British Council Nigeria Head of Human Resources Nigeria & West Africa Cluster Recruitment

September 27, 2017 Michael Shabi No comments exist


The British Council is the world’s leading cultural relations organization and creates opportunities for people in the UK and worldwide to understand each other, to work together and learn from one another. We see this as crucial to building secure, more prosperous and sustainable futures for us all. We build trust and understanding between different countries and cultures and develop strong international links that are of benefit to people in Britain and the rest of the world.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Head of Human Resources Nigeria & West Africa Cluster

Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Department: Human Resources
Job Category: HR
Pay Band: Pay Band 8
Duration: Indefinite
Reports to: Regional HR Director [SSA]

Role Purpose

  • The Head of Human Resources will support the HR Director by providing operational HR expertise across the broad spectrum of HR activity.
  • This role supports the HR Director to develop strategies, plans, budgets, projects and timelines to deliver the people and business plan.
  • The role will be key to ensuring that the HR services provided in the West Africa Cluster are consistent with global HR policies and processes, reflect local policy frameworks, and are high quality and efficient.
  • The role acts as a senior adviser/business partner to Cluster / regional leadership, HR and business leads. Interfaces with English & Exams, Education & Society and Arts Strategic Business Units (SBUs) and HR Centre of Expertise (CoE) colleagues to deliver corporate, regional and country results.
  • The role will lead a team of in country/Cluster HR professionals to provide high quality, customer-focused functional support to all teams based in the cluster of countries.
  • Key focus will be on interpretation and tactical application of policy to suit local business needs as well as resolution of complex problems.

Geopolitical/SBU/Function Overview

  • The West Africa Cluster is comprised of Ghana (including Cameroon), Senegal, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Increasingly British Council is approached to support UK missions and partners in other parts of both Anglophone and Francophone West Africa. With HMG’s increasing focus on the “Arc of Instability” which concentrates on the Sahel, British Council will need to review its approach and offer within the cluster.
  • This role will have overall HR responsibility for West Africa Cluster (Ghana (including Cameroon), Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria) with varying degrees of complexity in the external HR regulatory environment, geopolitical stability, talent availability and cultural difference.
  • Part of the complexity of the role will be to navigate these complexities to ensure the best balance between global, regional and country requirements. The post holder will line manage the HR business Partners for Nigeria (Main office and FCR projects) & Ghana

Main Opportunities/Challenges for this role

  • With the global changes facing the HR function in general, including the stepped-up competition for talent, the impact of the economy, data driven HR practices, and the new developments in technology, combined with the region specific environment and complexities, the role is expected to make a major contribution to the successful management of HR as well as providing vital support to all operational team members. They will contribute to the development of the HR function and modelling the values and principles of a collaborative, integrated and mutually supportive team.
  • The global HR team has undergone a significant restructure to position it more effectively to support the rapidly changing needs of the British Council. In conjunction with the SSA HR Director, this role is key to ensuring HR services in the West Africa Cluster effectively support the business plans and are consistent with global CoE strategies, guiding principles, policies and procedures, processes and practices, and where necessary, adapting them to reflect local market needs and conditions, e.g. legal, regulatory, social and culture frameworks. The global CoE’s include:
    • Resourcing
    • Reward
    • Employee Relations
    • Talent and Development
    • Leadership and Policy
  • The post holder will report to the SSA HR Director and will work closely with the other members of the regional HR team, who provide senior HR expertise to the region. S/he will also need to engage with HR leaders in the global and regional Centres of Expertise and Strategic Business Units to ensure alignment of frameworks, policies, casework and core standards and ensure HR/business insights and knowledge is shared.
  • The role holder will be working in a context with varying degrees of complexity in the external HR regulatory environment, geopolitical stability, talent availability and cultural difference. Part of the complexity of the role will be to navigate these complexities to ensure the best balance between global, regional and country requirements.

Main Accountabilities
Consultancy and high quality HR service:

  • Deploys a range of HR specialist or bespoke approaches to support the provision of high quality services and advice
  • Lead and co-ordinate the regional annual people cycle, for performance management, talent management, succession planning, learning and development etc., engaging and communicating with key stakeholders to deliver in line with British Council timelines, policies and processes.
  • Manages health and wellbeing of Regional employees, in conjunction with the Regional Wellbeing, Employee Relations and International Mobility Team leads as required.
  • Works with the International Mobility Team and Group Employment Tax Specialist to organise support for globally mobile staff in region, e.g. advice on ER, mobility packages, employee tax support, etc.
  • In conjunction with Regional and Country Leadership Teams manage emergency planning and contingency and execute on withdrawal policy and procedures.

Leadership and business partnering – Internal customer focus:

  • As a member of the Custer and regional HR Leadership Team, contribute to the development of the HR strategy, budgets and people plans for the region & cluster – sharing expertise and learning and ensuring an integrated approach to delivering high impact HR advice and quality service delivery across the region.
  • Builds an in-depth understanding of the particular business and operational context, opportunities and challenges facing operations and management, to ensure the development of new practices based on informed business insight and joined-up thinking. Consults closely with internal customers and other stakeholders to understand current and future business needs, and plans work activities accordingly to ensure the services and advice they provide meets those demands
  • Applies advanced HR generalist knowledge to solve a range of complex business issues. Devises non-standard or bespoke analytical approaches to understand complex problems and enable informed business-planning, decision-making and/or the development of new or improved practice
  • Provides expert HR advice, support and challenge to internal customers and other stakeholders to support the development of high quality, effective and continuously improving business practices within their area of functional expertise, ensuring high quality service is delivered to maximise performance and minimise risks and costs

Service improvement:

  • Identifies and makes recommendations to the Cluster lead and Regional HR Director for improvements to ways of working that enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the corporate functional discipline, as well as the operational effectiveness of their internal customers
  • Makes professional recommendations which have a measurable impact on local business performance in terms of efficiency, quality, reliability, and internal customer satisfaction
  • Actively champions and monitors staff compliance with the agreed corporate policies and practices relevant to their area of functional expertise. Investigates reasons for non-compliance
  • Provides specialist expertise advice or ideas into the development and implementation of corporate and regional change projects. Scope, plan, deliver and evaluate HR/OD and change projects / initiatives, working closely with global and regional CoE’s leads and regional / country HR, Resourcing and Reward leads as required.
  • Distils complex concepts and analysis into cogent and persuasive business case presentations, which convincingly influence decision-makers about the need for significant changes to policy or practice

Line management and functional expertise:

  • Determines work plans and coordinates input from in country HR professionals to meet specific objectives, line manages HR business partners in Nigeria and Ghana
  • Providing professional coaching/mentoring to country HR leads, to manage non-routine HR issues or guidance to implement project and change plans.
  • Contributes to the development and delivery of training and guidance of other professionals in the field.
  • Develops peer/personal networks within and outside the British Council to enhance own knowledge and expertise. Shares expertise and best practice with country HR leads.
  • Build HR, people management and coaching capabilities of regional managers and HR leads, via:
  • Coaching / guiding and advising in the annual HR people cycle: Resourcing, Induction, ER, Reward, Performance, Talent & Succession management
  • Providing or sourcing training and development for HR leads and line managers in country to increase capability.
  • Inducting new HR managers and training new regional staff and country leadership in HR systems and processes.
  • Proactively pursues an annual cycle of formally recognised Continuing Professional Development to maintain and deepen their professional expertise.

Key Relationships

  • Cluster lead and country management teams
  • Staff in cluster
  • Regional HR Director, Regional  and Country HR Leads and teams
  • SBU Leadership teams – in the UK, region and in country
  • Centres of Expertise, Global Operations and Global HR Director Network
  • FCR Senior Business/Programme  Leads in Nigeria
  • Change programmes leads


  • Professional and government bodies, country appointed legal counsel, HR consultancies
  • External partners, suppliers, regulatory and professional bodies/associations.

Role Requirements
Threshold requirements:

  • Passport requirements/ Right to work in country    Existing Rights to work in Nigeria  and easy access to travel  to  all countries in the cluster


  • Frequent travel expected. Security vetting and criminal checks may be applied before appointment.

Person Specification
Language requirements:

Minimum / Essential:

  • English Language at Proficiency Level


  • Local language at Intermediate Level

Minimum / Essential:

  • First Degree in Human Resources or a relevant professional HR qualification.


  • CIPD qualified or equivalent

Role Specific Knowledge & Experience
Minimum / Essential:

  • Strong HR generalist; well versed in all areas of the HR life cycle.
  • 5 to 7 years’ experience in Human Resource Management
  • Able to demonstrate experience of leading the successful implementation of HR change projects across a broad geography. Effective change management communication skills
  • Experience in building and managing effective teams across multiple geographies.
  • Track record of building effective relationships with business leadership teams and managing a range of complex internal and external stakeholders in the delivery of high quality and effective professional HR services.
  • Significant HR business partner experience in an international context working across multiple business streams
  • Excellent commercial acumen and understanding of business strategy and practices
  • Experience of working in a matrix management structure.


  • Working in both public, not for profit and private sector organisations

British Council Core Skills
Managing People (level 3). Manages a team:

  • Provides full line management to a team where all members are working in a similar area of expertise or business.  Scope includes planning, setting objectives, role modelling an inclusive culture, recruitment, development and performance management.

Managing projects (level 4). Leads larger projects:

  • Coordinates a diverse team with awareness of equality and diversity impact as part of the project specifications and handles changes in specification or plan to meet unexpected circumstances
  • Communicating and influencing (level 4). Uses influencing techniques
  • Uses formal and informal negotiating and motivation techniques to influence others’ behaviour and persuade them to think and act differently, while respecting difference of view and culture.

Planning and organising (level 3). Develops annual plans:

  • Develops and reviews the implementation of annual plans for a work group or function, taking account of business and customer requirements and reconciling competing demands.

Analysing data and problems (level 3). Analyses patterns:

  • Able to seek out and examine a range of information to identify patterns, trends and options, to solve multifaceted problems. Uses data

Managing risk (level 3). Develops the culture:

  • Track record of analysing potential risks, promoting risk awareness and holding others to account for their practices.

British Council Behaviours

  • Creating shared purpose (more demanding): Inspiring others to want to take a specific role as part of a shared purpose
  • Connecting with others (more demanding): Building trust and understanding with people who have very different views
  • Shaping the future (most demanding): Changing the nature of what we do and the benefits we gain by thinking and planning with creativity
  • Working Together (most demanding): working with others to achieve shared benefits/common goals.

Application Closing Date
10th October, 2017.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Click here to download job details (MS Word)

Click here to download BC Behaviour (pdf)

Click here to download BC Core skills (pdf)

Note: That you should only fill out the application after thoroughly reading through the Role Profile & Guidance. There’s some important information you don’t want to miss.

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