April 2018

Group HR Director for Noble Foods

This position is now closed

If you like the sound of this role our specialist Rob Thrower can help you find your next career move.

Establishing a industry leading, HR function for a UK based successful, acquisitive international food business.

Salary: Excellent base, wider package and a highly attractive LTIP.

Location: South East, UK

The strength of this agricultural based business is an incredibly efficient, vertically integrated operation. Noble Foods own the mills that supply the feed, through to a significant proportion of the farms themselves. In ‘shell egg’, Noble is the UK’s largest supplier, and therefore follow a genuine partnership model with the major UK retailers. They also have a substantial business supplying the major food manufacturers, in categories such as ready meals and sandwiches. The business is a leading player in animal welfare and has invested way ahead of many of their European competitors to satisfy future EU legislation. The business now operates from 12 sites across the UK and employs over 2000 people.

The ambition and entrepreneurial nature of the business resulted in further acquisitions in adjacent categories, including Gü Chocolate Puds and Didier's Patisserie. With ‘the Happy Egg Co’, Noble Foods have had incredible success in creating a brand that has grown from scratch to become significant contributor to the category. ‘the Happy Egg Co’ is en-route to becoming a £100m brand and is diversifying into prepared food such as quiche and sandwiches.

The Role

The business requires an individual who is an effective tactical leader of the function but who also contributes to the strategic direction of the organisation. In essence, a strong and effective leader who will work closely with the CEO and the Divisional Heads.

Key to success in this role will be the person’s ability to act with pragmatism in a highly entrepreneurial environment whilst building a commercially robust culture of coaching and development. The HR Director will need to flex between driving deep strategy and where necessary also work from the top-to-bottom of the business, becoming operational where required. The individual will sit on the Exec team assuming responsibility for all aspects of HR strategy and delivery across the business. Examples of key responsibilities include:

  • Helping shape the strategy of the company and align the people strategy to reflect priorities.
  • Playing a significant and instrumental role in developing the business through the HR function and build a progressive customer orientated and capable HR team.
  • Be directly responsible for the quality of all aspects of Human Resources within the Group.
  • Designing and implementing change initiatives to support organisational development.
  • Taking a lead role in supporting the conversion of ambitious growth opportunities, often centred upon acquisitions. This includes mapping the ‘people challenges’ of target businesses through to the legislative requirements post-acquisition.
  • Leading the development of the key areas of HR including Talent Management; Learning and Development; Resource Planning; and Employee Relations.
  • Playing a lead role in the development of Trade Union relationships and be ultimately responsible for the smooth delivery of ER and IR issues ensuring that industrial relations with unions are strong and effective.
  • Where appropriate acting as confidante and coach to the Exec team.

The Ideal Candidate

Noble Foods are seeking a truly outstanding leader for their HR function. It is likely that the individual will have been trained in a blue-chip, FMCG organisation whilst demonstrating the ability to be successful in a lean, entrepreneurial organisation. The successful candidate will possess a broad range of skills, competencies and experience including:

  • Demonstrating a track record of creating and delivering an outstanding HR function in a Food or FMCG Manufacturing environment.
  • Being an outstanding communicator both formally and informally at all levels of the organisation.
  • Possessing functional expertise in organisation design, change management, compensation and benefits, employee relations, recruitment and staffing, training, and leadership/management development including succession planning.
  • Operating in a business that has an international context, ideally during a period where this footprint has rapidly grown.
  • 5 years’ experience at Director level, successfully leading a high performing HR and OD function in a changing environment.
  • Current working knowledge of employment law including TUPE, equality legislation and pensions regulation.
  • The ability to act as a change agent - to engage, encourage, involve and lead others to enhance organisational effectiveness.
  • The person will need gravitas and commercial dexterity. They will be positive, proactive, and have a proven track record in developing strong and effective relationships. They will have strategic business and HR capability and be able to demonstrate where they have turned HR Strategy in to value adding commercially focused outcomes.

If you have the skills and experience and you are looking for a new challenge, we would be delighted to discuss this opportunity further.

Completed Project