Vacancy: Head of Human Resources

07 January 2022

Applications are invited for the position of Head of Human Resources (Two-year Specific Purpose Contract Covering Career Break).

The Royal Irish Academy is a predominantly publicly funded institution established for the promotion of learning in the sciences and humanities across the island of Ireland. The Academy was established by Royal Charter in 1785 and is governed by the Charter and a set of by-laws. However, as a body that receives the majority of its funding from the exchequer, it is also subject to the provisions of the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies.

The three main strands of the Academy’s role, as outlined in its latest Strategic Plan, are to:

  • Recognise and foster excellence in research to advance the public good
  • Be an independent voice on higher education and public policy
  • Represent the world of Irish scholarship internationally

The Academy’s latest strategic plan for 2019–23 is available here

Key purpose of role: 

Provide a dedicated professional Human Resources (HR) service, covering all key responsibilities and supporting best practices across all areas of HR delivery.

Key responsibilities

  • Manage and direct the HR office to support the overall goals set out in the Academy’s Strategic Plan
  • Promote best practice in HR, consistent with statutory requirements and work-place partnership
  • Lead Health and Safety (H&S) management in conjunction with the Facilities Manager; review H&S statements, organise staff H&S training, conduct internal risk assessments, update action plans and monitor the Academy’s intranet hub
  • Responsible for the full end-to-end recruitment process, ensuring all internal protocols, procedures and legal obligations are complied with
  • Facilitate the Academy’s performance review, driving engagement and providing staff training and support where required
  • Develop and update HR policies and procedures to reflect changes in legislation, best practice and change management
  • Review and approve contracts and ensure all contracts are monitored, probationary periods are reviewed, and any employment changes, terms or modifications are communicated
  • Manage industrial relations, ensuring correct disciplinary and grievance matters are handled sensitively, adhering to appropriate procedures
  • Ensure that HR records are accurate, maintained confidentially and readily available to the appropriate authority
  • Support Head of Finance with pension administration
  • Manage and approve monthly payroll prior to Finance processing, with provision of all background information necessary to process the payroll accurately
  • Line management responsibility for the HR office
  • Identify strategic and operational HR challenges, offering solutions to achieve desired organisational outcomes
  • Understand the Academy’s strategic direction, unique attributes, challenges and opportunities, and incorporate these into the HR agenda
  • Review of HR administration systems and assessment of system infrastructure
  • Provide advice and support to management, line managers and employees
  • Manage the Learning and Development budget to ensure best utilisation of funds in line with staff training needs
  • Ad hoc projects as identified to meet the needs of the business and audit compliance

Person specification

Essential criteria

  • A HR Degree or full Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) accreditation with graduate membership of the CIPD
  • Current professional member of the CIPD
  • A minimum of 5 years’ recent experience at management level providing advice and guidance to managers on HR matters
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to engage with a wide variety of stakeholders
  • Ability to multitask and set clear priorities
  • Excellent time management skills and project management skills
  • Staff management experience with the ability to maximise limited resources
  • Comprehensive working knowledge of employment law and experience of the practical application of the law and associated HR policies and procedures
  • Demonstrable experience and knowledge of performance management systems, talent management and succession planning
  • Demonstrable experience of handling industrial relations issues and managing union relationships
  • Experience of the application of GDPR principles and data management
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills within a HR role
  • Commitment to confidentiality in all aspects of work

Desirable criteria

  • A postgraduate qualification in HR, or a related discipline
  • Broad experience of HRIS systems, ideally with some knowledge of CoreHR

Salary: Salary is on the SAES Scale €67,442 - €87,730. Candidates should note that entry will be at the minimum of the scale and the rate of remuneration may be adjusted from time to time in line with government pay policy. Candidates should note that different pay and conditions may apply if, immediately prior to appointment, the appointee is a serving civil or public servant.

Hours of work: The normal hours of work are 37 hours per week.

Overtime is not paid in respect of excess attendance which, should it arise, is discharged by time off in lieu at times agreed in advance with the Executive Director.

Leave: The annual leave entitlement is 30 days per annum, pro-rata for shorter periods. Entitlement to leave for public holidays is in accordance with the terms of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.  There is a requirement to take up to four days annual leave where the Academy is closed at Easter and Christmas.

Medical: Staff shall, if required, and at the expense of the Academy, submit to a medical examination by a registered medical practitioner nominated by the Academy and shall authorise such medical practitioner to disclose and to discuss with the Academy the results of the examination and the matters which arise from it so that the Academy can ascertain any matters that they consider might impair a staff member from properly discharging his/her duties.

Pension: Details of the appropriate pension scheme will be provided upon determination of appointee’s status.

Permanent pension contribution: This appointment is subject to the Additional Superannuation Contribution (ASC) effective from 1 January 2019.

Application process

Completed applications consisting of one electronic copy (with all documents contained in one Word document) must be submitted to in the order as set out below:

  1. A brief cover letter demonstrating how you meet the qualifications and experience for the position (max. 700 words)
  2. A curriculum vitae summarising your qualifications and relevant experience (max. 4 pages)

Applicants will be shortlisted based on information provided in their application. 

We are happy to consider applications from suitably qualified public servants who are in a position to avail of a secondment opportunity out of their current position.

Please note: failure to fulfil the application requisites will deem the application invalid.

Closing date: 25 January 2022, 12 noon. Late applications will not be considered.

It is anticipated that interviews will be held week commencing week 7 February 2022.



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