Head of People (0.6 – 0.8 FTE) Job Description

WELCOME! And thank you for your interest in the Exeter Northcott Theatre and the post of Head of People.

Closing Date: 24th January 2022 at 10am
Job title: Head of People
Department: Finance & Operations
Reporting to: Finance & Operations Director

About the Northcott

The Northcott Theatre has been attracting audiences in Exeter and the South West to the very best UK and international performing arts for over fifty years. Before the closure of theatres in 2020 due to Covid-19, our programme featured a mix of home-grown productions and top-quality touring drama, music, dance, comedy etc. We are now rebuilding our offer with a combination of work that we produce and present in our theatre space/s and a range of participatory projects with artists, communities and young people in Devon.

About the role of Head of People

The Head of People is a new role within the Exeter Northcott Theatre’s management team, and reflects our commitment to developing as an inclusive, diverse and responsive organisation, offering a safe and supportive environment for all our staff, volunteers, freelancers, audiences, participants and visiting artists. As well as delivering effective day-to-day administration of the key HR functions, you will play a central role in driving change within our policies and procedures, and supporting strategic planning as the organisation adapts and changes to a post-Covid operating environment.

See the Key Duties & Responsibilities section below for full details of what the job will entail.

Who are we looking for?

At an exciting time in the evolution of the Northcott, we are looking for a talented new member of our management team, excited about working in a varied and creative working environment, who can help us deliver real change in the way we work. The successful candidate will either be a formally qualified HR professional or be able to demonstrate strong relevant professional experience. A strong commitment to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, experience of change management and an interest in working within the cultural sector will also be important.

There continues to be a significant lack of diversity across the arts, with a pressing need to provide progression routes for talented people from backgrounds that are under-represented. Exeter Northcott Theatre is committed to playing its part in addressing this by putting inclusion at the heart of our recruitment processes, finding new ways to share the power and resources we have at our disposal, and fostering a working culture that is welcoming for all our team.

We actively encourage people with different backgrounds to join us and positively impact our teams and working practice. We are particularly keen to receive applications from people of African and Caribbean heritage, people of South Asian, East Asian and South East Asian Heritage, D/deaf and disabled people, LGBTQ+ people, or those experiencing barriers due to their socioeconomic background.

This is a part-time role, and we welcome applications from candidates who need a flexible working pattern, for example due to caring responsibilities or access requirements.

See the Person Specification section below for full details of the skills/experience we’re looking for.

If this sounds like the kind of role you’re looking for, and if we sound like the kind of organisation you’re interested in working with, then we’d love to hear from you!



  • Leading on the development of all policies and procedures that relate to the provision of a safe, inclusive working environment for our people and the people we work with
  • Specifically leading staff/Trustee work, with consultants where relevant, on the development of the theatre’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies, procedures and resources
  • Specifically leading staff/Trustee work, with consultants where relevant, on the development of the theatre’s Wellbeing policies, procedures and resources
  • Overseeing the development of our Staff Handbook
  • Developing our internal communications to ensure that all staff, volunteers and visiting companies are aware of the organisation’s policies and procedures
  • Supporting the design/implementation of workforce development initiatives


  • Being the first point of contact for HR queries
  • Managing the day-to-day operation of the theatre’s HR systems and processes
  • Managing the recruitment of staff from advertising to contracting
  • Managing the induction of all new staff
  • Leading the collection, collation and interrogation of Equal Opportunities monitoring data and reporting to the relevant management/governance groups
  • Supporting the annual Performance & Development Review process
  • Leading on the analysis of training needs and the development of an organisational training plan
  • Managing the initial stages of grievance/disciplinary processes
  • Maintaining a working knowledge of the payroll process


  • Contributing HR data/narrative for reporting to funders as required
  • Maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of all relevant legislation & regulations
  • Ensuring compliance with all relevant legal requirements


  • Playing an active role within the theatre’s Management Team
  • Contributing to the work of the theatre’s Health & Safety Committee
  • Representing the theatre at external meetings and deputising for the Finance & Operations Director as required


  • Maintaining up to date knowledge of the strategy and business plan of ENT
  • Taking an active role in identifying and removing access barriers for anyone with access needs
  • Maintaining a working knowledge of the theatre’s programme
  • Attending staff meetings/training as required
  • Adhering to Exeter Northcott theatre policies & procedures
  • Maintaining confidentiality at all times

Any other duties which may be reasonably requested by Finance & Operations Director.



  • HR professional qualification or strong relevant professional experience
  • Demonstrable commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Experience of developing policies and implementing change
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience of producing reports for Board or management/governance groups
  • Excellent IT skills, including Microsoft Office
  • Excellent organisational & administrative skills
  • Proven ability to prioritise a complex workload
  • Experience of supporting staff and a proven ability to work as part of a team


  • Experience of working within the charity sector
  • Interest in the performing arts


Salary Range:

£30,000 – £35,000 per annum depending on experience
(£18,000 – £21,000 pro rata for 0.6 FTE / £24,000 – £28,000 pro rate for 0.8 FTE)

Hours of Work:

39 hours per week
(23.4 hours pro rata for 0.6 FTE / 31.2 hours pro rata 0.8 FTE))

Annual Leave:

32 days per annum inc. statutory holidays
(19.2 days pro rata for 0.6 FTE / 25.6 days pro rata for 0.8 FTE)

Probationary Period:

6 months

Notice Period:

3 months (2 weeks during probation)


Smart Pension Ltd – employer contributions in line with statutory auto enrolment, currently 3%


An allocation of complimentary tickets per season
Discounts at the theatre bar/café

About the recruitment process

As part of our commitment to inclusion we’re working to widen the pool of people who hear about vacancies at the theatre and make the process of applying for a job as straightforward as possible.

For this role we’re asking all candidates to click on the Apply Now link for this vacancy on our website and submit written and/or video/audio responses to the same three questions so you can tell us about yourself and why you’re the right person for this role:

  • Tell us about yourself and why you want to work at the Northcott
  • Tell us how your professional experience meets the person specification
  • Tell us about what support you might need if we were to offer you this role

And then upload a copy of your latest CV.

Contact us at jobs@exeternorthcott.co.uk if you wish to submit in a different format.

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Emma Stephenson, Finance & Operations Director, at e.stephenson2@exeter.ac.uk or 01392 722414.

All D/deaf or disabled candidates who demonstrate that they meet the essential criteria for this role will be invited for interview.

NB We’ll pay travel expenses for any candidate invited to interview.

NB When we invite candidates to interview we’ll ask if they have any access requirements.

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