Lead People Partner (Commercial)

Main Purpose of Job

The Lead, People Partner - Commercial will support the end-to-end delivery of a progressive people agenda into the Commercial function (approx. 127 employees). McLaren Racing has an exciting change agenda for its people and culture with the ambition to create an environment where winning becomes inevitable via a performance-led organisation. This is a pivotal role, and one with breadth of exposure, as it will not only contribute and help deliver the local people plan set by the People Director, but also work closely with the managers and leaders on a day-to-day basis on the BAU agenda and advisory matters.

Role Dimensions:

Reporting to the People Director, the Lead, People Partner will be the first point of call for the Commercial leadership team and managers and they will operate mostly at an operational level of business partnering. However, as the People Director works part-time hours, the Lead, Senior People Partner will need to be the first point of contact and cover for their non-working days. Therefore, the ability to think strategically is required. As a commercial business orientated HR practitioner, they will foster unshakeable relationships through strong understanding of the team’s operations and challenges and delivering a no-nonsense, high-impact service.

There will be support from a shared People Administrator (within our People Services Team) who will focus on transactional, administrative tasks such as booking recruitment interviews, creating contracts and letters etc.

This role holder must understand and work with the Finance Business Partner to understand budgets and requirements to ensure they are well informed when it comes to decision-making and tracking.

There will be a requirement to be flexible on working hours as McLaren Racing is a team which operates in a dynamic, high-demand and fast-paced environment, spanning time zones and weekends for races. It is envisaged you would work Monday to Friday and while we support hybrid working, we do expect our people to be in the office 4 days per week (5 days when workload/meetings require).

Key Stakeholders:

  • All members of the People Team
  • Direct reports of the Commercial Exec members, Directors and Managers • Finance Business Partner and Payrol

Key Accountabilities 

Deliver the local people plan

  • Feed into the ongoing development of the plan and strategy by working closely with the team stakeholders to identify the critical people priorities
  • Respond and adapt to changing circumstances, contributing to the development of solutions to ensure they are fit for purpose
  • Front up the delivery of the local people plan, alongside the People Director, becoming the main point of contact for the leaders for all operational people matters.
  • To cover for the People Director on their non-working days (x 2 days per week) with operational and sometimes strategic actions, queries, meeting attendance etc.

Business Partnering at a Senior level

  • Building trust-based relationships with the leadership team, fostering close partnerships that get you ‘inside the tent’ and able to offer close quarter support
  • To anticipate future workforce demands before leaders even know they need something and proactively translate into solutions
  • To become a deep expert with a high level of technical understanding of the client group, building credibility and enabling knowledge/insight based proactive recommendations to be made
  • Own and manage tactical matters, using all available resources across the People & Culture team to deal with these appropriately, or helping managers deal directly
  • Apply people analytics through data-driven conversations and initiatives to deliver against the people strategy.

Operational HR Management

  • Lead and support on all ER issues ensuring managers are equipped to deal with them effectively and compliantly ensuring reliable and trusted employment law advice is given. Escalating to People Director where required.
  • Partner with the finance team to ensure a good understanding of local budgets.
  • Support the strategic, cyclical and day to day reward activities such as payroll checking, annual salary and bonus review process, job sizing etc.
  • Proactively gauge employee engagement and work with the broader People team to provide solutions as required
  • Working collaboratively with the recruitment team and hiring managers supporting relevant recruitment campaigns, helping to screen, attending interviews, role spec reviews, ensuring offers are created etc.
  • Manage onboarding of new starters, ensuring managers have what they need for day 1, working with the People Administrators collaboratively to ensure a great candidate experience.
  • Lead on the Performance Management process, ensuring managers and employees understand what is expected and when as well as coaching and supporting those who need it.
  • Utilise relevant data to support people and business plan implementation, spot trends and assist with decision making.

Organisational Design and change management

  • Work with the senior leaders and People Director to review the organisational design of their teams to ensure they remain commercially focused, relevant, efficient, agile and productive
  • Support on the redesign of roles, teams or functions in line with identified needs using strong org design disciplines to maximise the effectiveness of structural changes
  • Apply best practice change management discipline to the delivery and implementation of changes minimising disruption and supporting any people impacted with dignity and respect

Talent Management

  • Understand the Commercial team’s ambitions and plans. Use this insight to be inquisitive as to mid and long-term people requirements.
  • Understand and develop workforce plans that map out role and capability needs over time and required resource levels, pulling on expertise from the Talent team as required
  • Work with the Talent Team to help build talent attraction strategies that consider short and long term needs, thinking creatively about how future needs can start to be addressed immediately (grads, apprentices, internal talent fast tracking)
  • Support, and sometimes lead, the execution of the formal and informal talent and succession management processes locally, making this a live and ongoing conversation, not a paper activity, that has tangible outputs by way of retention, promotion, development plans and minimising risks

Effective management of Employee relations

  • Maintain strong employee relations across the functions through the pragmatic engagement of managers and team leaders to fulfil their legal obligations effectively
  • Use effective communications as a vehicle to maintain strong relations with employees, particularly where change is concerned
  • Actively engage with leaders to support development of a working environment that is conducive to safe practices and colleague welfare
  • Support development and delivery of an effective diversity and inclusion agenda with the People Experience Team that promotes a positive workplace that is broad and inclusive in its make-up

Stakeholder Management

  • Promote a service mentality and partnership approach to developing strong and effective working relationships with key internal stakeholders to ensure their appropriate engagement and involvement.
  • Confidently influence key stakeholders to gain buy-in and support to new ways of working, alternative solutions and key projects.
  • Seamlessly act as the conduit between the function Leadership team and People & Culture team to ensure successful implementation of initiatives which are fit for purpose and land well.


  • Strong and professional communication across multiple stakeholder groups and channels with the ability to present and deliver compelling messages
  • Work with internal comms to support the development and execution of appropriate communications campaigns to engage with audiences on the employee experience offer to ensure full engagement and understanding

Operating Model

• Work collaboratively across the wider People Team in line with the operating model, adhering to our processes and SLAs

McLaren Racing