HR Advisor - Yemen

Human Resources Sana'a, Yemen


About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.
In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we collaborate to put bold solutions
into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps seeks to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression around the world and has worked in the Middle East since the 1980s. Yemen is in the midst a major humanitarian crisis impacting the entire country. In response to acute and increasing humanitarian needs in Yemen, Mercy Corps opened its office in Yemen in 2010. More than 22 million people are need and reliance on humanitarian assistance continues to grow. The main thrust of the work of Mercy Corps along with its national and international partners is to meet urgent humanitarian needs across the country while building resilience and social cohesion. Strategies to enhance the resilience of communities to the harsh environmental and social conditions in the country cut across the portfolio.

General Position Summary

The HR Advisor is responsible for ensuring comprehensive Human Resources support for all assigned team members. The HR Advisor ensures compliance with donor regulations, legal requirements and Mercy Corps' internal policies and procedures. The HR Advisor builds the capacity of all team members across the country team. S/he provides support and advises the Country Director on HR issues. The HR Advisor works closely with all team members including Senior Management Team (SMT) and Program Managers to bring efficiency in HR procedures.

Strategy & Vision
  • Support country leadership to set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to countrywide strategy development.
  • In collaboration with the HR Manager and country leadership, develop a countrywide HR strategy and ensure mission level HR structure is optimal.
  • Partner with the leadership to ensure that there is an appropriate HR structure is in place at the level of the mission and also at the program and sub-office levels.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Human Resources
  • Support the HR Manager to develop, upgrade, and implement consistent systems for onboarding new team members, and service requests between HR and other departments.
  • Support HR Manager to review and revise HR management systems and procedures, ensuring complete and accurate personnel files and HR data for all team members – including recruitment documents, CVs, valid contracts, PAFs, timesheets, employee data sheets, disciplinary papers, and performance evaluations.
  • Coordinate a comprehensive review of Position Descriptions for all national team members, ensuring harmonization (of roles and responsibilities, reporting lines, required qualifications, etc.) across all MC Yemen offices;
  • Review Mercy Corps Yemen personnel hiring and compensation practices and provide training and support to ensure practices and policy strictly adhere to Mercy Corps policies and Yemen labor law as applicable.
  • Ensure that the National Team Member Handbook is updated and consistent with latest Labor Laws.
  • Using a custom survey, obtain current market data from peer organizations and in collaboration with Global HR, develop an efficient salary range structure for MC Yemen.
  • Provide support to the country HR team to ensure new hires are included within the in-country tracking system to ensure that leave days and salary payments are well tracked, new hires receive all relevant documents upon starting their positions, and all government-required authorizations and documentation are complete and up-to-date.
  • Support the HR Manager to ensure timely and compliant payroll management.

Capacity Building
  • Develop the capacity of HR team members.
  • Work with the Yemen HR team to support implementation, acceptance, and adherence to new policies and systems.
  • Assist the program team and departments to understand their roles and responsibilities in terms of interaction with the Human Resources department, including training, regular coordination meetings, problem-solving and necessary planning activities to ensure effective and timely program implementation.

Recruiting and Onboarding
  • In partnership with field leadership and the Global People team, develop a comprehensive recruitment strategy resulting in MC ability to hire top local talent.
  • Support recruitment processes for all national positions including advertising, short listing of CVs and interviews.  
  • Work with the Yemen HR team and program managers to ensure all hiring requests are complete according to Recruiting Policies and Procedures of MC Yemen.
  • Certify the hiring process adheres to national labor law and other laws as applicable including appropriate tax regulations, benefits, vetting of candidates before hiring etc.
  • In partnership with the Global people team, ensure that orientation is conducted for each newly hired national and expatriate team members consistent with global guidance including MC Essentials, Code of Conduct and Security and a review of all relevant policies and handbooks.

  • As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility: NA


Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly with: HR Manager, Operations Director, Finance Manager, Security Advisor, Country Director,  Program Managers, and HQ People Team colleagues.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor degree or equivalent in relevant field, masters preferred
  • 5 - 6 years of professional HR experience, including at least 5 years in the Humanitarian NGO sector.
  • Experience managing or advising a multi-national HR function.
  • Understanding and experience navigating multiple regulatory sources (labor laws, donor requirements, etc) and developing HR policies and procedures that ensure compliance with each.
  • Demonstrated understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns and appropriate responses with experience in the Middle East and in insecure environments.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines and working and problem-solving independently and cooperatively.
  • Knowledge of donor regulations including USAID, GAC, DFID regulations is considered an advantage.
  • Excellent negotiation and representation skills.
  • Effective verbal and written English communication skills, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications; proficiency in Arabic is a plus.
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.

Success Factors

Critical problem-solving skills, and the ability to work out methods to deliver successful programs while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor regulations. Maintaining strong cooperating relationships with other departments is crucial. A successful candidate will have the ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity and demonstrate an ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. S/he will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment and be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites. The successful candidate will have a desire to grow and learn in one of the most interesting and complex crises of our times. S/he will face challenges with a smile and lightheartedness. The successful candidate will be comfortable in asking colleagues for help as well as stepping out of her/his role to assist others. The Mercy Corps team is one that emphasizes the value of joy and curiosity. The team enjoys a great sense of humor and appreciates sharing meals amongst colleagues.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Sana’a, Yemen and requires up to 40% travel to other locations in the region. The role is unaccompanied, and housing is in group housing in an austere environment. The team member must follow all security protocols at all times. This position is eligible for R&R breaks and hardship.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs, and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.