Head of Human Resources

Network Rail

We offer an optional compressed 4 day work week (35hrs)

Only considering candidates who are eligible to work in London, UK ⚠️

Head of Human Resources


London, GB

Department Name

Human Resources

About Network Rail

About Network Rail…

🌟 Are you ready to make a difference in people's lives? Join Our Team at Network Rail! 🌟

At Network Rail, we connect passengers and freight customers, ensuring safe and efficient transportation across the country. We are recruiting a Head of HR to support System operator, a function of circa 900 employees that is at the operational heart of the whole railway keeping our passengers and freight flowing seamlessly and the whole railway performing safely, reliably and cost effectively.

Brief Description

About the role

The Head of HR is responsible for shaping and executing our holistic approach to people management, encompassing people operations, employee relations, people engagement, people analytics, and talent attraction. Supported by a team of business partners and drawing on expertise in industrial and employee relations, reward, talent, learning and development from Centres of Expertise, you will need to inspire teams, set clear expectations, and work collaboratively with other stakeholders to drive forward the priorities of both System Operator and the organisation’s People Strategy.

About the role (External)

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for someone who is a Business-savvy HR leader! Who has proven track record partnering with directors, driving high-performance cultures, and navigating complex environments. This includes excellent relationship builder with a passion for customer service.

You’ll also be skilled in coaching, influencing, and managing large-scale change as well as MCIPD qualified with strong technical HR knowledge. Leadership experience in delivering business-focused HR support will be key.

What does the average day look like?

In this role, as a member of the senior leadership team you’ll be working closely with leaders to shape HR strategy, and drive initiatives for talent, succession, and change management. Be a change agent, lead programs, and foster strong relationships with leaders. You’ll manage trade union relationships, champion the HR Business Partner model, and lead a dynamic and diverse HR team. You’ll also be collaborating with experts, driving improvements, and leading key HR projects. We want someone who can make an impact on business objectives and cultivate a high-performance culture.

What essential skills and experiences are required?

•Strong business acumen and a deep understanding of business needs alongside strong leadership with a focus on delivering business-focused HR support.

•Proven expertise in relationship-building with directors and senior leaders, improving people management, and crafting strategic HR plans.

•Passionate about customer service, showcasing achievements through business deliverables.

•Implementing best practice HR solutions for a high-performance culture whilst establishing professional credibility whilst partnering with senior leaders to identify, develop, and retain talent.

•Coaching and influencing senior leaders with excellent communication and negotiation skills.

•Excellent technical HR knowledge - MCIPD qualified or equivalent.

•Proven track record in large, complex working environments as well as managing large-scale change programs (e.g., Organisation Re-design, TUPE, redundancy).

How to apply (External)

How to apply

Duration: Permanent

Location: This role is based at London Waterloo with regular travel to Milton Keynes and other locations.

Band & Salary: Band 2B, Salary £71,163 - £80,060

Closing date: 13th December 2023. On occasions, we may need to close the advert early based upon application volumes. Late applications may not be accepted.

Next Steps: 1st stage interviews will be held 14th & 15th December.

About our people and the recruitment process…

We're an inclusive employer of choice and we welcome applications from everyone!

We encourage our colleagues to work flexibly, as we know traditional working patterns don't always fit. If you want to consider working flexibly, let us know and we'll do our best to help and invest in your career with us, whilst you have a healthy work life balance.

We're also a Disability Confident Leader employer and we'll try our best to adapt the process and offer a reasonable alternative to help support people with disabilities access, apply and interview for roles. We will interview all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria.

Safe behaviour is a requirement of working for Network Rail. Applicants should be able to demonstrate their awareness of our Safety Vision

If you have any questions about this role, please contact Natalie Rogers or if you have an HR related questions or require any reasonable adjustments/modifications, please contact Amy Chalk.

Visit Evenbreak’s Career Hive should you need accessibility support to apply or should you require any reasonable adjustments/modifications, please contact [email protected] and have your IRC number ready as this will be required.

A message from our Chief Executive, Andrew Haines:

‘Our passengers and freight customers are at the heart of everything we do. We help connect people to their friends and families and get goods to their destination safely and efficiently. We're an organisation where people matter.  Watch our video to find out more!

We're continuing to build a diverse organisation which is representative of the people we serve. We want to harness the skills and expertise of our people and attract the best talent, to enable a safe and accessible railway for everyone. To learn why inclusion is important to us, please click here.

What can we offer you in return?

We have a range of benefits including:

🌞 Generous annual leave (28 days plus statutory days), with the option to buy/sell days.

Defined benefit pension scheme

🚂 75% subsidy on train tickets.

🎟️ Interest-free travel loan for train and car park season tickets.

🎁 Discounts at stations with your Network Rail pass.

🌍 Flexible/hybrid working arrangements.

🕊️ Volunteer leave to make a positive impact.

Plus more….


As an arm’s length department of the UK Government, Network Rail is required to comply with a well-established pre-employment vetting process for all prospective employees. Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) checks require prospective employees of Network Rail to meet the following requirements.

• Provide eligibility to work in the UK and identity documentation

• Complete a satisfactory 3-year employment history check

• Complete a satisfactory unspent criminal conviction disclosure check for more information regarding BPSS pre-employment related checks, please visit the UK Government website for further information - UK Government - BPSS Checks

Network Rail welcomes applications regardless of age, disability, marital status (including civil partnerships), pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, transgender status, sex (or gender), employment status, trade union affiliation, or another factor.

Drugs and Alcohol Standard:

All prospective candidates will be required to undergo and pass a drugs and alcohol test. Your application will be rescinded if you record a positive test. All positive drugs and alcohol test results for prospective candidates will be securely held on Sentinel database and a 5 year suspension from applying for a safety critical role, a role which requires PTS certification or a Key Safety role on Network Rail Managed Infrastructure will be enforced.

Network Railnetworkrail.co.uk

We own, repair and develop the railway infrastructure in England, Scotland and Wales.

Working Week

We offer an optional compressed 4 day work week (35hrs)

  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu
  • 🏖️

Our Vacation Policy

We offer 28 days annual leave, plus public holidays

  • 37 days
  • 52 Fridays
  • 89 days off per year

Remote Working Policy

Some staff work fully on-site with other teams working hybrid remotely.

  • United Kingdom

Company Benefits

  • Health insurance
  • 401(k) company contribution
  • Flexible working hours
  • Generous parental leave
  • Childcare support
  • Equipment allowance
  • Professional Development Budget
  • Mental Health Support

Our Team

We're a team of 43k across 19 departments:

  • engineering
  • business development
  • information technology
  • operations
  • finance
  • support
  • education
  • human resources
  • +11 more teams

Desirable Skills and Experience

  • People Management
  • Customer Service
  • Coaching
  • Influencing
  • Change Management

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