Head of Corporate Services
Main purpose of job:
The successful Head of Corporate Services will provide strategic direction to corporate services; leading an efficient, cost effective and professionalised team to deliver a customer-focussed corporate platform to the whole British High Commission, including its 250 staff from 16 different UK departments.
As the driving force for corporate delivery, the successful applicant will be a core member of the senior leadership team and Management Board. You will think strategically, and providing corporate, financial and local insight to inform decision-making. You will advise directly both the High Commissioner and Deputy High Commissioner.
The successful applicant will manage the heads of finance and procurement, estates and facilities, information and insight, IT, and the Corporate Services Manager (your deputy). Through them, you will lead a diverse team of over 100 corporate staff, and budget of £5m.
You will be energetic and focussed on delivering a quality service that serves the changing needs of the British High Commission. You will display an openness to change, able to challenge with respect, and be honest and act with integrity.
This role is also part of a global UK pilot project, testing how to deliver corporate services (finance, HR, estates, protocol) within a functional model. As such, the successful candidate will demonstrate a flexible approach to being part of an evolving project.
Roles and responsibilities:
Strategic Planning and Leadership 30%
- To provide strategic leadership and planning in support of the corporate agenda including the country business plan and risk management. To advise the Management Board and High Commissioner (and deputy) on corporate strategy, service delivery, customer feedback, and risks.
- Manage the corporate services ‘platform’ (ie the High Commission estate, finance IT, etc) to support 16 different UK departments.
- Act as trusted advisor to local leadership and UK partners on the platform, ‘horizon scanning’ locally to enable proactive resource and activity planning (working with the Regional Corporate Services Lead once in post).
- Actively build and deepen relationships with key leaders internally and within regional and global hubs, and with external partners (ie diplomatic missions, GRA and SSNIT, government departments, banks, and suppliers) to maintain informed on current corporate knowledge.
- Ensure local policies are reviewed and aligned to global and local requirement and adopted by all partners on the platform.
- To line manager five senior staff (heads of finance and procurement, estates and facilities, information and insight, IT, and the Corporate Services Manager – your deputy) and, through them, to lead over 100 others, including: technicians, artisans, gardeners, drivers, and professional specialists.
- Lead on the overall employer proposition, including terms and conditions of service and pay and benefits for locally employed staff (LS), ensuring compliance with local labour law.
- Provide guidance and act as an escalation point on sensitive staff matters for diplomatic and local staff, including management issues and dispute resolution, engaging with specialist HR functions where necessary.
- Instil a continuous improvement mentality within the team, leading on corporate projects and the change management required to deliver them.
- Champion and embed a collaborative and inclusive culture.
- Support regional teams, influencing at a senior level to maintain and strengthen inclusiveness.
- Mentor and coach staff from across the High Commission, supporting their personal and professional development.
- Lead and monitor the delivery of services against the High Commission’s corporate services charter.
- Instil and monitor a customer-service approach to deliver corporate services. Actively monitor and respond to customer feedback from all staff and stakeholders (irrespective of grade). Relentlessly pursue continuous improvement in service delivery.
- Oversee all corporate delivery across finance, HR, protocol, etc, working closely with the regional HR, finance and procurement hubs and the Global Processing Transaction Centre (GTPC). Ensure full use of self-service access to corporate services and regionalised services.
- Direct the management of the estate, ensuring that UK and local standards are met through planned and reactive maintenance and in compliance with corporate procedures, including local and UK health and safety regulations and policy.
- Oversee any change programmes across our estate and ensure delivery is to agreed timelines and standards.
- Act as the ‘intelligent client’, identifying requirements, appropriate service level agreements and key performance indicators to manage and monitor supplier contracts.
- Oversee the local delegated budget of £6m (and directly manage £5m of it) in accordance with corporate policies to ensure on-budget expenditure and value for money.
- Respond to operational crises, providing leadership and flexing team prioritisation as required.
- Ensure cross training within corporate services roles to provide resilience within the teams and across the region.
- Ensure well-being and engagement are maintained within the corporate services team, seeking regular feedback and embedding the values of resilience and respect.
- Once in place, work with the Regional Corporate Services Lead to plan long term resource and development needs.
Resources managed (staff and expenditure):
- Line management of 5 staff, countersign for 20 staff, and leadership of over 100 people.
- Responsibility for the Corporate Services budget – currently £5M
- Minimum 3 years of senior management experience working for an international organisation (either commercial, INGO, or diplomatic mission).
- Minimum 10 years’ experience at middle management or above in corporate services.
- Experience in managing cross functional teams
- Confidence to challenge and influence very senior stakeholders
- Extensive line management experience, and confidence in delivering difficult messages, with respect.
- A can-do attitude, with an openness to change and new ideas.
- Proven honesty and integrity. High levels of discretion.
- Extensive experience in managing suppliers and outsourced service delivery.
- Fluent written and spoken English.
- A specialism and/or a relevant qualification in either HR, finance, procurement, change management, or corporate insight.
- An understanding of risk management, and confidence in a risk-based approach.
- Numerically literate, and confidence in handling large data sets and providing evidence for decision making.
- Experience of coaching or mentoring other staff.