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People Director

About the role


Johnstons of Elgin is a family owned business operating since 1797 and we currently employ more than 1000 employees across our business. We are one of Europe’s most successful and innovative companies in the design and manufacture of luxury cashmere and fine woollens, with customers including most of the world’s leading fashion houses. Our own Johnstons of Elgin brand is being developed further into a fully formed lifestyle brand capable of competing with the world’s best brands. An important aspect of our business is our Retail Division, and this has seen recent expansion with the opening of our flagship store in Multrees Walk, Edinburgh.

In 2018 Johnstons of Elgin became the first textile manufacturer in Scotland, the first organisation in Moray (where we employ around 700 employees), and, the first organisation in Hawick (where we employ around 280 employees), to achieve the Investors in Young People [IIYP] GOLD Accreditation. The previous year we were “PwC Family Business of the Year”.

Most recently this year Johnstons of Elgin were awarded “Exemplary Employer of Choice” and were finalised in the Tremendous Learning & Development category of the cHerRies Awards recognising excellence in Human Resources.

Due to the retirement of our current Director, we are now looking for a new People Director to continue the good work that has already been put in place throughout the organisation, and to take the people strategy to the next stage of its development.

Reporting to the Chief Executive, the successful applicant will be a key member of the Senior Management Team, working closely with other senior team colleagues across the business and the HR team to lead the organisation to achieve its strategic vision.

We are looking to recruit an experienced people leader who has a passion for people’s growth, someone who is keen to be instrumental in the support of a high performing complex organisation, willing to lead and deliver in new and different ways, and with proven experience of building collaborative relationships that will deliver real change for our employees and the wider sector.

The role will include developing and implementing the people strategy, ensuring our colleagues are aligned and skilled to our business strategy, which will secure a long-term sustainable business for many years to come.

You will have lead responsibility and be lead decision-maker on all aspects of people management and development across the organisation. You will provide leadership to your function, ensuring its activities are meaningful to the organisation and engaging to our highly skilled craftsmen and craftswomen. As such you must bring strong leadership and communication skills, fresh and new thinking, and strong collaborative skills.

The successful applicant will be expected to have and be able to demonstrate as part of the recruitment process an excellent track record of setting and delivering a People Strategy. You will also be expected to demonstrate experience of change programmes, creating and developing learning and development initiatives for all levels within the business, Health, Safety and Environmental management experience, and significant employee relations including working with trade union preferably in a manufacturing environment.

We would like someone with character, but a professional approach, who will bring new and constructive ideas to the business. This is a hands-on role so the ideal candidate will need to have the energy and drive to keep all the plates spinning.

For further information and detailed conversation please contact Alix Meekison via or by phone 0131 539 7087.

To apply please send your CV to