Skip Navigation

Head of HR & Volunteer Engagement

Job Title: Head of HR & Volunteer Engagement

Location: Fairford, Gloucestershire

Job Type: Permanent

We are recruiting for a Head of HR and Volunteer Engagement who will be a key member of our senior leadership team. RAFCTE is perhaps best known for organising and running the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford, Gloucestershire each July which attracts in excess of 150,000 visitors and is the largest military air show in the world. RAFCTE raises funds primarily, through the staging of the Royal International Air Tattoo, the Royal Air Force Autumn Concert tour and also provides specialist support to other air shows. These funds drive and enable its mission to promote the RAF, support its people (now and in the future) and encourage aviation related education of youth. It is a growing and ambitious organisation with a team dedicated to further its cause and ensure its ongoing success. We're now seeking a talented Head of HR to help RAFCTE achieve its objectives.  

The Head of HR and Volunteer Engagement is a vital role which reports directly into the Chief Executive. The role is unusual in that it combines leading and managing HR across the organisation with the management of sourcing, hiring and engaging of the volunteer force. A significant volume of volunteers are required annually and it's these volunteers who have gone a long way to ensure events are a real success. This is a big role with a lot of variety and will suit someone who thrives on pace, pressure and a diverse role who'd love to be part of a high profile organisation.     

The HR element of the role will involve leading and managing a wide range of HR activities for c. 50 employees to ensure they are recruited, engaged and retained.  This will include ensuring that the Board, Directors and managers are advised, supported and coached and will therefore require a breadth of HR experience and personal and professional credibility to be a trusted adviser to senior management. Some key activities include embedding a new performance management process and developing management capability to ensure managers effectively lead their teams, driving the right behaviours in managers and employees across the organisation.   

The volunteer engagement part of the role is very diverse and includes; recruiting high volumes of volunteers annually for both the Fairford show and shows elsewhere, managing them through the event process/lifecycle, and continuing to engage with them through the year to ensure they volunteer annually and are motivated to do so. This includes managing and overseeing the logistics of accommodating and catering for the volunteer force running up to and during events. You will need to develop a sound understanding of volunteering; anticipating and understanding trends, legislation and good practice. You'll need to be able to think strategically and creatively to ensure the right volunteers are sourced and selected.

The challenges of the role means we are looking for a special individual who has the credibility to advise the CEO and senior team yet the pragmatism and willingness to roll up their sleeves on the run up to and during an event to do whatever needs doing to ensure its success. You may be an HR professional who is looking to have more impact in a smaller organisation or you may be someone who craves more variety than you're getting in a pure HR role. You may even be a senior HR person who wants to utilise your broad commercial HR experience in an organisation with a real mission and purpose beyond just making a profit or delivering shareholder value. Whatever your driver, we're looking for candidates who can demonstrate the following:

  • Operational and strategic HR experience gained in commercial organisations. Well educated (ideally to degree-level) and CIPD qualified. 
  • Good exposure during HR career to learning and development, strong coaching skills and, the ability to build capability across the organisation.
  • Personally and professionally credible - astute, knowledgeable, commercially minded, able to operate as a supportive trusted adviser to senior people.
  • A great relationship person - a good listener and influencer with excellent interpersonal skills, able to challenge and champion change.  
  • A proactive approach -  resourceful and good at finding solutions to problems
  • A focused professional who is a pragmatic, agile thinker
  • Well organised, capable of managing high volumes of work and multi-tasking
  • Flexible and adaptable, not 'precious'; willing to do whatever needs doing especially on the run up to shows
  • An interest in or passion for aviation would be the icing on the cake!
What we offer:
Salary - competitive + benefits


“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

Sign up for emails about the Air Tattoo, Concerts and Merchandise