Parkinson Lee

HR Director

  • Location: Immingham
  • Salary: £six figure package
  • Type: Permanent
  • Job Ref: ESLB-31159
Click to Apply

This vacancy is managed by:

Lee Bhandal

Lee Bhandal

Job Description


Parkinson Lee Executive Search are the retained partner to DFDS in the appointment of a HR Director.

DFDS operates one of Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics networks, aspiring always to provide excellent customer experiences based on innovative and cost-effective solutions, delivering on their promises.
With a turnover of circa Euro 2.3bn they service the needs of 8000 customers across Europe. Deliver high performance and superior reliability through shipping, port terminal, transport and logistics solutions.
DFDS provide safe overnight and short sea ferry services to over 6 million passengers annually. In addition, they offer customers a range of Supply Chain Solutions based on a mix of own assets and partnership agreements to create and deliver a seamless supply chain from production to customer across Europe. The goal is to deliver supply chain leadership for each of their clients by identifying, diagnosing and solving supply chain problems.
Our 8500 employees are located in offices across 20 countries and committed to our customer’s success. DFDS has headquarters in Copenhagen and listed on NASDAQ QMX Copenhagen.
In the UK, there is a hub of activities in and around Immingham, the UK’s largest port by tonnage, which is crucial to more than 50% of DFDS’s total business, combining almost all the services that DFDS can provide in a network that connects the UK with most of Scandinavia and continental Europe. With DFDS’s ambitious growth strategy towards 2023 (‘Win23’), there is a huge transformation and modernisation of activities going on – and, as a result, there is now a need to appoint a new Land Based HR Director for UK and Ireland. (It is likely the successful candidate will be based in Immingham 3 days a week, other days will be spent at site or working from home where necessary.)

Reporting to the Chief People Officer, the HR Director will be based in Immingham and have responsibility for all HR and Payroll activity across 24 sites in the DFDS Network, which stretches from The Shetland Isles to Cornwall. The HR Director will also be a member of a Global HR Team as well as leading the HR and Payroll functions in several different business units across the UK and Ireland. In addition, the HR Director will establish themselves as a HR Business Partner to the UK Business, and be working closely with a range of stakeholders from the different businesses (VP’s, MD’s and other senior local managers) to drive the business agenda.
Key duties & responsibilities include

• Creating and implementing a "people plan" which sets clear expectations to leaders in terms of their responsibility to conduct people related processes (e.g. recruitment, on-boarding, performance management, talent reviews etc.) This should be done in close co-operation and alignment with Group HR, to ensure alignment with DFDS values and culture and considering the wide cultural variances across our diverse workforce.
• Building strong working relationships with a varied group of stakeholders such as Leaders and Managers of different Logistic and Ferry Business Units; Employees; Trade Unions; Industry Bodies; Peer Groups and Internal Networks.
• Acting as a confidante to Senior Leadership Teams and a sounding board for colleagues who are managing people.
• Working alongside MD’s and VP’s to manage the Trade Union agreements and provide support and guidance when engaging with the Trade Unions.
• Ensuring managers within the organisation become self-sufficient through the development of a great ‘HR toolbox’.
• Supporting the business and employees when transitioning an acquired company into the DFDS Family
• Establishing a strong performance management culture, with the policies, systems and procedures in place to support this.
• Establishing a strong learning and development culture, incorporating relevant succession planning.
• Ensuring that the business attracts high caliber individuals to facilitate the future strategy.
• Implementing a global ERP System (HR Module), driven by Headquarter, with dedicated local resources in place to deliver this.
• Supporting MDs to build strong, collaborative and effective teams. Working with MD(s) on executive team development with the aim of ensuring they become high performing teams.
• Leading the transition of the payroll team into the HR Function.
• Raising the capability of the HR and Payroll function to ensure alignment and optimum delivery of business goals.
• Providing leadership in Organisational Development, giving both strategic and pragmatic guidance on its implementation.
• Acting as an ambassador, effectively creating partnerships internally and externally to leverage industry best practice.

The successful candidate will be an experienced highly capable and professional HR Director with significant experience of leading the function in a multi-site, customer focused business. Ideally you will also be familiar with the governance requirements of a Plc. The HR Director must be passionate about their role and proactively oriented to deliver results that service the bottom-line needs of the business – and be comfortable that ‘one size fits all’ does not necessarily apply to all stakeholders.
In addition, we are looking for individuals with the following skills & experience:

• Level 7 or above CIPD accredited Degree with intellect, integrity, judgement and confidence.
• A track record of between 5 and 10 years leading HR in an executive role, with experience of working in a unionised environment.
• Proven board level stakeholder management capability and experience
• Experienced within an international matrix style organisation — this is a distinct advantage.
• Experience gained within a fast-moving industry (e.g. Logistics, FMCG, Retail, IT/Technology)
• An individual keen to unlock the potential in people.
• Experience of leading HR and Payroll in a multi-site and multi-cultural business which is customer focused.
• Experienced gained within a complex business, i.e. Multi-site, multi shifts, 24/7.
• Ability to develop effective relationships with colleagues who are robust, demanding and highly capable.
• Proven record of contributing to the business and strategic agenda, leading commercial change and supporting a business during its next phase of growth.
• Ability to contribute to the development of an organisation’s growth strategy through the effective development of the leadership team.
• Have sound knowledge of Compensation and Benefit Packages in the UK and Ireland in particular Pensions; Life Assurance; Health Insurance etc.
• Comfortable embracing technology, social media etc.


The successful individual will be an accomplished and strategic senior HR leader, whose career has been characterised by demonstrable patterns of success and achievement.

If you are ready to take on a strategic and transformational HR Director appointment within a market leading, international group, then please get in contact with Lee Bhandal at Parkinson Lee or apply via this advert.

Please note that due to the volume of applications online we are unable to contact each applicant directly. Therefore if you have had no response within two weeks of your application, your application has not been progressed.
Click to Apply

This vacancy is managed by:

Lee Bhandal

Lee Bhandal


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