Head of People & Culture

Cambridge, UK
Job type
Full Time
Contract length

About Us

Riverlane is the world’s first quantum engineering company. We are hardware obsessed, qubit agile and commercially driven. We’re a passionate team collaboratively tackling some of humanity’s biggest opportunities, from climate change to materials science and new drug discovery. Our close-knit team has a track record of delivering high-quality R&D across the full quantum stack.

With 65 staff across three offices (Cambridge, Boston and San Francisco), we want to double the size of the team over the next year to reach our ambitious goals. We need to attract bright and diverse individuals, from a range of technical backgrounds, who share our values and vision for the future.

About the role

We’re looking for an experienced HR professional who loves working with engineers and scientists to help drive the next phase of growth at Riverlane. Reporting to the COO, the Head of People & Culture is a critical hire who will lead the development and delivery of Riverlane’s People strategy and nurture an environment where our team can thrive.

This is an outstanding opportunity to design and lead strategies to recruit, develop, and retain world-class talent for a deep tech company that will make quantum computing useful far sooner than previously imaginable. The ideal candidate will be collaborative, creative, and energetic with exceptional judgment and interpersonal skills, with a strong desire to develop, grow and nurture a talented and diverse team.

What you will do


  • Develop and deliver a People & Culture strategy for Riverlane
  • Lead the People team (currently People Advisor, Talent Acquisition Specialist and Office Manager) and support their development, with a view to growing the team as we scale
  • Develop and lead all People functions including recruitment; selection and induction; reward / benefits / payroll; health and safety; training and development; organisational development and design; and, employee relations
  • Use relevant metrics to keep track of progress and optimise People functions

Attract and recruit diverse candidates

  • Work with our Talent Acquisition Specialist to improve our current recruitment process and implement innovative strategies to attract, hire and retain top talent across the company with a focus on building a diverse and inclusive team
  • Support the set-up and scaling of teams in the US and Europe
  • Work with the marketing team to develop and execute a communications strategy and branding for recruitment and talent acquisition, providing an exciting and accurate preview to candidates who are considering working at Riverlane

Onboard and train employees

  • Work with the People team to continually improve Riverlane’s onboarding process, making sure that employees feel welcomed, understand their objectives, are informed about benefits, and are prepared to excel in their roles
  • Set-up and manage a professional development programme; identify and implement training and development opportunities for individuals and teams

Lead culture building

  • Lead the definition and implementation of our organisational culture goals to make Riverlane an employer of choice
  • Ensure that Riverlane is an equitable and inclusive workplace where the whole team feel valued and thrive through excellent line management, training, coaching, and overall strategy and practice
  • Work with the marketing team to optimise internal communication
  • Champion our hybrid working policy (three days in the office / two days at home
  • Work collaboratively with a diverse and committed group of managers and their teams, be ‘hands on’ when required, and encourage an organisational culture that supports effective behaviours and ways of working that demonstrate clear commitment to Riverlane’s values, mission and vision
  • Work strategically to embed great people practices that are aligned with, and enhance, our core values

Manage rewards / benefits and ensure compliance

  • Manage all benefits at Riverlane
  • Stay up to date with benefit and policy trends and best practices
  • Maintain a strong awareness of and manage Riverlane’s compliance with employment laws and statutory guidance, keeping abreast of relevant changes (both in the UK and USA)

Develop talent and drive performance

  • Continue to build and develop Riverlane’s talent development processes by (i) defining organisational core competencies and values, and (ii) designing learning and development strategies to support staff to improve skills and performance
  • Design and implement relevant HR policies and strategic initiatives to ensure we recruit, retain and promote highly skilled and motivated people in every area of our work
  • Optimise our current performance management system and align it with our rewards and benefits structure
  • Identify drivers of engagement and attrition and implement interventions to increase levels of engagement and maintain low levels of turnover
  • Care deeply about people and their success

What we need

  • Bachelor’s degree and level 7 CIPD qualification
  • Significant experience of developing and delivering an end-to-end People function, preferably in a start-up / high-growth company and across international borders
  • Significant experience of recruiting engineers and scientists
  • Change management experience
  • Strong understanding of UK employment legislation and statutory guidance
  • Highly skilled communicator, with exceptional relationship-building and interpersonal skills
  • A people person who enjoys building relationships, developing talent and creating an engaging workplace culture and environment for our diverse team
  • Committed to inclusive and equitable practices in all areas of work
  • Team player who enjoys developing and executing new strategies and gathering stakeholder input to create shared solutions
  • Trustworthy in managing sensitive information and situations; you are professional, discrete and demonstrate excellent judgment
  • Proven success working in a fast-paced environment and delivering against multiple work streams
  • Data-driven and results-oriented; able to manage metrics and make data-informed decisions
  • A natural coach and mentor who can relate well to others, listen effectively, and support employees across all levels of the team to achieve their developmental goals
  • A self-directed leader with an entrepreneurial spirit who will proactively take ownership of People & Culture at Riverlane and is excited to scale our team and company
Apply Now

How to apply

Please upload a CV and covering letter by clicking ‘Apply Now’. Your covering letter should explain why you are applying for the job and what skills and experience you can bring to the role.

If you have any queries, please contact jobs@riverlane.com.

 Everyone is welcome at Riverlane. We are an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from eligible and suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender reassignment, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, or pregnancy and maternity/paternity.

 If you need any adjustments made to the application or selection process so you can do your best, please let us know. We will be happy to help.