Head of Communications job description

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A Head of Communications is responsible for planning and implementing an effective communications strategy. Managing the communications team, they are instrumental in maintaining a consistent brand voice, raising awareness of a company and ensuring appropriate internal communications.

What does a Head of Communications do?

Key responsibilities

  • Engage external and internal audiences through clear and consistent messaging
  • Manage a team of communications specialists to execute campaigns 
  • Nurture, build and influence relationships with PR agencies, journalists and media outlets to identify opportunities
  • Work collaboratively with marketing, legal and HR to ensure aligned external and internal communications strategies
  • Develop strategies for crisis management and identify and advise senior leaders on any communications issues that arise

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Skills and requirements:

  • 10+ years of experience in a communications and/or marketing role
  • Track record in leading communications teams to execute external and internal comms strategies
  • The ability to implement and manage communications processes across different channels
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing communications strategies aligned with business goals
  • Understanding of how to target audiences across a wide range of platforms, including social media, print, video and audio

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Head of Communications salary expectations

Salaries vary based on experience required, industry, and company size. For more in-depth advice, download our communications salary guide.

The average salary across the UK is:

  • London: £90,000 - £150,000
  • Manchester: £90,000 - £120,000
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Bar graph displaying annual salary levels for the Head of Communications role across different organization sizes. The small to medium-sized organizations offer a salary of around £60K, represented by a red bar. Medium-sized organizations offer around £100K, shown by a tan bar, and global organisations offer around £140K, depicted with a green bar.

When to hire a Head of Communications?

In enterprise businesses, the Head of Communications role will often report into a Communications Director. Some businesses will hire a Head of to direct a specific channel. For example, a company might engage a Head of Internal Communications to specifically drive employee engagement. 

If the Director job title doesn't exist in your company, the Head of Comms will report directly to the C-suite - typically the CMO.

Depending on the structure of the team, the Head of will either have part or full control over the strategy. However, the Head of role tends to be more hands-on than a Director. Whether you need a Director or Head of Communications, usually depends on the level of experience you need.

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How should you hire a Head of Comms?

You can hire a Head of Communications on a permanent, full time basis or on a contract. The right option for your organisation depends on your business goals and the communications team structure.

There are a couple of scenarios in which you might need a contract Head of Communications:

  1. Introducing a senior communications role to your business - you might not know what level of experience you need. Hiring someone for a short period allows you to assess if this role is the right fit for your organisation. 
  2. Require project-based support -  with their level of experience, contractors are able to make an immediate impact. For instance, if you're making internal changes - i.e. amending your hybrid working policy - you might hire a Head of Internal Communications on a 6-12 month contract. In this capacity, they can deliver a strategic employee engagement project to create a smooth transition.

Hiring a Head of Communications allows you to integrate the role into your team. On a permanent basis, they're able to lead your team of Communications Managers, plan and execute your strategy.

Why work with the best communications and PR recruitment agency?

There are many reasons why you might want to engage a communications recruiter to support with your search. Read a few examples of the ways we can help your recruitment journey below.

Working with 3Search grants employers access to our extensive network of comms professionals who are passively or actively seeking a new, exciting opportunity. Our recruiters specialise in the industry, so they're always building relationships with candidates across every sector. If you're struggling to find your next Head of Communications, work with 3Search, we're probably already talking to them!

As experienced communications recruiters, we have placed hundreds of comms and PR professionals into leading businesses. Our consultative approach means we can help you craft the right job description and benefits package to attract top applicants.

Allow us to ease the pressures of a communications team build. We specialise in recruiting communications jobs at all levels. Learn more about communications and PR recruitment at 3Search.

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