Quick facts

    • Durham
  • Part time
  • Recruitment


  • Economy


  • Administrative work

Apply by: 2022-01-27

Human Resources Adviser

Published 2022-01-13


Grade 7: - £34,304 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 27-Jan-2022, 7:59:00 AM

HR Adviser

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, in a unique and historic setting.
OUR VALUES: We are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling.

Durham University
 Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:
  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.
Family key attributes
Roles in this family provide a comprehensive service and deliver the efficient administration and governance of the University.

Overall family purpose
  • Deliver direct and indirect services to stakeholders.
  • Provide advice and answer queries as part of an enquiry-desk/help-desk function.
  • Respond to and manage requests for information and resources.
  • Deliver services to meet regulatory requirements and procedures.
  • Plan and deliver a joined-up approach to University business and people services.
  • Align business processes and services to meet operational and strategic policy objectives. 
  • Deliver business processes to ensure effective management, governance and the economic viability of the University.
  • Encourage, collaborate and participate in the development of productive cross-institution relationships and working.
  • Provide excellent professional services that meet strategic and operational goals and business needs.
  • Carry out monitoring, analysis, development and planning to design new services and service updates for continuous improvement whilst meeting changes in regulations.
  • Engage with specialist professionals, consultants, and suppliers to exchange knowledge and facilitate partnership working.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.
  • Align and deliver programmes and activities to meet operational and strategic objectives to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Engage and encourage participation with external professionals, schools, alumni and donors.
Link to key strategic plan
  • An economically sustainable approach to delivering Professional Services across the University;
  • A joined-up approach to University professional services, regardless of location or line management;
  • A culture and practice of continuous improvement;
  • Design services that meet business need;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Support and facilitate programmes that offer intellectual challenge, cohesiveness and a strong sense of progression;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.
The Department and role purpose:
People are the most important asset of Durham University and our HR Department is pivotal in ensuring that we attract, recruit, develop, reward and retain the very best talent from across the world into our University community.  Building on our bold and ambitious University Strategy, a key role of HR is to secure the University’s strategic aim, ‘to be a world leading employer’ by ensuring that our staff can reach their full potential.  The HR Department plays a lead role in creating a working environment for our staff (and potential staff) which is supportive, stimulating and informative which provides for creative and innovative employment practices and opportunities. Our aim is to make sure that Durham University is a great place to work.


We will:
  • Oversee a workforce which can effectively and efficiently deliver the University Strategy;
  • Attract, retain and reward the very best talent for every role in the University;
  • Develop colleagues at every level to ensure that staff are supported to realise their potential and understand their contribution to the University’s goals;
  • Make sure that the University has an increasingly diverse workforce and that all staff are demonstrably valued, engaged and treated equally and fairly; and
  • Promote the well-being of all of our workforce.
The HR Adviser will assist the HR Business Partner in providing generalist HR advice and support to a dedicated area, dealing with the full range of staffing issues, such as recruitment, employee relations, role evaluation and reward.

Core responsibilities:
  • Recognised professional practitioner and service specialist working with the HR Business Partner to provide proactive professional advice and practical expertise on the full range of employee relations issues (including employment, performance management, absence cases, restructures, development, termination, legislative, contractual, grievance and disciplinary issues) to Managers and Staff of all levels across the University.
  • Work with the HR Business partner to develop and implement changes to the design and development of service processes, techniques and deliverables for one or more service strands or project streams.
  • Undertake relevant research and provide specialist expertise and support with complexity of data and information sources, interpretation and analysis.
  • Contribute to development of operational service activities to ensure excellence in the stakeholder experience.
  • Collect and analyse stakeholder feedback to help define needs and requirements and the design and planning of services.
  • Internal and external relationship development and partnership working, networking and participation to facilitate knowledge exchange, including maintaining constructive and collaborative communications with staff, work colleagues and trade union representatives.
  • Identify and design activities to meet learning objectives and outcomes.
  • Deliver relevant HR training, teaching and/or development delivery for stakeholders.
  • Maintain an awareness of current policy, employment law and best practice, and its relevance to the higher education environment and provision of professional HR advice using specialist knowledge.
  • Contribute to and lead business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at operational service level.
  • Responsible for managing small budgets for consumables and some capital items, keeping records and processing invoices. 
Role responsibilities
  • Provide management for stakeholder service areas and/or processes ensuring a high-quality and timely service to all stakeholders.
  • Contribute to operational leadership teams and decision making to shape the nature and level of support services.
  • Analyse service data and processes and provide reports to the HR Business Partner and Head of HR Business Partnering making recommendations for improvement as appropriate.
  • Provide proactive and comprehensive HR   support to Head of Services, School and/or Department to achieve strategic and operational priorities.
  • Provide advice to stakeholders in relation to University HR procedures and regulations.
  • Ensure the review and improvement of systems, processes and procedures in line with University, School, Department or unit frameworks.
  • Distribute service information and provide advice to stakeholders regarding compliance and regulations.
  • Ensure regulations and procedures are updated to take account of internal and external changes.
  • Coordinate and oversee committee working and deal with complaints.
  • Provide relevant HR training and/or instruction to stakeholders.
  • Awareness of the external environment and sector best practice to support high quality services. 
  • Work with HR Business Partner to implement change management and other projects in collaboration with Divisional Heads, Heads of College, Heads of academic and service departments and other relevant peers and specialists.
  • Work effectively with campus trade unions to further University objectives and/or to resolve employee relations issues.
  • Carry out job design, job evaluation and grading reviews as required.
  • Verify and input information to the HR/Payroll information system as required.
  • Provision of well-constructed written advice, reports and letter relating to the full range of employee relations issues.
  • Responsible for the design content of the Human Resources Section of the Staff intranet and for staff data on the DUBS website in close liaison with the HR Department.
  • Direct and administer processes including academic probation, progression, promotion and reward, providing support to senior management with related activities and to support the HR Administrator with other administrative tasks as required.
  • Any other reasonable duties, including providing cover for the HR Business Partner in his/her absence.
Person Specification

Essential Criteria
  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop excellent working relationships both internally and externally.
  2. Proven IT and numeracy skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  3. Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
  4. Continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition.
  5. Professional practitioner with knowledge and expertise used to contribute to the delivery and development of services, events and activities within the organisation.
  6. Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.
  7. Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.  
  8. Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
  9. Ability to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships, to influence perceptions of the University.
  10. Certified member of CIPD and post qualification experience in a medium to large organisation.
  11. Demonstrable evidence of managing multiple Employee Relations cases simultaneously.
  12. The ability of successfully manage and deliver projects
  13. A broad working knowledge of employment legislation and experience of its practical application in a medium or large complex organisation.
  14. Good commercial awareness, personal presence and credibility.
  15. Determination, resilience and enthusiasm.
  16. Ability to work under pressure and to set and achieve goals within tight deadlines.
  17. Good negotiating skills and ability to influence the views of others and to gain agreement to proposals.
  18. Ability to demonstrate thorough investigatory and analytical skills.
Desirable Criteria
  • Experience of dealing with trade union representatives.
  • HR experience within Higher Education.
  • Experience of job evaluation and reward.
  • A thorough understanding of major issues, including HR issues, in Higher Education.
Recruiting to this post
In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification.

In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

How to apply
We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit
  1. A CV; 
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above. 
  3. Criteria Questions - please give detailed examples of how you satisfy the person specification essential criteria. 
Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

Contact details
 For further information please contact; Helen Symcox, HR Business Partner – h.l.symcox@durham.ac.uk

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

Similar jobs

Published: 2022-01-17
  • Staffordshire
  • Full time
Published: 2022-01-22
  • Stockholm
  • Full time