Director of Human Resources

Sotheby's Institute of Art - London

Since 1969, Sotheby’s Institute of Art – London has been among the world’s leading postgraduate level institutions offering Master’s degrees and other courses.  Our Master’s programmes embrace a wide range of tracks and concentrations, enabling students to create their own career pathway.  For more than 20 years we have been an affiliated institution of The University of Manchester, which validates our programmes in London.

This stimulating opportunity for an experienced HR professional reports to the CEO and is fundamental in managing the Institute’s organisational development, recruitment and culture.  As part of the Management Team, the HR Director will be responsible for the strategic planning and operation of the Human Resources function throughout Sotheby’s Institute of Art – London as well as ensuring compliance through developing, maintaining and disseminating HR policies and processes.  The role is responsible for the whole employee lifecycle, and the successful candidate must be comfortable working at both a strategic and an operational/transactional level.

Key Job Responsibilities:

  • Managing the Institute’s HR functions, including recruitment, training and development, employee engagement, compensation and benefits, and HR information systems
  • Developing and implementing HR initiatives in line with organisational objectives
  • As part of the Management Team being accountable for the performance of the HR function and the operations within it, as well as providing strategic counsel on all people-related matters
  • Contributing to long-term goals around organisational and people development, including risk management and succession planning
  • Overseeing and promoting employee development, health and wellbeing
  • Leading the analysis of employee feedback and data, with the aim of creating a better working environment and engaged culture
  • Creating and managing the HR department’s annual budget
  • Contributing to maintenance and development of the Institute’s culture

Experience and Skills

This position plays a key leadership role at the Institute, involving extensive professional interactions, especially with staff and visitors.

The successful candidate should have a strong dual skill-set both strategically and operationally, and must

  • Be qualified to degree level
  • Hold a relevant professional certificate from an accredited organisation such as the CIPD and be committed continuously to update learning and knowledge in the HR field
  • Have a minimum of 5 years’ experience in HR management, with at least 2 years in the higher education sector

The successful candidate will demonstrate excellence in the following.

  • Trust– Reporting to the CEO, you will become a trusted confidante on talent issues, unafraid of giving your opinions and expertise
  • Communication skills– Excellent verbal and written communication skills, emotional intelligence and the ability to build relationships and collaborate with others are vital
  • Professional expertise– A strong working knowledge of employment law issues, best practice processes for recruitment, contracts, disciplinaries, redundancies and payroll is required, as well as experience of employee relations, especially in a higher education context
  • Organisational and administrative skills– personal efficiency, time management skills and the ability to prioritise competing demands are key, as is the ability to produce accurate formal documents to meet pressing deadlines, and to develop and implement policies and procedures
  • Commercial acumen– Involvement in strategic decision-making within the Institute will require understanding of company finances, resourcing and the ultimate aims of the organisation
  • Role modelling– As a member of the Management Team, the HR director is expected to demonstrate and lead on the values, initiatives and culture of the Institute

Effectiveness in the role will require the appointee to be able to work flexible hours as the need arises e.g. responding out of hours, staying late to complete urgent work.

Experience of the higher education sector is essential.  An interest in the art world is desirable.

To apply please send a CV and covering letter to, explaining concisely your suitability for the role.  Please indicate current remuneration and notice period.  Review of applications will begin immediately, with a closing date of 2nd May 2018.  Interviews are expected to take place w/c 14th May.

Please click here to download the Job Description