Chief Operating Officer, The Whitehall & Industry Group

The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG), a registered charity, is an independent, not-for-profit corporate membership organisation. Our philosophy is underpinned by our values: Creative, Open-minded and Trusted.

Our charitable purpose of promoting mutual understanding between the sectors is delivered through a range of activities in the following three areas:

• Events and networks – briefings, roundtables, workshops and conferences to explore latest policy and share best practice from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors;
• Talent – offering the transfer of experience and expertise to another sector through mentoring, secondments, Non-Executive appointments and charity Trustee roles;
• Leadership – developing leadership skills at all career levels in a cross-sector environment.

Reporting to WIG’s Chief Executive, this is a unique opportunity to work at the interfaces between business, government and the not-for-profit sector. The successful individual will take ownership of the financial strategy, technology strategy, HR, WIG’s overall governance and operational framework and development of robust business plans & budgets. With this broad remit, the individual will be at the heart of ensuring the delivery of WIG’s 2020-2023 strategy, whilst simultaneously acting as a strong ambassador for the organisation externally.

The role requires an individual with a track record of delivering operational improvement, whether in the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. Whilst knowledge of Finance, IT, Digital and HR is beneficial, more important is your ability to understand these areas, harnessing expertise internally and externally to ensure WIG is taken to the next level.

Finally, the successful individual will be expected to actively seek both personal and professional development, to enable ever-greater responsibility and stretch, whether within WIG or elsewhere.

  • Role
    We are now looking for an individual to join WIG’s Executive Group (comprised of our Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer) to lead our operations and provide a best in class foundation for delivery. You will manage a diverse portfolio, and engage effectively across not only the organisation but also our membership, partners and suppliers. You will play a key role in breaking down silos across WIG, and champion behaviours to ensure we are well placed to deliver for our members.

    The Operations team currently consists of the Chief Operating Officer, a Head of Management Services, a CRM & Data Manager and an Office Manager. In addition, we draw on 1 day/week resource from our Financial Controller, external support from our IT, CRM and website providers, and ad-hoc support from an HR Consultant & Legal Counsel.
  • Role Responsibilities

    Specific Role Responsibilities

    •    Responsibility for budget setting, forecasting and monitoring;
    •    Oversight of cash management, accounts management and payroll;
    •    Ownership of HR policies and procedures that encourage a supportive working culture, combined with ongoing management (including absence and holiday management) and escalation, when required;
    •    Board and governance management, combined with oversight of WIG’s risk appetite and management thereof;
    •    Enhancement of WIG’s employee value proposition and induction;
    •    Pay reviews management;
    •    Overall IT strategy setting, including budget management;
    •    Ownership and continuous improvement of CRM and website platform;
    •    Day-to-day IT support and implementation;
    •    Business continuity;
    •    Supplier management – including CRM, Website, IT, various contractors and landlord;
    •    Ownership of data management and data protection;
    •    Manage the Operations team (including 3 direct reports), providing leadership, strategic direction, development and operational line management;
    •    Appraisal Process Management;
    •    Engaging with other WIG Teams, ensuring a joined-up approach, improved member experience and higher member engagement & retention;
    •    Contributing to WIG’s strategy.

    WIG Relationship Management and other WIG Activities

    •    You will have personal responsibility for the relationship management of about 20 WIG members from across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors;
    •    Active contribution to other WIG activities, which might include event and roundtable attendance and chairing;
    •    Strategic-level input into pan-WIG fora such as the Training Committee and Culture Workstream.

  • Person Specification


    •    Ability to understand a wide range of business functions, including Finance, HR, Digital and IT and to use these to drive operational improvements;
    •    Ability to gain trust and to work collaboratively with a range of individuals and teams across organisational boundaries;
    •    Experience of strategic planning at a senior level, in addition to budget setting, forecasting and monitoring;
    •    Track record of people leadership and developing teams;
    •    Excellent organisational skills, combined with attention to detail;
    •    Experience of running a number of different projects simultaneously;
    •    Commercially astute, with a healthy appetite for business change and risk;
    •    Ability to effectively harness data in order to influence business decisions;
    •    Good communication and presentation skills;
    •    Understanding of organisational culture;
    •    Experience of developing and managing relationships with senior level executives;
    •    Ability to support good governance;
    •    Ability to work productively with external suppliers;
    •    Desire to get involved in wider WIG projects and activities;
    •    Willingness to work some additional hours, including attending morning and evening events, and travel to WIG events and programmes outside London (sometimes necessitating overnight stays);
    •    A strong interest in government, business and charities, their interaction, and the value of cross-sector learning.


    •    Knowledge and awareness of data protection regulations and implementing organisational policies;
    •    Financial expertise;
    •    Knowledge of HR policies and procedures.

    Values and Behaviours

    •    Embodiment of WIG Values internally and externally – Creative, Open-minded, Trusted;
    •    Flexibility – need for an ‘all hands to the pump’ attitude when the organisation is particularly busy;
    •    Enthusiastic, confident and self-aware;
    •    Excellent interpersonal skills – an adaptable style to suit different people, cultures and situations;
    •    Ability to work effectively on own initiative and as part of a team;
    •    Self-reliant, good problem solver, results-oriented;
    •    Responsive to users’ needs as well as able to implement good practice and influence wider behaviours. 

    You will have the opportunity for personal development. WIG invests in the training of its staff, and all are expected to show commitment to personal learning and professional development.

  • Terms of Employment, Employee Benefits and How to Apply

    The position is available on a permanent, full-time basis and is based at our newly refurbished office near St James’s Park. We offer a flexible working space, with an environment designed for various types of work. 

    A salary of between £70,000 to £80,000 (dependent on skills and experience) will be payable. A suite of benefits is available to WIG employees, including an interest-free annual season ticket loan, 5% pension contribution, a BUPA ‘Classic’ health check every two years, employee support programme and complimentary fresh fruit & vegetables in the office.  

    Holiday entitlement for full-time employees is 25 working days per year. Staff who have completed two years’ service are entitled to 27 working days per year.

    In addition to the above entitlement, staff receive extra leave over Christmas when the office is closed.

    WIG is keen to ensure that we appoint someone with the right skills, experience and commitment and is always willing to consider flexible working arrangements (including reduced hours working) for the right candidate.

    How to Apply

    •    Please apply with a CV, Equalities Monitoring Form (downloadable below) and cover letter (maximum 500 words), setting out your motivations for applying and how you meet the criteria by email to Patrick Reihill, Head of Talent at The Whitehall & Industry Group – [email protected]
    •    If you have any questions about this opportunity, or would value a confidential discussion, please contact Patrick Reihill, Head of Talent, The Whitehall & Industry Group on 020 7222 1166 or [email protected]
    •    The deadline for applications is midday, Monday 15 June 2020.
    •    First round virtual interviews will be held week commencing Monday 22 June 2020.
    •    Second round virtual interviews will be held week commencing Monday 29 June 2020.

    WIG Chief Operating Officer Job Description May 2020.pdf WIG Equalities Monitoring Form.docx