Head of Human Resources - Science Foundation Ireland

Posted 26 May 2022
Salary€91609 - €106518 per annum
Job type Permanent
DisciplineHR Leadership and Specialists
ContactClair Schindler

Job description

Title of Position: Head of Human Resources (HR)

Tenure: Permanent

Grade: Level F

Location: Three Park Place, Hatch Street Upper, Dublin 2, D02 FX65

SFI is the national foundation for investment in research in the areas of STEM, which assists in the development and competitiveness of industry, enterprise and employment in Ireland. We also promote and support STEM education and engagement to improve awareness and understanding of the value of research to society and to support the careers pipeline.

Role Purpose

Reporting to the CEO or his/her delegate Director, and working collaboratively with the senior leadership team, the successful candidate will play a lead role in the people aspects of the development of the culture, strategy and business/policy initiatives of SFI.

The Head of HR be responsible for establishing and developing people policies and practices that supports a people and culture framework that maintains a high-performance environment and harnesses the unique skills and capabilities of the organisation to deliver consistent, robust, and responsive supports and services to SFI's stakeholders.

They will be responsible for cultural and organisational development, performance management, talent retention and acquisition, HR compliance together with mentoring, developing and supporting the existing HR function.

SFI is committed to the provision of an engaged and high performing organisation, with an inclusive environment that promotes equality and values diversity in line with the required statutory legislative framework.

Role Profile

Key Accountabilities

  • Facilitate the delivery of SFI's business strategy and vision through its people and ensure a culture that drives excellence, high performance, and inclusivity.
  • Identify strategic and operational HR challenges, offering solutions to achieve desired organisational outcomes.
  • Lead the development and implementation of key HR initiatives in the areas of Recruitment, Talent Management, Learning & Development, Wellbeing, Employee Engagement and HR Operations.
  • Ensure operational effectiveness by leading and developing the HR team to deliver high quality HR business partnering support.
  • Maintain a high-quality HR function, including appropriate technology, systems, and tools, including the use of metrics and people data to inform key decisions.
  • Ensure the HR function is appropriately externally focused, in relation to emerging best practice and developments in the profession and can bring these insights SFI management for consideration as appropriate.
  • Provide expert input to organisation design and development initiatives underpinned by strong awareness of the organisational needs, people risks and succession planning across functions.
  • Champion the talent agenda; to attract, develop and retain high-calibre individuals through talent mapping, succession planning, and career pathing initiatives.
  • Analyse management information and data to deliver key insights to the Senior Management Team and drive appropriate action plans.
  • Collaborate with management on programmes that will maximise employee development and engagement.
  • Build an employee engagement and communication strategy that fosters an environment that is equitable, agile, inspiring, and rewarding.
  • Own the delivery of HR policies and practices to comply with Public Sector requirements and employment legislation whilst effectively supporting and maintaining a flexible, innovative performance culture.
  • Contribute to the development of further strategic initiatives which support the overall growth and development of SFI in accordance with the Strategic Plan.
  • Influence thinking at all levels in the organisation in achieving excellence in HR policy and practice.
  • Acting as a trusted advisor to the management team and individual managers in relation to people policy and management.
  • Manage key relationships with Government Departments and Agencies.
  • Promote and support and manage a positive employee relations environment.
  • Contribute to the on-going development of a culture of collaboration, self-leadership and learning by supporting initiatives such as well-being programmes; employee engagement surveys; and internal communications.
  • Lead on the development of a new focused performance management model including a fit for purpose competency framework aligned to SFI values
  • Build the capability of people managers to lead and engage their teams effectively to embed a performance management culture to deliver high performance and improved business outcomes as well as to pre-empt organisational issues.
  • Ongoing management of the HR Department plans and budgets.
  • Prepare regular reports for the Executive Team and SFI Board, on initiatives, services and activities that demonstrate progress against plans.

The Person


  • CIPD member/qualified with a bachelor's degree in HR or relevant business discipline.
  • A Minimum of 8-10 years' experience in senior HR roles, with a proven ability to:
  • Direct, develop and implement strategic and operational plans.
  • Build business cases and influence decision making at senior management level.
  • Lead and facilitate change initiatives and programmes.
  • Proven ability to communicate clearly and persuasively both orally and in writing.
  • Strong leadership skills with an exceptional ability to establish and maintain excellent working relationships with internal and external stakeholders at all levels.
  • Experience of developing and leading HR transformational projects
  • Strong HRM experience / knowledge across a wide breath of HR functions including, Employee Relations, Performance Management, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), Talent Management, Workforce Planning and Organisational Effectiveness, Talent Acquisition, Change Management, Pensions, Payroll, Audit & Compliance.
  • Experience of leading and motivating a team of HR professionals
  • Ability to influence and drive significant organisational, cultural, and business change.
  • Proven experience of aligning business and HR needs.
  • Deep and broad understanding of Irish employment law.
  • High level of personal confidence and resilience.
  • Strong commercial acumen
  • Trusted confidante and advisor on fit for purpose people solutions to enable the organisation to shape & deliver its strategic plans.
  • Budget management experience including forecasting and reporting.
  • Expert understanding of related aspects of human resources processes and knowledge and experience of implementing and utilising HRIS systems.


  • Experience in HR leadership/management in a professional knowledge-based organisation.
  • Experience of HR leadership in a public-sector environment

Salary Scale

€91,609to €106,518 per annum, contributory superannuation

Rising to €113,313 by long service increments

Candidates should note that entry will be at the minimum point of the relevant scale and the rate of remuneration may be adjusted from time to time in line with Government pay policy. Subject to satisfactory performance, increments may be payable in line with current Government Policy.

Please note that Government policy continues to be that starting pay on recruitment from open competition for all posts within the public service should be at the minimum of the relevant salary scale and are not subject to negotiation. Remuneration may be adjusted from time to time in line with Government policy.

Science Foundation Ireland is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to fostering an inclusive workplace which values and benefits from the diversity of our workforce.

Application Process

Candidates must apply before 12 noon (Irish Local Time) on 16th June 2022 to Clair Schindler at:

No late applications will be accepted.