EMEA Chief Talent Officer

Talent, HR, People & Culture London, England



Job Title:                      EMEA Chief Talent Officer


Reporting to:EMEA CEO / Global Chief Talent Officer


WW Company Profile

Wavemaker is a new kind of global agency delivering world-class solutions through media, content and technology. 7,600 Wavemakers in 90 countries with $33B in billings create these transformative solutions for some of the world’s biggest brands. Our secret sauce is our unrivalled collection of Purchase Journey data. Across 40 markets and 80 categories, it is deployed by the world’s leading Purchase Journey Experts to spot opportunities and problems at every stage of the customer cycle and turn both into growth. Our teams are leading-edge, diverse and integrated, from trading specialists to data scientists, ecomms experts to award-winning content creators. Our mission is ‘Let’s make the Future’ – at a time when market and customer behavior is disrupted 24/7, we never stop evolving to help clients succeed.


Role Context:

Accounting for over half of our global revenue, EMEA is the largest region in the Wavemaker global network.  Covering 34 countries, and 4,000 employees, the Chief Talent Officer EMEA will be responsible for partnering with the EMEA CEO to support the regional strategy and aligning relevant People strategies to support key goals. Lean into the global strategy to drive alignment to regional plans and support new business, fueling growth on our existing clients and a reset on the optimum way that we should be structured to deliver the best thinking and delivery on our clients in the most effective way. The role will need to inspire and attract the industry best talent in delivering this, working with local market CEOs, Heads of Talent and GroupM stakeholders to ensure the relevant local strategies are in place and being delivered.


As a member of the European Senior Management team, reporting to the CEO EMEA, Wavemaker and Global Talent Officer, Wavemaker, the incumbent will work as a member of senior leadership to the region, supporting the strategy for growth in the region. The individual will adopt and where necessary adapt global people strategies and roll outs into the region to ensure local relevant and value add as well as effective deployment. The role will devise regional strategy that supports and amplifies the local market proposition working with stakeholders within Wavemaker, GroupM and WPP to ensure smooth delivery. They will ensure regular communication with regional heads of talent to help maintain a strong community identity and membership.


The role will also be part of the Global People Leadership team for Wavemaker, supporting the creation of the global People agenda, acting as the voice of the region, supporting the Global Chief People Officer with global initiatives and deputizing for him in certain circumstances. The incumbent will be a key team member supporting peers at this level and setting the tone for the People function in Wavemaker.




Change Management

  • In line with the global vision, implement an innovative people strategy that embodies the focus on creating a differentiated Employee Experience, helping create a culture based on inclusion, performance, hunger and client centricity and building Capability for ready now skills. They will lead the vision, case for change and deliver of plans and initiatives.
  • Work closely with the Regional CEO to ensure that managers are held accountable for managing the performance of their team, and that talent development is seen as a business imperative
  • Ensure we have the appropriate resources in the talent function to support the organization moving forward.
  • Cascade and embed the new leadership behaviours to ensure we are driving a culture of elite leadership capability
  • Cascade the Employee Value Proposition, which will reflect the Wavemaker culture globally, but have regional and local interpretation, and ensure we are positioned competitively in the recruiting space.  Make Wavemaker, the employer of choice for top quality talent. This should represent a consistent message in both our internal and external communications.


Uncovering Talent


  • Work with the global team to develop a more robust interview and selection process and develop our managers on how to assess the talent we will need to grow our business - recognising that they may be from a completely different industry to ours.
  • Identify and maintain competitive intelligence on key industry talent, and proactively share this with leaders.
  • Work with the exco to understand what the future talent needs will be and ensure we have the competitive intelligence internally and externally to meet the changing needs of the business.
  • Develop a social recruiting strategy, and ensure it is being used to target the most appropriate candidates.
  • Ensure that leaders are screening a diverse range of candidates in order to build out unique skills and abilities and building on our need to continually uplift our talent base across the network.


Talent growth – Succession and Capability Building


  • Design and facilitate an annual leadership assessment and review process with the EXCO, to evaluate skills, performance and potential of key talent. This involves deployment of Wavemaker Talent Cycle and leading resulting development and resourcing strategies.
  • Partner with the local talent leads to assess senior leadership regionally, provide feedback and implement individual development and succession plans.
  • Oversee and ensure the execution of best in class leadership development programs both regionally and on a local basis.
  • Ensure decisions are being taken on people quickly to make room for good talent to grow, and make room for the new talent we will need to bring in.
  • Ensure that we are driving innovation through our development methods and that our employee growth is the envy of the industry. Consider how we use volunteerism in our development programmes.


Talent Engagement


  • Work in partnership with the local talent leads/country managers to develop retention/engagement strategies which are relevant to their unique market challenges.
  • Strengthen the performance management process to enable us to have candid conversations with our employees, about their performance, their development and how they will be measured going forward.  Drive a performance culture.
  • Work closely with the regional CEO to ensure the right leadership is in place to inspire and engage employees. 
  • Educate the organization, and develop strategies for bridging the gap between generations, and find solutions to retain and grow key talent – this should include flexibility around how we reward people.
  • Execute the employee net promoter score survey, ensuring managers are held accountable for improving the results year on year.
  • Responsible for HR processes, practices and policies, including international moves, salary cycles, manage the KPI information, senior recruitment and contracts.


The candidate:

The preferred candidate needs to be able to attract and manage strong local leadership, they need to be inspiring, engaging and bring energy and engagement to the role. The successful candidate needs to possess many of the following skills, experience and attributes:


  • Exposure to / experience in strategic change management and organisational design and development in a fast moving, creative and dynamic European environment
  • Experienced HR generalist (including training and development) with exposure to HR strategic development
  • A full understanding of / ability to interpret / align current Employment Law legislation
  • Latest and contemporary theory and practical experience in organisational design and behaviour, performance management techniques, learning and development theory and practice
  • Extensive complex Project management and Change management experience
  • An understanding of the latest technological, political, economic, environmental trends and its impact on talent



  • Has a proven ability to motivate, lead and energize both direct reports and peers, able to encourage others to take initiative.
  • Has a culture awareness and adaptability to work across a diverse set of EMEA and global markets
  • Has an entrepreneurial mindset, and drives new ideas, venturing beyond normal limits
  • Shows resilience and perseverance when faced with a challenge
  • Shows optimism for the future and what is possible
  • Must show authenticity in leadership style and approach
  • Possesses a flexible approach, and can be nimble in decision making
  • Has an open and collaborative communication style, able to be influential at all levels and in complex or matrix environments.
  • Has a learning agility, encouraging others to grow and developing a growth mindset.
  • Values individuals for the uniqueness they bring to the table


GroupM is an equal opportunity employer. We view everyone as an individual and we understand that inclusion is more than just diversity – it’s about belonging. We celebrate the fact that everyone is unique and that’s what makes us so good at what we do. We pride ourselves on being a company that embraces difference and truly represents the global clients we work with.

If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please email us via TalentTeam.UK@GroupM.com.