Posted time 14/04/23 Location London, United Kingdom

Role Overview

We have a unique opportunity for someone to join us as an HR business partner to support our corporate function and the Volcafe business unit across UK, Germany, Italy and Spain with responsibility for the line management of the UK operations support role. Working in a truly global environment and closely with senior leadership teams to align HR initiatives with the goals and objectives of the function and business units you will have your own client base and will be responsible for the end-to-end HR service delivery. Additionally, this role offers an experienced generalist the opportunity to play an influential role in shaping HR processes. There is also opportunity to further develop the HR Operations role; the ideal candidate will enjoy both client relations as well as operational delivery c. 80/20% split.

Business Overview

Established in 1783, ED&F Man is an employee-owned agricultural commodities merchant with 5,500 people in 50 countries and annual revenue in excess of $8bn. We trade sugar, coffee, molasses, animal feed and pulses. Corporate responsibility is ingrained in our culture. We are passionate about sustainable production, take care to limit the environmental impact of our operations and actively support the communities in which we work.

Volcafe Ltd is an integral part of ED&F Man commodities and is one of the world’s leading international green coffee trading companies, operating in over 20 countries globally. Our expertise spans green coffee procurement and preparation, sustainability, blending, quality control, risk management and export as well as importing and distribution. We supply the world’s major coffee roasters and retail distributors with their green coffee requirements, with significant strategic growth ambitions for the future.

Key Accountabilities

Business partnering

  • Provide full generalist HR support to the corporate and Volcafe client groups of approximately 200 people across the UK, Italy, Germany and Spain
  • Utilising a strong understanding of the corporate and Volcafe functions to support senior leaders and line managers in forming and implementing people plans
  • Strategic planning: working with the leadership team to develop and implement the human resources strategy for the function and region, in line with the overall business strategies
  • Partnering: senior leaders including with the Group HR Director, Global HR Director for Volcafe, Group Executive Director, Group CFO, functional leaders, and regional leaders to manage all day-to-day HR activities and core HR processes within the client groups. Actively building positive and trusting relationships within the client group and the broader HR community
  • Talent management: responsible for managing talent acquisition and retention, including working with talent acquisition to identify and attract the best candidates, and developing strategies to retain top talent
  • Compensation and benefits: Responsible for managing compensation and benefits for employees in the client group, collaborating with group reward to ensure that they are competitive and aligned with company policies and market trends
  • Training and development: Responsible for identifying training and development needs and collaborating with talent development to develop and implement training solutions to meet those needs
  • Performance management: managing the performance management process in the region, ensuring that objectives are set, and performance is measured effectively
  • Employee relations: managing employee relations issues, such as grievances, disciplinary matters, and employee disputes, including conducting investigations, advising on, recommending appropriate action and independently managing employee relations issues within the client group
  • Data: Analysing workforce data and provide insights and recommendations to senior leadership teams to provide insight and improve organizational performance
  • Change management: Driving cultural change and organisational transformation initiatives that support the function and business units’ strategic goals
  • Compliance: responsible for ensuring that the company compliant with all applicable labour laws and regulations in the client group countries
  • Work closely with the Group HR Director and Global HR Director for Volcafe on projects

HR operations

  • Managing, coaching, and developing 1 HR operations colleague
  • Striving for efficiency through digitizing HR processes for ease of use and simplicity
  • Striving to improve HR core processes such as those connected to employee life cycle administration and data management
  • Taking ownership for UK standard documents and policies ensuring that they are regularly reviewed and sharing UK practice globally where appropriate


  • Applying a continuous improvement mind-set, constantly looking for ways to enhance the quality of outputs from the team
  • Set clear, stretching goals for the team member, regularly assessing, and discussing performance
  • Role model leadership behaviours and company values, always being aware of your impact on the wider team

Skills and Experience

To excel in this role, you will need to have a strong understanding of HR best practices and processes, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to work collaboratively with a highly diverse range of stakeholders across different levels and parts of the organization. You should also be able to adapt to changing business needs, be comfortable working in an ambiguous environment, and have a strong client focus.

  • Previous experience of working in a full generalist business partnering role within a medium to large organisation ideally with international/global exposure
  • Able to drive and develop the HR agenda, with the ability to challenge appropriately where needed
  • Experience of engaging and influencing a highly diverse range of stakeholders
  • Proven management experience with an ability to inspire, motivate, mentor and build commitment and success
  • Additional European Languages advantageous – notably German
  • Ideally CIPD qualified or equivalent experience
  • Naturally detail conscious and organised
  • Solid understanding of employment law, with an ability to translate this into simple concepts for managers
  • Demonstrable experience of managing employee relations cases
  • Strong work ethic, the ability to work to tight deadlines, and be able to deal with competing priorities
  • Self-starter with ability to take initiative, roll up your sleeves and have a “hands-on” approach and work without close supervision is essential
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to analyse, prioritise, generate ideas, make proposals, gain buy-in and implement solutions effectively
  • Ambitious and highly motivated with commitment to quality and professionalism
  • Impeccable written and verbal communication skills