health conditions, a disability or neurodiversity. Our workplaces are accessible by design, and we make workplace adjustments including providing aids, adaptations and equipment. These, combined with our flexible working policies such as disability-related leave, enable our employees to perform their role, thrive and be their authentic selves in work.

Job Profile

Please take a moment to provide us with some details before being able to download the Role Profile. Once you have filled out these brief information fields, a PDF link will appear which you can open to view (and/or save) the Role Profile. You will also automatically be emailed a link to the same PDF file to the email address you supplied. Occasionally this email may be sent to your Spam folder, so please contact us if it did not arrive. Fields marked with a * are required