Head of People Operations (Maternity Cover)

  • Contract
  • London

Website Softwire





Job Title

Head of People Operations (Maternity Cover)

About the Job

Softwire is one of the UK’s leading digital technology consultancies, offering services in software engineering, design, innovation, cloud, mobile and data. We deliver high-profile and cutting-edge digital projects for household names across the public and private sectors.

Softwire was founded on one simple idea: if we can create the best possible culture and working environment then everything else will fall into place. And it seems to be working – We were recently voted number 1 company to work for in the UK at the Best Company awards, and we have a loyal and growing client base who trust us with their hardest problems and their mission critical projects.

We focus on creating a great culture and working environment and we are looking for people who share our core beliefs about what makes a great place to work:

  • That if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.
  • That work should be fulfilling but can also be fun.
  • That kindness matters and should be extended to employees and clients alike.
  • That by being trusting and trustworthy as an organisation and as individuals we can dispense with tedious bureaucracy and rules.
  • When you work with Softwire, you’re not only becoming part of a team with in-depth technical skills and delivery expertise – you’ll be working in a high-trust environment alongside skilled, kind, fun people who are passionate about creating amazing services and experiences that solve real problems.

In brief

Softwire is looking for a passionate and hands-on Head of People Operations to join our team for a 12-month fixed-term maternity cover with the possibility of becoming permanent. You will report to the HR Board Director. By combining strategic thinking with a hands-on approach, this new Head of People Operations will significantly contribute to Softwire’s success in attracting, developing, and retaining top talent.

The role

In this exciting role, you’ll lead and provide direct support to a fantastic team of 7 people (2 L&D, 3 HR, 2 Events). You’ll also be accountable for the performance ofthe Office Management team and the Kitchen team (10 people), guiding and helping them achieve their goals and addressing any challenges.

You’ll promote our culture through internal initiatives, optimise and streamline HR processes using established best practices, and facilitate practical solutionsto employee concerns. You’ll also be a trusted advisor, leading on employee relations and ensuring adherence to employment law.

In addition, you’ll lead the newly formed L&D department and cultivate a strong learning culture at Softwire, ensuring employees have the skills and knowledge they need to excel.

Main duties

It’s a busy, fast-paced environment offering plenty of variety. Your main responsibilities will include:

Employee Relations & Performance Management

  • Lead effective resolution of complex employee relations issues by providing direct oversight and leadership in handling sensitive matter like long term sickness absences, performance concerns, and disciplinary actions. Ensure consistent and fair application of company policies while seeking positive outcomes for both Softwire and employees.
  • Maintain and consistently improve a robust framework for sickness absence management.
  • Proactively identify performance gaps, partner and collaborate with Head of Capabilities and Managers to develop effective improvement plans, and ensure consistent application of the internal performance management procedure.
  • Drive a culture of high performance and collaborate with Head of Capabilities and senior leaders to identify and retain top talents, to address performance gaps and minimize flight risks.
  • Maintain clear communication with the HR Board Director through weekly reports that provide data-driven insights on performance management, disciplinary actions, and absences. Proactively collaborate to develop and implement solutions that address these areas.
  • Promote continuous improvement by keeping policies and procedures up to date based on industry best practices and legal updates.

Learning and Development

  • Provide strategic leadership and hands-on direction for the People, L&D, Events and Office Management teams, fostering a high-performing and collaborative environment.
  • Provide strategic and hands-on guidance to the team on the development and delivery of high-quality internal learning materials.
  • Partner directly with Head of Capabilities to ensure programs for new line managers and leaders are effective and meet organisational needs.
  • Partner in creating new L&D OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and developing innovative solutions with the team to achieve them.
  • Forge strong relationships and actively collaborate with subject matter experts across the organization to ensure L&D content is accurate, relevant, and addresses key skills gaps.
  • Lead the evaluation and optimization of learning materials by personally overseeing pilot programs and actively soliciting participant feedback for continuous improvement. Analyse data and make data-driven recommendations to refine learning experiences.

Recruitment & Onboarding

  • Lead hiring efforts for Business Teams, ensuring a smooth and successful hiring and onboarding experience.
  • Partner with Head of Capabilities to understand their unique needs and develop customized onboarding experiences that accelerate the new hire impact.
  • Build strong relationships with senior hires throughout their onboarding journey and beyond, providing ongoing support and career development guidance.
  • Supervise all onboarding and offboarding and ensure these are delivered to the highest standards.

HR Policies & Compliance

  • Maintain and update HR policies and procedures to ensure alignment with current employment legislation.
  • Stay abreast of emerging trends and developments in HR law and compliance, providing thought leadership within the business.

Experience and qualifications

You will be CIPD qualified with an extensive experience in a Senior HR role with a large team to manage and a proven track record of success in a people-first environment.

Excellent understanding of the employment law, with a focus on areas like:

  • The Equality Act 2010 and its implications for the workplace.
  • Absence management procedures and regulations.
  • Performance management processes and best practices.
  • Disciplinary procedures and fair dismissal.
  • Grievance handling and resolution
  • Possess a proven track record of leading L&D initiatives, with deep expertise in developing and implementing successful learning programs.

Your Approach

You are passionate about driving positive change in HR practices and L&D initiatives. You enjoy bringing new ideas and processes while aligning them with the strategy and culture.

This role requires a proactive approach to identifying and resolving challenges related to performance, sickness management, and people management.

You will leverage your extensive knowledge of L&D best practices to design and implement internal training solutions.

Building a positive and supportive effective work environment is essential. You are approachable and genuinely interested in employee well-being.

You will be adept at working with various stakeholders and employees across all departments. Building strong relationships and fostering collaboration is key.


Softwire operates transparent pay scales and a profit share scheme based on role level and overall company performance.

  • Base salary is based on experience in the role and ranges from £75,900 – £88,500
  • You can expect to receive an average of between (£13,250 & £28,500) in profit share depending on your experience and company performance.
  • Pension: Additional 5% of salary
  • 25 days annual leave (with the option to buy 10 and sell 5) and 3.5 days additional days off for company-wide morale activities.
  • Family friendly policy with enhanced parental leave pay.
  • Zero emission car scheme, cycle to work scheme, travel card loan scheme, free annual eye test, subscription to Headspace plus.
  • Time off for charitable activities and payroll charity donations.
  • Hybrid – 4 days in our Kentish Town office with 1 day from home.
  • Long service awards
  • AIG income protection with specific coverage requirements



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