TALENT DEVELOPMENT PARTNER
We’re looking for a hands-on Talent Development Partner to join M&C Saatchi Group. As part of the UK People team, this is a newly created role that will report into the Global Head of Talent Development. This role will support on the delivery and deployment of the talent and learning agenda for the UK Group to help UK colleagues fulfil their development potential. The role is based in London on a hybrid working basis with 3 days a week in the office.
M&C Saatchi Group is a creative federation of companies who navigate, create and lead meaningful change for clients. Across five specialist divisions connected through people, culture, data, technology and creativity, M&C Saatchi Group aims to unlock new value for clients and leave a positive impact on the world.
M&C Saatchi Group’s work is informed by two core principles - Brutal Simplicity of Thought and Diversity of Thought. Together they guide how problem are solved and integrated specialist teams are built. Headquartered in London, M&C Saatchi Group have circa 2,500 employees globally of which 720 employees are UK based, and operations spanning 23 countries with major hubs in the UK, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Asia and Australia.
M&C Saatchi Group is entering a new era with new strategic priority - to work in a more connected way. Across all businesses within the UK Group and globally, M&C Saatchi Group seeks to optimise talent, infrastructure, systems and processes and leverage the benefits of being a global company with a collective vision. The People Team are at the centre of enabling this change.
As a federated group with multiple businesses with unique identities and competing priorities – the transformational challenge ahead is complex, yet the potential opportunity is significant.
About the Role
The Talent Development Partner will be part of the UK Group People team, working closely with our UK People Director and the Global Head of Talent Development to design and deliver a vibrant learning offer that accelerates the development of talent across the group.
Although some of our individual businesses have already invested in their talent agenda, we are only at the very start of our journey of doing this as a joined-up UK Group. So you’ll be busy discovering the best of what already exists, as well as rolling your sleeves up and creating a lot of things from scratch. This is a multi-year journey which will require ruthless prioritisation and focus.
Ultimately, success for this role will be to deliver on our commitment to prioritize our people’s development, particularly supporting the learning needs of specific groups such as our new joiners, managers of people and early careers colleagues. This role will be the go-to point for all learning and development questions in the UK Group, will lead on activating quality learning programmes and ensuring seamless deployment of learning programmes and owning all learning evaluation and learning systems within the UK Group.
Given that, this role calls upon a true blend of strategic thought and hands on implementation. A successful candidate will need to switch comfortably between tasks such as agreeing desired learning outcomes for an upcoming programme module with senior leaders, reviewing lists of programme attendees and scrutinizing programme feedback for insight and content revisions.
More specifically, this role will be focused on the following key activities, over the first 2 to 3 years:
Talent Strategy and Plan: deliver against our strategy for Talent, Learning & Development across the UK group, working towards our vision of creating a learning culture. Be the go-to-person for all Talent questions and requests across the UK Group, and work closely with the Head of Talent Development to refine priorities and the overall strategy against these requests iteratively.
Curate and co-design core programmes of learning and development: commission programmes of learning to be designed in partnership with preferred learning partners across a broad range of priority learning needs and topics. Across the UK Group, priorities include onboarding of new joiners, new manager development, early careers and apprentice programmes alongside other individual business learning priorities. Work in partnership with preferred learning providers to deliver engaging, immersive and blended learning experiences that deliver on learning objectives and success measures.
Design and deliver in-house programmes of learning: for a small number of learning offerings, where we have the inhouse capability, expertise and resource personally support in the design and facilitation of learning. This will include creation of a UK Group onboarding programme with learning modules to set new joiners up for success, as well as culturally important topics such as giving and receiving feedback. Upskill subject matter experts to design and deliver technical and specialist training by delivering facilitation training and light-touch guidance on how to create engaging training workshops and tools.
Performance Management: work closely with the UK People Director to define and recommend a UK Group approach for enabling all colleagues to have clear performance expectations, rich constructive feedback on their performance and supportive, holistic regular discussions with their managers around their progress, wellbeing and development. Explore the latest trends and thinking around performance management, and incorporate into your approach ensuring all recommendations are grounded in keeping things light-touch and agile. Educate managers and colleagues alike in how to create a culture of open feedback and how to get the most out of performance management by providing training, coaching and toolkits.
Training Systems: own the Learning Management System currently adopted by the business ensuring full UK Group adoption and completion of key modules relating to compliance. Play a key role in the evolution of learning technology across the UK Group to help create a culture of ambient social learning in the next 1-2 years.
Institute an infrastructure that supports a culture of learning: appoint learning champions within each business to support on the identification of learning needs and priorities and advocacy around learning. Adopt a systematic, methodological approach to reviewing all potential learning programmes and requirements considering the investment, scale and impact each may have on the whole UK Group or within a specific business. Embed an approach for how learning budget is allocated and spent, as well as sign off across UK CEOs and oversee the learning budget spent across businesses.
Elevate Open House 2.0 and other entry schemes: work closely with the team running Open House to continually evolve our existing Open House Programme which provides entry routes for under-represented talent into the business. Provide onboarding and induction support for new Open Housers to set them up for success. Refine our approach to other entry-level routes into our business including the KickStarter Scheme and Apprenticeship Scheme ensuring the operations run seamlessly, managers are upskilled and educated and those who join us are well-supported and have a positive entry-level learning experience.
This role is a fantastic opportunity to bring exceptional execution and best-practice to our talent development approach and elevate our learning offering across the UK Group. Given the impact this role will have on our people and business, we’re looking for someone with a stellar mix of relevant experience and skills. Ideally, the successful candidate will have the following experiences and strengths:
Demonstrable experience of working at a mid-senior level in an L&D function across a large, complex business: subject matter expertise in implementing a strategy that develops talent across a decentralised, multi-audience, multi-stakeholder environment.
Brilliant Facilitator: captures the full engagement and attention of any audience when facilitating interactive training workshops and live discussions. Always ensures everyone is included and heard in any group discussion.
A track record in implementing transformative change and new ways of managing talent: has been involved in instituting new approaches to performance management and talent development drawing on the latest thinking, alongside experience of delivering transformative programmes of learning that have had a lasting, positive impact on an organisation.
Deep technical knowledge around a broad spectrum of talent topics: from performance management to managed development, to what good training design looks like, to training evaluation, the ideal candidate has experience and understanding to be able to credibly lead on and provide expert advice to a range of talent related projects and tasks to ensure a quality outcome.
Exceptional Planner & Project Manager: learning deployment is enabled by the ease at which the ideal candidate will plan ahead in detail and anticipate the work required. They are meticulous in carving out a clear pathway for progress and influencing others, whether inside or outside of the organisation, to deliver against milestones. They are diligent in reporting on progress and outcomes and work tirelessly to keep everyone fully up to speed and ensures nobody gets left behind.
Quality Finisher: has an eagle eye for precision and pays acute attention to detail. Is able to distil ambiguous ideas and thoughts into succinct, clear and beautiful communications, and articulate proposals and narratives that create clarity and understanding for the reader and audience. To this end, they are highly skilled on PowerPoint, Excel and Word, their business copy and presentations are elegant and engaging.
Adept at Stakeholder Management: knows what it takes to lay out a compelling business case for change and influence key stakeholders and decision makers to enable change to happen. The right person for this role will master the balancing act of driving forwards change and consistency whilst simultaneously respecting varying agendas and priorities, as well as our entrepreneurial culture. Whilst keen to find common ground, they will not be afraid to challenge those around them where they see value can be derived. They use their voice and insight in a compelling way to bring others around to the appropriate view.
Innovative & Fresh Thinking: experience of being an HR disruptor in the area of talent and learning and learning technology. They are not afraid to challenge the status quo and modernising approaches to learning. They bring creativity to every learning topic and finding a way to energise and enthrall people around a subject. Every training session they curate is memorable and impactful.
Resilient Multi-Tasker: enjoys the challenge of juggling several projects and challenges at the same time and is able to identify priorities and switch focus between strategic thinking and operational delivery with ease. No task is too big or too small, and the ideal candidate will willingly roll their sleeves up to immerse themselves in what needs to be done to create the right learning experience.
Cultural Advocate: understands the inherent link between learning and culture, and finds ways to use training to embed language and behaviour that encourages positive culture change across the UK Group including encouraging greater group connectivity and inclusivity.
Analytical Thinker: able to design robust ways of evaluating training and synthesises different data sets and feedback to refine training approaches and content. Presents and communicates data in a meaningful and relevant way to different audiences.
Force of Energy & Positivity: people want to work with this candidate. They elevate the quality of everyone’s work around them.
What we offer
For the right candidate, we will offer a competitive salary and benefits package which includes 26 days annual holiday (including birthday off), private healthcare, employer contributory pension, life assurance and income protection. We also offer a host of benefits that support wellbeing including subsided gym membership and 11: counselling, whilst our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion sees us offer learning opportunities around DE&I, targeted mentoring programmes and the opportunity to participate in a number of active Employee Led Networks and associated events. Finally, this role will have a vibrant development offer that sets it up for success.
The M&C Saatchi Group UK has pledged its commitment to create a company that values difference, with an inclusive culture brought to life through equity with an 18-month roadmap of business-wide activity across people, culture, industry and society. As part of this, M&C Saatchi Group continues to be an Equal Opportunity Employer which does not and shall not discriminate, celebrates diversity and bases all hiring and promotion decisions solely on merit, without regard for any personal characteristics.
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