Head of People, Global Clients

Talent, HR, People & Culture London, England


Position at Wavemaker

Job Specification


Job Title:Head of People, Global Clients




Reporting to:Global Chief People Officer and dotted to Global Client Presidents


About Wavemaker

We believe there always is a better way to grow.

We positively provoke growth for our clients by reshaping consumer decision-making and experiences through media, content and technology. The Wavemaker way is globally consistent. Fueled by the world’s most powerful consumer data, we understand where and how marketing can intervene decisively to help brands win more sales.

We have one single attitude – Positive Provocation. Why? Because we care enough to want to do better. We listen carefully, arm ourselves with information and ask questions to grow our clients. Ultimately, we use our attitude to make things better.

Our name is our mission and our method. To make waves, you need to be provocative, even fearless. We do our best work for brave brands and people who want to be challenged to go further and faster. We know it’s not easy, but if it’s in you, we will get it out of you.

Our attitude of Positive Provocation is enabled by:

  • The deep Knowledge we have of our clients’ business
  • The confidence to Challenge what’s gone before
  • The Support to go further than we thought possible

Our 7,200 people across 90 markets have the deep knowledge, confidence and courage to provoke growth for some of the world’s leading brands and businesses such as Colgate, Huawei, Mondelez, Netflix, Tiffany and Paramount. We are building an agency that will differentiate from others and become simply the most wanted media agency.

We are a part of GroupM, WPP’s global media investment management company. Discover more on wavemakerglobal.com, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Role Context:

As part of the new Wavemaker rebrand and reposition the agency invested in an uplift of it’s client leadership capability with the introduction of three Global Client President roles. These roles will act as the “voice of the client” to ensure that a true client centric approach and focus is embedded. These roles between them will own the Top 15 global Wavemaker clients, ensuring a global and consistent service is delivered across all relevant markets. The role of Head of People, Global Clients is to help drive Wavemaker’s the Client Leadership service for Wavemaker Clients. The role will ensure that we continually evolve to meet and anticipate the needs of our current and future clients and ensure that we hire, retain and develop the best talent in the industry to achieve this.


The role will take ownership for the global Client Leadership London Hub and support the Global Client Presidents with servicing the top 15 clients but also put in place practices and processes that help impact the client effectiveness and talent strength in markets. The role will have oversight responsibility to global client teams in the markets but will work through and with local and regional market CEOs and People functions as well as link and leverage the capabilities found in our Trading, Commercial and Consulting Hub functions to this wider impact.



The role will form part of the Global People Leadership team to drive the Wavemaker People strategy so that the needs of the client groups are known and delivered against. It will ensure that operational processes are managed in a timely and efficient basis but that the focus can remain on the more relationship and strategic requirements of the role to drive future growth and development of this population. It will partner closely with the Global Client Presidents, Global Client Leads to ensure we are proactive in ensuring the staffing, engagement, and development of those servicing our clients are industry leading and a source of differentiation.



The role will focus primarily on:



  • Working with local Talent Acquisition, Heads of People and GroupM ensure that client needs are appropriately staffed up to contract, including as part of transition or new business wins as well as supporting the redeployment of loss of clients and reshaping or resizing exercises.
  • Work on ensuring that the attraction, selection and onboarding process is smooth and helps drive candidate experience and advocacy.
  • Work on sharing talent as part of development planning, defined plans to refresh client team skills and engagement supporting the drive for C-Sat and Vantage scores
  • Works with line managers on embedding the Client Leadership Competencies, Wavemaker Way/Values to help ensure that we are continually sourcing and hiring the best talent in the industry.


Talent & Organisational Development

  • Drives robust and regular talent assessment. As part of annual client growth planning ensures that Talent Management strategies for clients proactively supports the requirements to keep and grow our clients
  • Actively encourages robust development planning ensuring that we continually evolve our capabilities and skills for our changing client and business needs.
  • Proactively drives succession planning and works with Client leads on ensuring adequate risk mitigation strategies exist (emergency cover) as well as having robust medium- and long-term succession plans builds meaningful career paths and develops skills in our population required by clients.
  • Maintain a collaborative relationship with stakeholders within GroupM and the WPP network in scanning, sharing and placing talent



  • Drives the Wavemaker Culture in the client teams and proactively works on assimilating new members of teams with the client culture and requirements.
  • Brings to life the Positive provocation culture in our client teams that helps us become the most wanted Media agency brand.
  • With the Client leads ensures that robust performance management and feedback culture is fostered. Performance is proactively managed in all our teams
  • Drives client D&I Plans aligned to Global D&I Framework where we can nurture an inclusive and diverse culture in our client teams


People Leadership and Strategy

  • Forms part of the Global People Leadership team and provides the voice of the client in the design, deliver and measurement of the Wavemaker People function
  • Supports and drives the People input as part of global new growth pitches and ensures the most appropriate people strategy is a core part of the pitch.
  • Develops management information and dashboards that can help provide operational oversight and allow targeted remedial action where required
  • Act as a role model, mentor and coach to client leads and others across the network, helps raise Wavemaker’s profile and reputation.
  • Develop new approaches and innovative thinking to help differentiate Wavemaker from other media agencies.



The candidate:

The preferred candidate needs to possess many of the following skills, experience and attributes:

  • A strong commercial understanding of a range of client organisation business models and challenges. They can help proactive diagnose key issues and develop people propositions that helps drive a positive and proactive client relationship. They have a strong interest in Marketing communications, media and advertising so that they develop a highly detailed understanding of our business and client team requirements.
  • Has strong technical background in recruitment, development, talent, organizational design and a thirst for maintaining external trends and latest thinking in the field
  • Strong track record of building strong, trusting relationships with a variety of stakeholders. Can effectively manage in a complex matrix and handles conflicting trade-offs and various demands by delivering against commitments and important not just urgent requirements of the role. Can work across markets, functions, the wider network and globally
  • Strong network that manages internal and external network that helps them add to their effectiveness. Can act as an external radar to changes, trends and developments within the context of the role.
  • Strong track record of change management and delivering HR effectively. Recognises what good HR looks like and can influence and drive excellence in the basics
  • Possesses strong interpersonal and influencing skills. Can persuade at all levels
  • Has personal drive, resilience but applies flexible and sound judgement to adapt plans but keep delivery moving. Knows when to trade off short term items for medium- or long-term gain. Is determined to deliver against commitments on time, on budget to a standard that exceeds expectations
  • Energy that is infectious and acts a role model to bring values and actions to live – walks the talk
  • A promoter of talent and Wavemaker, recognized as a credible advocate and creates followership in their planning and execution
  • Strong moral compass that embodies the diversity and inclusion that Wavemaker seeks to create. Able to flex this over various markets, cultures and beliefs
  • Has an entrepreneurial mindset, drives new ideas and pushes the status quo. Always believes that there is a better way and continually strives to make this a reality.
  • Is curious to continually learn, seeks to continually better themselves, has the humility to know own limits but the hunger to learn and not make this an inhibitor.


wavemaker, SEA CONTAINERS, 18 UPPER GROUND, london, se1 9ET, united kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)20 7803 2000    www.wavemakerglobal.com    A GroupM Company

Registered Office: Wavemaker Global Limited, Sea Containers, 18 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9ET, United Kingdom

Registered in England No. 4078556    VAT Reg. No. 512 5421 86