Head of HR - Europe

Executive Recruiter
c€100,000 plus generous package
09 May 2019
23 May 2019
Contract Type

The Head of HR, Europe will support the newly appointed European Managing Director as they seek to build a large scale operation across Continental Europe.

The parent company is a very successful organisation and the clear market leader in its home market. However, as further growth opportunities are relatively limited in the 'home' market (due mainly to the high level of market share already achieved) the decision has been made to invest a significant amount of resource into scaling a comparable operation in Continental Europe.

The current business is based around wholesale and generates modest revenues across Europe. Through a combination of organic growth and targeted M&A, this organisation has the ambition to grow its revenue ten fold, in the next five to ten years, building the leading pan-European business in the sector.

Whilst wholesale will remain part of the strategy, the core business will be based around eCommerce - selling direct to consumers as well as B2B. 

Reporting directly into the Global HR Director, the Head of HR, will be responsible for the delivery of first-class HR support to the European Managing Director, helping him with all people related issues as he scales the business in line with the agreed strategy.

Acting as a trusted advisor, enabling a fast-paced, agile working environment to drive change - including continuous improvement, focussing on driving high performance and future-proofing the current and future workforce to increase overall business performance.

The main areas of focus are leading and supporting key talent hires, upskilling of leadership/line management capabilities with particular focus on cultivating and embedding a high-performance culture, and partnering with the Global HR Director and Global HR team to implement globally aligned ER and recruitment strategies.

The successful candidate needs the gravitas to influence a diverse range of stakeholders. Critical to the role will be the ability to communicate and influence effectively, and to ensure that Human Resources continues to be seen as added value across the European Leadership team and wider organisation.

Key Accountabilities:

  • Develop and maintain a sound commercial understanding of the markets, strategies and operations within which the company operates so as to flex and deliver plans and initiatives accordingly
  • Act as a trusted Partner to assigned business areas to support business planning and operational decision-making of the business unit management teams
  • Support identification of the human capital agenda and priorities, ensuring delivery of a people plan
  • Engage, network and work collaboratively with Global HR colleagues to ensure smooth delivery of people plans and activities
  • Provide the business with expertise in HR, organisational development and business change interventions; translating business needs and plans into organisation/people solutions with minimal risk to the business whilst ensuring efficient & effective deployment of resources
  • Facilitate delivery of performance & talent management processes within assigned business areas and work with the Business to ensure outcomes are defined and optimised at all levels
  • Personally act as a ‘change agent’ within the business areas, developing and influencing a network of relationships within and coaching business managers where necessary to help achieve business transformation goals
  • Be an ambassador for the brand and culture
  • Maintain a strong customer service ethos and focus both internally and externally to encourage speed of response and exemplary standards of service

Candidate Profile

Functional Skills and Experience:

  • Degree educated with CIPD qualification or equivalent experience preferred
  • Demonstrated success in working within a complex, matrixed structure – working collaboratively, virtually and utilising strong influencing skills. Previous experience in a senior business partnering role supporting multiple business units/functions
  • Ability to interact effectively with all levels of a professional organisation and across countries, cultures and disciplines simultaneously
  • Pragmatic approach and delivery focussed; with a flair for working collaboratively – being visible and keen to connect to build a strong network across the organisation
  • Experience of organisational change, ideally cross border
  • Deep understanding of Pan European employment legislation and workers rights, with the ability to establish Workers Councils or equivalent bodies, where necessary across the region
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to handle sensitive matters with tact and diplomacy
  • Proven ability to effectively organise, prioritise and handle multiple assignments
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Ability to work within a fast-paced environment, whilst being comfortable with ambiguity and capable to progress despite it
  • Experience in a multi-channel product environment is strongly preferred
  • Fluent in English and Dutch is necessary, with other European language skills being a notable advantage
  • Ability to build consensus and influence outcomes, including adaptation of communication style to suit audience
  • Experience building and managing trusting relationships with senior stakeholders
  • Specific sector experience is essential for this role. Applicants require experience of both B2B and B2C sales of a physical product. Furthermore, experience of eCommerce based sales and the distribution of the product, after sales, is a prerequisite.


This role will suit an ambitious and talented HR generalist with a strong background in recruitment, employee relations and relationship-building skills who is interested in taking a key role in a business on the cusp of huge growth and transformation.