Appointment of the HR Director


Thank you for your interest in the role of HR Director at the University of East London.

This is an incredibly exciting time for our University with the University’s commitment to advance Industry 4.0 and 5.0 careers and lives, where we expand mental wealth, build green business and connect sustainable communities in East London and beyond through our global gateway and as a local anchor.

Our Vision 2028 is an ambitious 10-year strategy that will see the university at the forefront of careers-led education – a springboard for the jobs, innovations and opportunities of the future. We are committed to advancing knowledge and driving innovation for positive change for people and the planet.

We have developed a ground-breaking approach to increasing the diversity of the graduate talent pipeline. Our people are integral to this and we strive to promote wellness, fairness and an environment of success. An ambitious, knowledgeable, change-making HR Director will be key to supporting us to realise our transformational vision. This role will see you leading and supporting on a range of innovations as well as developing your own ideas to take the business forward.

This is a perfect opportunity for a talented and energetic professional committed to make a positive difference. I am looking forward to receiving your application.

Professor Amanda Broderick
Vice-Chancellor & President, University of East London

About us

The University of East London is a vibrant and diverse university located in Stratford and Docklands. Our goal is to become the leading careers-focused, enterprising university in the UK, one which both prepares our students for the jobs of the future and provides the innovation to drive that future sustainably and inclusively.

The University has been pioneering futures since 1898: from the 2nd Industrial Revolution through to where we are now, the 4th. We work with global organisations to make our courses entrepreneurial, creative and inspirational. Wherever our students want to work – in business, technology, teaching, arts, media, science, sport or the public sector – they will have the skills necessary to adapt to the world of tomorrow, and to be the leaders and pioneers of today.

The University has commenced the 4th year of its transformational 10-year Vision 2028 strategic plan led by our Vice-Chancellor & President, Professor Amanda Broderick, to advance Industry 4.0 careers-first education. We have a clear route-map to provide a springboard for the jobs and opportunities of the future; drive diversity in the 4.0 talent pipeline, working in partnership to promote talent wherever it is found; and to create an inclusive and sustainable green future.

As one of the most socially inclusive and international universities and comprising one of the most diverse staff populations in the UK (50% of our professoriate identify from black or minority ethnic backgrounds), we are hugely proud of our track record in reducing inequalities (ranked 1st in the UK & 2nd globally, Times Higher Education Global Impact Rankings, 2020) and our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of Vision 2028.

Our ambition is captured in the four strategic objectives of Vision 2028:

  • Future Graduate: to increase participation, engagement, progression and successful completion of life-changing, life-long education.
  • Future Professional: to address industry and community skills gaps, increasing access to and acceleration of graduate-level employment.
  • Future Life: to increase the economic, social and cultural impact of our education, applied research and enterprise activity to the communities we serve.
  • Sustainability: to increase financial, physical, digital, environmental and human resilience, maximising value, reducing waste and incentivising behaviour.

Key Information:

  • UEL has campuses in Stratford and Docklands, within easy access of central London.
  • UEL has over 17,000 under-graduate and post-graduate students from over 130 different countries studying on UEL awarded programmes.
  • UEL has an annual revenue in excess of £150m.
  • UEL has more than 1,400 staff.
  • UEL has six schools:

You can find out more about our University on our main website here and you can read our 2020 Annual Review here.

About HR

Led by the HR Director, the HR team works to ensure staff are both committed to and equipped for achieving UEL’s strategic objectives. The team also plays a key role in supporting positive cultural change.

We have begun to develop the new People and Organisational Development strategy which will have key strands focused on Wellbeing, Success and Fairness. The new HR Director will have the opportunity to refine and build on this strategy, and will be responsible for ensuring the strategy remains current and remains aligned with the overall transformation and organisational strategy.

We want to create an environment where all staff have the skills and tools to succeed in their role, and where all staff understand how they can contribute to our strategic aims. We want to use data effectively to manage our institutional performance and want all staff to have a clear understanding of their personal objectives. We want to move at pace, creating an environment where staff are empowered and enabled to make decisions that will support our goals and enable us to achieve great things for our students and community.

HR offers comprehensive support to UEL staff in the following areas:

HR operations and policies

With a named HR Business Partner and HR Advisor allocated to each School and Service, we provide dedicated support in the following areas: Employment advice; Recruitment support; Employment policies; Organisational change; and Employee relations.


We provide a payroll service which focuses on our customers and their needs, paying accurately and on time, within statutory and contractual regulations. All employees have access to their payslip electronically and can make changes to their personal details using UEL’s Self-Service application.

HR systems and reward

We provide systems support to all employees within UEL through our Employee Self-Service and People Manager portals. In addition, we support managers with key management information and details around HERA (Higher Education Role Analysis).

Learning and development

UEL’s continuing success as a thriving modern university depends on recruiting, engaging and developing staff who have the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver our strategic plan and ensure both academic and service excellence.

The Staff Learning and Development policy builds on our achievement of Investors in People (IIP).  The key principles of the policy are that it should develop staff, enhance communications and relationships, build UEL as an organisation and create supporting systems and processes.

Organisational effectiveness

We are responsible for a wide range of projects that relate to the continuous development of how we manage, develop and engage our staff.  We also provide general HR support to each School and Service through consultancy and provision of bespoke solutions to staff issues at all levels.

Other areas of particular responsibility include: developing HR Strategy; facilitating staff engagement using annual Staff Surveys; promoting effective standards of management; taking the lead with our Performance and Development Review Scheme (PDR); supporting Staff Induction and our Learning and Development team.

Equality and diversity

Responsibility for our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy sits with our Office for Institutional Equity and the HR team works closely with the Office for Institutional Equity on a wide range of EDI themes. Equality, diversity and inclusion are in our DNA. We continue to demonstrate our commitment to equality and inclusion by recruiting and supporting a diverse staff and student body, where everyone has the same opportunity to achieve their full potential and can contribute to making UEL the best it can be.

The HR Structure chart can be viewed here.

The role

HR Director

Job reference:

Job description

  • Lead the full spectrum of strategic human resources management on behalf of the University, establishing credibility as a strategic and operational leader in the field.
  • Lead the development and embedding of workplace policies that enable employees to realise their full potential at work.
  • Contribute to the organisational strategy; develop and implement the people and organisational development approach that aligns people within the University to the overall corporate plan and delivery of its vision and mission.
  • Effective leadership of employee relations issues including mediation of disputes or grievances where appropriate.
  • Continuous improvement of HR processes and systems to ensure legal compliance, effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Ensure the provision of management information and analytics and maximise the opportunities provided by digital technologies.

Key responsibilities

  • Manage the c.35 staff in the HR, Payroll and Health, Safety and Wellbeing teams.
  • Align the HR team, processes and outputs with UEL’s organisational strategy through an effective HR & People strategy.
  • Ensure the HR team is supporting and driving the transformation work across UEL and deliver a step change in the capability and competence of the workforce.
  • Proactively lead the relationship with the academic and professional services functions through consultation and advice centred on strong knowledge and experience of resourcing, development, employee relations, data & analytics, wellbeing and payroll.
  • Ensure the ongoing implementation, review and development of core HR processes and minimum standards.
  • Ensure that the HR strategy, plans and approach delivers, supports and enhances the goals and strategy of the University.
  • Drive the implementation of HR goals through detailed project plans with associated interdependencies and relevant HR KPIs and PIs.
  • Network with the broader HR community within HE to identify expertise and best practises and apply it to UEL HR issues.
  • Assist in the management of change by exploiting opportunities to create and deliver value adding initiatives in line with the organisational strategy.
  • Coach the University Executive Board (UEB)/Management and facilitate management interactions including around developmental and performance reviews.
  • Lead all negotiations with Trade Unions.
  • Lead the resolution of conflict and interpersonal issues as required.
  • Recommend to UEB organisational structures and lead the organisational design and development.
  • Drive and initiate management and team development.



  1. Be driven and focused on making a positive difference.
  2. Experience of building and developing high performing and aspirational teams.
  3. High self-awareness and desire to take personal responsibility.
  4. Evidence of advancing own and others confident competence.
  5. Experience of delivering customer-centric services.
  6. Possess exceptional leadership, interpersonal and communication skills that enable you to build rapport across a broad cross-section of internal and external stakeholders.
  7. Thrive in environments where change is the norm and be prepared to meet the challenges of a continually evolving Higher Education landscape.
  8. Strong track record of delivering transformation and driving performance improvement in individuals, functions and organisations.
  9. Experience of developing and delivering large scale programmes and projects.
  10. As with all senior roles at UEL, the HR Director is expected to share the University’s values including around civic engagement and celebration of the inclusivity and diversity of its community.
  11. Evidence of improving staff and wider community health and wellbeing.

Terms of appointment

Benefits at UELPS Ltd
At UEL Professional Services Ltd we are committed to promoting the values of equality, inclusivity and diversity throughout our community of staff and the students that we serve. In keeping with this, we have developed a wide range of benefits making UEL Professional Services Ltd an attractive place to work. These include family-friendly policies, access to nursery facilities, competitive salary and pension arrangements, a commitment to staff development and a host of other benefits.

The salary is dependent on experience and will be negotiated with the preferred candidate.

Annual leave
This role is entitled to 30 days’ annual leave plus public holidays.

Pension schemes
UEL Professional Services Ltd offers a generous defined contribution scheme, the UEL Retirement and Savings Plan, which employees automatically join on commencing employment (unless they choose to opt out). The Plan offers a 10% employer contribution without employee contribution, matching employee contributions on a ratio of 1.5 : 1 up to a maximum additional employer contribution of 6%, and generous ill health salary protection and death in service benefits.

Family-friendly policies
We have a flexible working policy, tax free childcare vouchers and generous maternity, adoption, parental and shared parental leave policies.  You can also access an onsite nursery at our Docklands Campus, the Children’s Garden run by NEWTEC and a number of nurseries local to our Stratford Campus.

The University campuses offer easy access to public transport and are just 30 minutes from Central London. The Stratford campus is just a few minutes’ walk from Stratford Station, a major transport hub. Docklands Campus has its own Docklands Light Railway Station, Cyprus. In addition, interest-free season-ticket loans and bicycle loans are offered to all staff, and there is also car parking available subject to application for a parking permit.

Staff development
We are strongly committed to developing the skills and careers of all our staff. Annual staff development reviews and personal action plans are designed to enable staff to develop their careers, and are supported by an extensive range of courses and events to enhance management, teaching and learning, IT and personal development skills. We also encourage our staff to obtain a degree or higher level qualification on one of our programmes by part-time study, with fees met by UEL Professional Services Ltd.

Other benefits include:

  • Eye care vouchers
  • Occupational health service
  • Prayer rooms
  • Wide range of catering facilities
  • Salary sacrifice scheme – professional subscriptions, bicycle loans, childcare vouchers

You can find out more about working at UEL here.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an employment advisor to the University of East London. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultant at Anderson Quigley: Elliott Rae on +44 (0)7584 078 534;, or Alice Hayler on +44(0)7596 954 388 or

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 21 February 2022.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you meet the person specification.
  • Please include current salary details and the names and addresses of two referees. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates.
  • Please follow the link to complete an Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ1335


Closing date: noon on Monday 21 February
Longlisting: Thursday 24 February
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: w/c 28 February
Shortlisting: Monday 7 March
Panel Interviews: Thursday 17 March (in person)