HR Project Manager – Policy, Reward, and Engagement

Jodrell Bank Observatory, Manchester
£45k – 50k plus benefits
05 Jul 2018
31 Jul 2018
Job Type
HR Manager
Contract Type
Full Time

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a global project to build a multi-purpose radio telescope observatory that will play a major role in answering key questions in modern astrophysics and cosmology. It will be one of a small number of cornerstone observatories around the world that will provide astrophysicists and cosmologists with a transformational view of the Universe. The SKA will be constructed in two distinct phases. Among the major science goals for the first phase, SKA1, will be to study the history and role of neutral Hydrogen in the Universe from the dark ages to the present-day, and to employ pulsars as probes of fundamental physics.

SKA Organisation was incorporated as a UK company in December 2011 to co-ordinate global design activities in the ‘Pre-Construction’ phase of the project. The company leads the SKA system design and oversees the detailed design being undertaken by globally distributed design consortia. Design work packages for the major SKA subsystems have been contracted to a small number of consortia who are responsible for the management, execution and delivery of the work packages.

Ten governments are now participating in the project, with others engaged in discussions regarding possible membership. SKA Organisation is permanently headquartered in a purpose-built building at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, UK.

Negotiations are currently underway between the governments of SKA member countries with the aim of establishing the SKA as an Inter-Governmental Organisation (IGO) governed by a Convention; the organisation will be called the SKA Observatory. It is expected that these negotiations will be concluded in 2018 with the IGO expected to be established towards the end of 2019.

The Role

Ahead of the establishment of the IGO, the HR function has some considerable work to do in order to develop the HR approach for the future IGO and manage the associated

transition. There is a need for an experienced HR professional with specialisms in HR policy development, reward, staff engagement and consultation. This role will work with the Head of HR to lead the HR workstream responsible for the development of the future IGO HR policies, staff rules and regulations, development of career grading structures, associated compensation & benefits, providing support and management of the staff transition plan to the future IGO.

Key Duties, Accountabilities and Responsibilities

  • Lead the policy, reward and engagement workstreams of the HR transition plan, providing robust project management of all activities within that workstream
  • In collaboration with the wider HR and transition team, develop updated HR policies and staff rules and regulations for the future IGO
  • Work with the Head of HR to develop a career/role framework, that includes job evaluation of all roles mapped to an associated reward framework
  • Work with the Head of HR to develop a progressive total reward approach that meets the needs of the future IGO, whilst allowing us to attract and retain the skills we need
  • To conduct an equal pay review to ensure any new pay structure and its implementation free from bias
  • To lead the equality and diversity working group, managing delivery of the diversity agenda and associated action plan
  • To project manage the staff consultation and transition process, with responsibility for the implementation of the staff engagement strategy
  • As process owner to work with the ERP implementation team to ensure all associated HR process are aligned

Mandatory Qualifications, Experience and Knowledge:

  • Experience of developing and managing the implementation of progressive reward frameworks, including job evaluation
  • Experience of reward costing and modelling
  • Knowledge and experience of staff consultation, setting up and managing staff forums
  • A detailed understanding of the drivers of staff engagement, including through change and transition
  • An understanding of international labour laws and how these may be addressed through the development of HR policies, staff rules and regulations
  • General experience of developing progressive HR policies, procedures and processes
  • Experience in managing and monitoring related HR projects, including reporting and management of risks and issues
  • Experience of working collaboratively in a multi-cultural, multi-national environment
  • CIPD qualified (or equivalent) with recognised university degree-level education or equivalent
  • Good English, oral and written communication skills
  • Able to work proactively, work at pace and get things done through effective planning and organisation
  • Attention to detail
  • Demonstrable ability to build relationships across boundaries
  • Strong learning agility. The transition to an IGO may require different thinking and ways of working. The successful candidate will be able to translate knowledge and experience from other organisations, consider best practice elsewhere and be able to adapt these to meet the very specific needs of a future IGO

Desirable Qualifications, Experience and Knowledge:

  • Experience of working with IGOs understanding the potential impact of privileges and immunity on the future organisation’s reward and policy landscape
  • Experience of developing a cohesive reward framework across an international organisation with different local standards
  • Experience of operating in an international environment that is subject to international labour laws
  • An understanding of the impact of staff pension provisions for an international workforce

In addition, it should be noted that we are a small team, with a big agenda. The successful candidate should be prepared to take a hands on approach, be prepared to flex workload to support other team members where required and undertake any other reasonable duties as directed by the Head of HR or other members of SKA Organisation Senior Leadership Team.

For more information on the SKA project visit The SKA Organisation offers a competitive salary and a generous company pension scheme. The successful applicant’s workplace will be located at the SKA Office’s headquarters at Jodrell Bank.

How to apply:

Please send a CV and covering letter, including details of your current remuneration, to, quoting reference HRPM/02. Applications should include:

  • A summary of significant accomplishments and project experience, detailing how you meet the mandatory and desirable qualifications, experience and knowledge criteria;
  • The names of at least three professional referees, at least one of whom must be your current employer (or most recent employer if not working); and
  • Details of your current (or most recent) remuneration package.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 31st July 2018.

Equal Opportunities Statement

SKA Organisation is committed to being an equal opportunities employer. Our aim to is recruit and retain the most talented individuals, regardless of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or nationality.

At all stages of the recruitment process and beyond, we strive to treat applicants and employees with a high standard of care, honesty and politeness.

Women have traditionally been under-represented in the fields of science and engineering; SKA Organisation welcomes and encourages female applicants.

Where applicants with a disability need facilities or adjustments to enable them to participate in the recruitment process, these will be provided. If you need equipment or adjustments to enable you to complete your application and/or attend an interview, then please let us know.