This opportunity has now been filled

Head of HR Europe

About the role

Baxters Food Group is a fourth generation privately owned entrepreneurial business which specialises in the manufacturing of premium quality, primarily branded, food products. The Group’s product range includes soup, beetroot, chutney, condiments, preserves and meal options. Since 2001, the company has undertaken nine acquisitions and has acquired manufacturing facilities in four countries (UK, Canada, Australia and Poland) employing over a thousand employees.

We are looking to appoint a Head of HR Europe to lead the European HR team.

Principal purpose of the role:

  • Lead the European HR team to ensure governance, good practice and compliance of all HR related matters across the European business unit.
  • Develop and execute the European People Plan, ensuring consistency of standards across all sites as well as maintaining good and best practice where possible.
  • Lead and develop the HR team to ensure that they demonstrate commercial value to their internal customers and the group as a whole.
  • In partnership with the Group HR Director, help drive the Group HR strategy by developing a pragmatic plan that supports organisational effectiveness through clever organisational design, development and the maintenance and enhancement of good employee relations.

Main accountabilities:

  1. Lead, develop and direct a team of HR professionals and trainers across 5 sites.
  2. Partner with employees and management to identify development priorities for European teams with development solutions that are fit for purpose. This includes functional and behavioural skills development.
  3. Facilitate the handling of grievances, disciplinary & other employee relations matters & work with recognised employee representative groups to maintain & enhance good relations
  4. Work in partnership with the Group Communication Manager and Employee Consultative Committees to ensure good two- way sharing of information and to work on areas that will improve employee engagement.
  5. Coach / advise and partner with the European leadership team ensuring that they have the right organisation structures and capable people in place that will build our capability for the future.
  6. Develop and assist managers in all stages of recruitment & selection, which ensures that we have the right people in the right roles, within budget and that represents the Company and its employer brand in a professional way.
  7. Report on HR activity using appropriate metrics/KPI’s/stats that are insightful to the business and which drive the right behaviours. Ensure accurate HR data capture ensuring all HR information systems are up to date and meet with data protection standards
  8. Facilitate the development of line managers to a level that equips them to deal with people issues. This includes effective performance and absence management as well as taking ownership and responsibility for dealing with employee relations cases in their areas.
  9. In partnership with the leadership team, create a performance and development culture within the business ensuring clear standards of capability and competence are established.
  10. Have accountability for establishing and executing a European talent and succession plan that is owned by the leadership team, is supported by agreed development and mentoring solutions and that is reviewed regularly.
  11. Work with the Group HR Director and Global HR colleagues on driving the People Plan and ensuring that we are consistent across our regions and that the HR function has credibility and demonstrates commercial value.

The successful candidate must have the following technical skills:

  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience working in a multi-site; multi product; food or drink manufacturing environment.
  • Educated to degree level with appropriate HR qualification supported by psychometric assessment qualifications and demonstration of continuous professional development.
  • A minimum of 3-5 years’ operating at senior HR level with experience of leading HR teams and being a key representative on site /business leadership teams.
  • Must be competent across all HR disciplines in particular talent development, organisation design as well as employee engagement and culture change.
  • Must demonstrate experience in leading complex HR projects at a senior level that require high level stakeholder influence.
  • Must have an intimate knowledge and working experience of the UK market with global experience as a desirable addition.
  • Must have strong networks with key players in the industry and be branded as a credible HR professional in previous careers and the external HR fraternity.
  • Must be able to demonstrate success of troubleshooting problems / crisis management and continuous improvement.

The successful candidate must possess the following personal characteristics:

  • Emotional intelligence with strong analytical skills and the ability to solve complex business problems with a variety of people.
  • Highly motivated and energetic with a “can do attitude”
  • Have charisma and leadership presence but with a down to earth approach.
  • Have strategic vision, the ability to communicate it and the determination to make-it-happen.
  • Results-driven problem solver and decision maker.
  • Realistically ambitious with the courage and determination to succeed (both professionally and personally).
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills (articulate and persuasive, both orally and written) – able to win hearts and minds,
  • Have entrepreneurial flair, but is commercially grounded.
  • Can adapt to changing priorities and still keep people on the right track.
  • Good influencing skills and an agile leadership style.

For further details please submit a copy of your CV (with a breakdown of current remuneration) to Alix Meekison at