Closing date: 17:00 on Friday 01 February 2019
Interview date: Monday 11 February 2019
Start date: 01 March 2019 (depending on successful candidate)


The idea at the heart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is simple: anyone with a desire to perform and a venue willing to host them is welcome. No individual or committee determines who can or cannot perform at the Fringe. It all began in 1947 with eight companies – six of them from Scotland – taking a risk, turning up uninvited and performing on the ‘fringe’ of the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival. Over 70 years later, the Fringe has grown to become the greatest platform for creative freedom in the world, second only to the Olympics in terms of global ticketed events. In 2018, 3,548 shows took place in 317 venues across Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is the charity that was established by participants to act as the custodian of the Fringe. We exist to support, advise and encourage everyone who wants to participate in the Fringe, provide information and assistance to audiences, and promote the Fringe and what it stands for all over the world. 

The Society has recently embarked on an ambitious Blueprint, a statement of intent that will inform everything we do between now and our 75th anniversary in 2022. We are committed to ensuring that the Fringe deepens its roots within the city, working with city communities and the education sector to address isolation and cultural exclusion. We are also keen to strengthen the Fringe’s connections across the world to ensure this festival provides a global platform for creativity and freedom of expression, and the best global showcase for artists from Scotland and all over the UK. 

Purpose of the role

The HR Manager contributes to the development and leads on the delivery of the Society’s HR strategy and is the operational lead for the development of HR frameworks and systems that promote best practice in the recruitment, retention and performance management of staff while managing the associated risks to the organisation.  

Day to day you will be responsible for providing a collaborative and forward-thinking human resource service to employees and managers across the full range of HR activities ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures.

How we see the future of the HR function

To strengthen its capacity to meet the Blueprint’s ambitions and deliver enhanced services, the Festival Fringe Society’s core team is currently undergoing a period of rapid expansion from 24 to 33 permanent staff. The Society also employs around 100 new and returning fixed term staff throughout the year and during the festival itself.

We are looking for an experienced, proactive, and principles-led HR Manager who understands what a positive working culture looks and feels like and is a force for positive change. 

Our staff are key to the continuing success of the Society and its work. You will enable the Society to remain an employer of choice, attracting and retaining people who are passionate about what they do and who are committed to exceptionally high standards of service to each other and the Society’s stakeholders. For the last eighteen months we have been delivering aspects of our wellbeing agenda, focussing on mental health, family-friendly working, facilitating platforms for increased employee voice, and continuing professional development. While the Society undergoes a period of significant growth it is essential that our well-being agenda continues to be driven forward so that new and existing employees can be supported to realise their full potential, and that the Society’s enabling culture continues to flourish.

You will be an approachable and supportive HR generalist who is able to establish trust and credibility with your colleagues, working together to find solutions to challenges and ensuring compliance with Society policies and current legislation. You will be keen to explore digital solutions to improve not only HR function but in other areas such as learning and employee engagement. You will champion a truly inclusive environment by integrating diversity and inclusion into the Society’s policies and day-to-day practices and ensuring that barriers to employment are minimised.

Role and responsibilities

The HR Manager reports to the Deputy Chief Executive and is supported with recruitment activity by the Operations team on a part-time basis. Your duties will include:

Day to day Human Resource management

  • supporting and coaching managers and the Senior Management team by providing information and advice on a broad range of human resources matters;
  • supporting employees by providing information and assistance throughout the employment life cycle;  
  • leading on the development and implementation and review of organisational policies and procedures; 
  • assisting managers with handling all aspects of absence including recording and monitoring absence, sickness, maternity and paternity leave, annual leave, and unpaid leave;
  • assisting managers with handling disciplinary, grievance, performance and any other similar employee issues, referring as required to the Deputy Chief Executive for advice and guidance;
  • maintaining accurate employee paper and electronic records and ensuring confidentiality in accordance with GDPR legislation;
  • keeping up to date with relevant employment legislation and ensuring Society policies and procedures are up to date and communicated to employees;
  • managing the learning and development, HR and recruitment budgets;
  • acting as the first point of contact for external enquiries such as reference requests and benefits agencies; 
  • researching and implementing relevant and appropriate HR solutions (such as job profiling or HRIS systems); 
  • managing relationships with external advisory bodies, including the CIPD, ACAS and specialist legal advisors.

Employee engagement

  • Supporting the Senior Managers and Chief Executive to deepen their understanding of the health of the organisation, using employee engagement tools to offer insight. 

Staff development

  • Leading on the development and implementation of a Learning and Development strategy in line with the Society’s business plan; 
  • promoting staff development by ensuring every member of staff has a minimum of one annual development meeting, and that any changes to job description or any learning needs identified in the written report are followed up.  
  • reviewing and implementing new staff development/appraisal programme to replace existing provision; 
  • implementing the Society’s learning and development policies, including the tracking and monitoring of training available and undertaken in line with individual development plans and managing the employee induction programme;
  • co-ordinating the ‘All Staff Briefing Session’ prior to the start of the festival and organising training to support policies and raise awareness;
  • ensuring that accurate and up to date job descriptions are in place for all roles;
  • collaborating with managers to develop training and development plans to meet future business needs. 

Project managing Society recruitment;

  • managing recruitment for permanent and fixed term staff, offering assistance and support to managers where necessary;
  • managing the Society’s online recruitment system;
  • advising on the development of job descriptions and person specifications including rates of pay;
  • collaborating with the Website and Digital Development Manager to develop the ‘Work with us’ pages on; 
  • advising on fair recruitment and selection processes ensuring compliance with legislative requirements;
  • producing and issuing offers of employment, contracts and checking medical information and references;
  • ensuring the continuous achievement of the Disability Confident Employer status and leading on achieving Disability Confident Leader;
  • delivering interview assessments, in person and online (competency exercises, psychometric testing);
  • managing the recruitment of work placement students.

You will work closely with the Finance Manager to ensure that they have the correct information to process the Society’s weekly and monthly payroll. This includes:

  • Ensuring new start forms have been completed and are ready to upload into the payroll system;
  • collation of all relevant information including new starters, leavers, pay increases, holiday pay, maternity and paternity pay; 

Additional duties:

  • Other duties as required by the Deputy Chief Executive
  • Working closely with the Operations Manager to promote the Society’s Health and Safety policy including carrying out employee risk assessments.

Person specification


  • Demonstrable experience in an HR generalist role at management level; 
  • Experience of developing and implementing HR policies and developing and installing efficient and effective HR systems and procedures;
  • Demonstrable experience of offering high quality advice and support to a Senior Management team;
  • CIPD qualified to Level 5 or equivalent qualification; 
  • Experience of managing recruitment campaigns;
  • Approachable with effective interpersonal, influencing and negotiation skills and can effectively promote good working relationships at all levels; 
  • Up to date knowledge of employment law and its practical application;
  • Proven ability to be flexible and adaptable in a continuously evolving environment;
  • Proven ability to work to tight deadlines responding to challenging priorities;
  • An ability to identify and resolve problems;
  • Confidence in handling confidential and sensitive information with discretion – maintaining absolute confidentiality;
  • Knowledge of GDPR legislation;
  • Knowledge and competency with Microsoft Office suite including Word, Outlook, Excel and databases.


  • CIPD qualified to Level 7 or equivalent qualification.
  • Current CIPD member.
  • Experience of employee engagement. 
  • Knowledge of the Disability Confident Scheme.
  • Experience of HR management in charitable organisations.
  • Experience of HR Management in arts festivals.

Salary and Benefits

The salary for this post is circa £32,000 per annum, plus 4.5% employer pension contribution. We offer 34 days annual leave including 6 public holidays over Christmas/New Year and Easter. 

Normal working hours are 10:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday. Some additional evening and weekend work may be required. There is no overtime entitlement, but the Society does maintain a TOIL policy outwith the festival period. 

During the festival you will be required to work six days a week (42 hours). Due to intense activity during certain periods of the year, the fact that no TOIL is accrued during the festival period and that only six public holidays are recognised, the Society feels that employees benefit from an extended holiday over the Christmas and New Year period. The Society will award six “Festival Fringe” days over and above your annual holiday entitlement to count towards this period.

Download PDF job description

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is committed to reducing its environmental impacts in its everyday operations. We are also committed to maintaining the open-access policy of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome applications from all sectors of the community. We are also proud to be a Disability Confident Employer and aim to successfully employ and retain disabled people and those with health conditions. We expect employees to support these commitments and to assist in their realisation.

Apply online