Director of People

Who we are

PLMR is a multi-award-winning agency, with teams in London, the Midlands, East of England and Scotland, delivering communications with impact. We are one of the UK’s leading and fastest-growing communications consultancies, in the PR Week Top 100 list and the top 250 of the global PRovoke rankings and achieved well-above industry-average growth last year.

At the centre of our success is our people – our 60-strong team is bright; ambitious for themselves, their colleagues and the business; innovative; talented; and hard-working. We care deeply about the clients and causes we work for. Collaboration, community, connection and culture are critically important to us. We aim to provide superb careers and great opportunities, and we invest in our people.

And we are a force for good beyond the work we deliver for clients. Since we were founded in 2006, PLMR has given 5% of net profits to charitable causes every year. We take our corporate social responsibility seriously and enjoy giving back.

The role

The post of Director of People is an exciting new role for PLMR, with a real opportunity to build and shape this area of the business as we look to expand our human resources (HR) operation.

You will be a member of the operations Board and will lead on ensuring a best-in-class service across employee relations, performance management, employee engagement, talent acquisition and development, and rewards, compensation and benefits. You will develop and implement PLMR’s people strategy and vision, shaping and driving our strategic HR agenda, and be responsible for ensuring an employee-oriented company culture that emphasises quality, continuous improvement, key employee retention and development, and high performance. And we want you to lead on communicating our offer to colleagues and play a part in sharing our company culture with the outside world.

As Director of People, you will:

  • Lead the people strategy for the organisation with a key focus on our talent, performance, and recruitment agenda for 2022 and beyond to ensure the business attracts and retains the right talent to deliver on its commercial objectives
  • Lead the talent development agenda in what is a fast-paced environment, taking a people-first perspective which drives the company’s performance in line with our business strategy, team progress and company success
  • Ensure our people strategy and culture is aligned with our business strategy and our rewards, compensation and benefits
  • Ensure strong retention of employees with mental health and wellbeing initiatives playing an important part in this agenda
  • Manage an imaginative, flexible and successful approach to recruitment so that the best people continue to want to join us as we grow
  • Oversee our appraisal process and ensure it is as professional, supportive and development driven as it can be, with skills gaps addressed, so our people continue to grow, progress and succeed for talent pipelining
  • Take a leading role on choosing and evaluating the systems and platforms our people use so that we can be as efficient and effective as possible
  • Assess our current internship programmes and establish relationships with existing providers such as The Taylor Bennett Foundation, and identify opportunities for new partnerships
  • Support the integration of any acquired businesses into the PLMR group


As part of the role, you will also be expected to oversee and advise on the following areas:

  • Our people processes and procedures, to ensure they align with the overall company vision, strategy and culture and commercial objectives
  • The design and delivery of an engaging and inspiring training programme each year – from external courses and ad hoc speakers to our in-house, bespoke talent development programmes LEARN and LEAD, and ensure this is delivered on budget
  • Job descriptions, advertisements and employee roles and responsibilities
  • Hiring and screening candidates, and induction, onboarding and probation processes
  • Our employee engagement agenda, including social events, team development away days and sessions
  • Up-to-date personnel records and reports, employee handbook updates, and wider policies and procedures to ensure that PLMR is operating within best practice guidelines
  • Record keeping for all staff attendance, sickness and timekeeping


The operations team will support you in the execution of these areas.

Professional Skills and Competencies

  • An HR professional with a minimum of five years’ experience in the fields of learning and development and HR management
  • Demonstrable experience in designing and delivering staff training and development programmes
  • Excellent experience in delivering effective recruitment and the ability to show proven retention success
  • Strong communicator with employees of all levels of seniority and experience. Desirable but not essential to have Board-level experience or reporting to Board-level colleagues
  • Up-to-date knowledge of HR policies and procedures and the ability to advise management accordingly on employment legislation
  • Experience of working in a professional services firm, such as a communications agency, a law firm, an accountancy firm or similar, is desirable
  • Ability to balance strategic thinking with day-to-day operational work, as and when required
  • CIPD member status desirable – Level 5 or 7 in L&D or HR; coaching qualification also desirable, but not essential


Key responsibilities

People Strategy

  • Lead the development of the company’s People Strategy
  • Coach, challenge and support senior management on decisions relating to their teams, and support with succession planning


Learning and Development

  • Direct and implement an exciting and effective internal training programme
  • Ensure that suitable training is offered to employees on promotion to new roles and advise on individual coaching where necessary


Employee Relations

  • Manage organisational change
  • Advise and support managers on all aspects of employee relations adhering to best practice, legislation and company policy
  • Lead on our mental health and wellbeing strategy, encompassing pastoral care and access to internal and external provision for colleagues across the business


Recruitment and Retention

  • Proactively identify and propose HR and business solutions that will enable greater engagement, retention and attraction of employees
  • Develop, implement and manage a centralised recruitment process – also producing contracts for new employees
  • Conduct exit interviews and feedback and learnings to the operations Board and other colleagues as appropriate


Remuneration and Benefits

  • Conduct regular benchmarking exercises to ensure internal consistency and co-ordinate annual salary reviews; advise on compensation, incentives and benefits when required
  • Manage and administer the PLMR employee benefits schemes
  • Ensure all payroll changes and amendments are notified to the outsourced payroll bureau


Performance Management

  • Ensure an effective induction is given to all new employees
  • Manage the appraisal process – including mid-year and annual performance reviews, advising staff and line managers where necessary
  • Ensure Performance Review processes are appropriately addressed, and necessary support is provided to line managers


HR Policies and Procedures

  • Keep up to date with changes in employment legislation and continually review efficiency of processes, systems and reporting, to support the business needs
  • Recommend, develop, interpret and clarify personnel procedures and policies in line with best practice
Job Title: Director of People
Reporting to: Managing Director
Location: Headquarters in Westminster, London (commutable distance is preferable although we operate a highly flexible model and support working from home for part of the week)
Salary: £70,000 – £80,000, depending on experience

*CVs should be in PDF format

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PLMR’s crisis communications experience is second to none, and includes pre-emptive and reactive work across traditional and social media channels. We work with a range of organisations to offer critical communication support when they are faced with difficult and challenging scenarios.

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