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Ford & Stanley Executive

Opportunity Brief: Head of Human Resources

Ford & Stanley Executive Search (Part of the Ford & Stanley Group) are specialists in Executive Interim and Permanent appointments to the UK, European & North American Rail, General Manufacturing & Transportation & Digital Industries.

We have been entrusted and appointed by a London based train operating company on a search for a Head of Human Resources.

Below you will find an ‘opportunity brief’ developed from notes taken during the scoping meeting (Situational Discovery) held between the F&S Search Director, Research Manager and the clients Executive Leadership Team. This brief is designed to give candidates a deeper insight into the opportunity inherited within the role, the challenges the role presents and provide access to the detail that sits behind the job specification.

Client Opportunity Statement: 

 “Our customers never stand still and neither do we. We anticipate, innovate and flex around our customer’s needs and it takes a great team to do this, with this in mind, a unique opportunity has arisen for a strong, hands-on, experienced HR Professional to lead our in-house HR team and drive strategy across the business – The new Head of HR will need to be proactive, highly effective and personable to engage at all levels and with key industry stakeholders.”

“An opportunity for a driven individual that wants to get stuck in, make positive changes quickly and really make a mark on the culture of an organisation.”

The Opportunity

Main Challenges the role presents:

  • The implementation of a new HR System, the incumbent will be required to implement the new system and get team members up to speed with the new ways of working.
  • Currently going through some organisational change, they need a candidate with strong Union experience to support the changes and ensure everyone is working in unison, maintaining their strong company culture.
  • Adapting to the ways of working within the Rail Industry and the challenges this brings.

Candidate Essentials:

  • Previous proven success within a ‘Head of HR’ or ‘Senior HR’ position, preferred candidates to come from within the Rail Industry however not essential, particularly interested in candidates with multi-site experience, such as from Aviation, Logistics, Transportation, or the NHS.
  • Must have demonstrable experience of consulting and negotiating within a unionised environment.
  • Leadership – able to engage, encourage, develop, and inspire the team around change, able to build relationships at all levels both internally and externally and manage the day-to-day management of the HR team.
  • CIPD Level 5 or above required.
  • Someone who can develop and execute best practice, with the ability to implement new policies and procedures.
  • TUPE experience and ability to deal with complex ER issues and major change projects.
  • Proven track record of advancing Equality Diversity and Inclusion agendas to support the build and ongoing development of a diverse workforce within the organisation.
  • Commercially orientated individual with strong communication skills both written and verbal – able to build relationships and work with key industry suppliers and stakeholders and deliver transparent and concise reports and advice.
  • Ambitious, personal, engaging, able to make the role their own and take ownership and accountability.
  • Competent in all Microsoft applications to include, 365 and SharePoint.

Good to know:

  • Currently a £160 million turnover and award-winning TOC, that has recently moved into its new state of the art offices based in Central London.
  • Current headcount is circa of 700 employees in which the HR team delivers a comprehensive service to.
  • This role reports to the HR Director and will be leading the businesses in house HR Team, the role has 5 direct reports made up of recruitment, Employee Relations, Payroll, L&D and D&I teams.  
  • This position offers Hybrid working, however the role is a leadership role and therefore the incumbent must be prepared to in be in office in London 5 days a week through busy periods or / if when required.
  • The Head of HR will be leading the HR strategy across the business and identifying opportunities for enhancing company HR policies, procedures and implementing best practice.


  • Base Salary Banding: Low of £70k, Mid of £75k and top end of £80k (for exceptional candidates)
  • Final salary pension
  • Free travel on the TOC’s routes
  • Discounted rates on National Rail services.
  • 25 days holiday + 8 statutory  
  • Private healthcare

Likely Job Titles:

Head of HR, Senior HR Business Partner, HR Manager, Senior HR Manager

Executive Search Delivery Team:

  • Emma Barlow – Senior Research Associate
  • Oliver Nunn – Research Manager
  • Ralitsa Kuzeva – Executive Research Associate

About Ford & Stanley Executive Search:

At Ford & Stanley Executive Search we go beyond a recruiting transaction with our core mission being that of every interaction we have with clients and candidates is best in class. We are select in the opportunities we represent, as such, work under strict exclusivity or retained agreements with forward thinking and proactive Rail companies that place their trust in our ability to deliver a winning shortlist at the first time of asking.

Our Search Directors / Search Consultants and in-house research team invest time at the front end of process with our client’s leadership team or stakeholders to consult, understand the opportunity inherent within the role, business need, map and agree timescales with supporting delivery plan well in advance of conducting the search.

All candidates both active and passive (head-hunted) can expect full and professional engagement from the Executive Search team in addition a timely, thorough and engaging recruitment process from a committed employer that seeks to secure ‘cream of the crop’ from a busy and noisy Global Rail candidate market.

Ford & Stanley Group Ltd is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all opportunity seekers and approach all opportunity with a mindset of who is right for the job irrespective sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief or political beliefs and we place an obligation upon all staff to respect and act in accordance with the policy. We shall adhere to such a policy at all times and will review on an on-going basis all aspects of recruitment to avoid unlawful or undesirable discrimination.



    • Job type: Permanent
    • Location: London
    • Date posted:
    • Salary:£70000 - £80000

    This opportunity is being managed by:

    consultant photo

    Emma Barlow

    Senior Research Associate