Vice President - People Team, UK

Human Resources & Talent Acquisition London, London Edinburgh, United Kingdom


Location: London, Edinburgh UK - flexible remote UK base
Salary: starting range Edinburgh: 90K, London: 105K - flexibility based on professional experience 
Position Status: Full-time

Candidates must have the independent right to work in UK at the time of appointment

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse, and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

The Department  

The People Team ensures that Mercy Corps has the people who will enable it to be a world-class, cutting edge, humanitarian organization, creating transformational change in the world. We do this through the recruitment, retention, and development of the best global talent. Our aim is to drive strategic thinking and planning at all levels of the organization; create a robust body of research to guide us internally and externally and steward the organizational culture. To achieve this, we align conversations on learning; keep the organization focused on what has the greatest impact; leverage our comparative advantages in the crowded and competitive international relief and development landscape; and assure we are constantly learning from our work and the external environment.

The Position 

The Vice President, People Team is a newly created role reporting into the Chief People Officer and is part of the People Team SLT. It is responsible for leading the embedded team of HRBPs across the organization, including in Regional/Country Offices, the Talent Acquisition team, and Employee Relations function for Mercy Corps. This role is required to pivot between strategy and driving “day-to-day” execution of the People Team priorities. The incumbent will work in close partnership with the MC Leadership Team, MCE Executive Director Regional, and Country Directors across the organization to support their People priorities.   

The Vice President of People will play a pivotal role in development and implementation of a long-term, integrated people strategy ensuring that the organization has the talent at all levels necessary to support the Mercy Corps Strategy. The incumbent will be accountable for supporting the People Team priorities, including leading the team responsible for implementation of our talent development and management, engagement surveys, performance management and will work to improve essential People processes/systems across the organization.
Essential Responsibilities
  • Serve as an advisor to the organizational leaders in the implementation of the People Team vision and strategy at Mercy Corps. Ensure effective HR solutions are developed to enable the Pathway to Possibility - Mercy Corps’ ten-year strategy. 
  • Partner with country leadership to build outstanding People functions in the countries everywhere Mercy Corps works to ensure all global people priorities are delivered at the highest possible standard in every location Mercy Corps works.
  • Lead the HRBP and TA teams to ensure the organization has the right people, in the right role, with the right competencies, skills and performance, at the right time through effective and innovative recruitment, talent planning and internal movement practices. 
  • Build trust and credibility of the Employee Relations function by proactively addressing complex people management issues (individuals and teams), develop preventive mechanisms and, where needed, co-design interventions, with external support if needed. 
  • Promote teamwork and collaboration by providing the HRBP, TA, Country HR and ER teams with clear direction, objectives, and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively, and efficiently. Invest in developing capabilities of these teams through training, coaching and on the job learning. 
  • Partner with the leadership teams to promote Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion, driving an inclusive culture through the focus areas of gender parity, geographical representation, and inclusion of marginalized groups in the organization. 
  • Champion the team member wellbeing agenda for Mercy Corps, ensuring that policies, systems, and support infrastructure are in place to help team members thrive in situations of day-day stress as well as in extremes. Enhance the Mercy Corps team member experience, working to strengthen an inclusive and collaborative culture that drives higher team members engagement. 
  • Evolve HR policies and practices to optimize workflows, resource allocation and results for People Team, and partners across the organization by developing feedback loops between team members and other People Team departments. 
  • Partners with Talent Management, Leadership and Learning and GDI functions to develop cutting edge practices for headcount planning, recruiting and development of a diverse and engaged team that supports Mercy Corps strategy and builds future capabilities, skills of team members to become the leading humanitarian and development organization in the sector. 
  • Strengthen the overall well-being of team members, through innovative thinking and approaches to professional development, coaching and mentoring and other strategies in partnership with Talent Management, Leadership and Learning teams. 
  • Embody the Values of the organization, foster a positive work environment, respectful of all, and ensure appropriate focus on team wellbeing, diversity, inclusion, and that the highest standards of conduct are observed. 
  • Lead and champion a dynamic learning and development culture, empowering individuals, and teams to identify critical learning needs and partner with the Learning and Leadership team in providing access to relevant learning opportunities. 
  •  Ensures compliance with employment, benefits, insurance, safety, and other laws, regulations, and requirements of the location of operation. In addition, ensures internal policies, procedures, and standards, are adhered to whilst promoting accountability, ethics, and integrity. 
  • Develops approaches to understand team members and organizational needs through more effective HR data to support an evidence-based approach to decision making. 
  • Serve as a thought leader and key spokesperson for human resources development, internally and externally; lead efforts to capture and diffuse innovations, best practices and lessons learned, and create opportunities and incentives for knowledge sharing. 
  • Lead the change management efforts to ensure internal audiences and stakeholders’ groups are fully informed about People Team priorities and how they can leverage them.
  • Develop the capacity of the HRBP, TA and ER teams with a deep understanding of their roles and assist them with career development.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence and continued learning.
  • Participate within the larger People Team, and organization, to share ideas, develop standard practices and implement best practices across Mercy Corps programs. 
Supervisory Responsibility
Sr. Director HRBP and ER, HRBP Directors in Asia, Middle East and Africa, Director of Talent Acquisition, and Director People Team MCE.


Reports Directly to: Chief People Officer
Works Directly With: People Operations, Talent Management, Leadership and Learning, Total Rewards, People Systems and Analytics, GDI; CFO, COO, CECO, General Counsel, MCE ED, Regional Directors, and Country Teams, etc.

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills
  • 12 years of Human Resources experience in global roles with a bachelor’s degree in HR or related field.
  • A minimum of 5 years international experience.
  • Exposure to INGO Programming, Country Operations is highly preferable.
  • Experience leading a diverse and globally dispersed team.
  • Ability to drive change, build coalitions, inspire teams, and implement theory into action.
  • Demonstrated skills of utilizing analytics and technology to improve efficiency.
  • Demonstrated capacity to incorporate best in class assessment approaches in global organization.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading employee relations functions in matrixed organizations.
  • Demonstrated experience and ability to create, implement, maintain, and improve HR processes and foundational infrastructures.
  • Demonstrated passion for staffing in international relief and development environments.
  • Ability to communicate and problem-solve effectively across diverse cultures with sensitivity.
  • Experience facilitating senior level conversations.
Success  Factors 

The successful team member will be an avid learner, self-directed, innovative and action orientated.  Furthermore, they must have the ability to work independently, employ effective time management skills, handle frequent interruptions, and shift priorities, exhibit effective customer service skills, and work effectively with a wide variety of individuals including team members based overseas.  They will have the ability to work in close partnership with and collaborate with team members, deliver compelling designs within the guidelines of specific project objectives, and interact professionally and productively with our global teams worldwide.  Additionally, the individual will thrive in a fast-paced environment prone to rapid change and be willing to increase their responsibility level in the assigned areas.  The most successful Mercy Corps team members have a positive approach, a strong commitment to teamwork and personal accountability and the ability to be flexible and ensure that effective communication is a priority in all situations.

Living / Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Mercy Corps Office or any Mercy Corps location.  It requires up to 20% international travel in support of Mercy Corps programs.  This position may be asked to travel on occasion with little notice.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the organization both during and outside of 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.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient, and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening, and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination based on race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interorganization Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct eLearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis. 

Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.