Director People Team Europe - UK

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


Location: London or Edinburgh,  UK - also possibility for remote-working from anywhere in the UK
Position Status Full-time, Permanent
hiring range: £63,840 - £79,800 placement in range informed by professional experience 
Candidates must have the independent right to work in the UK at the time of appointment 


About Mercy Corps 


Mercy Corps supports communities – and the most marginalised within them – to emerge from crisis in the face of conflict and climate change, and build towards a more inclusive, resilient future.   


Mercy Corps works on the front lines of crises as a multi-mandate organisation that provides access to humanitarian aid, development, and peace assistance in places affected by conflict and climate change.   


Our mission is to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Beyond delivering aid to meet urgent needs, we develop long-term solutions to make lasting change possible, making it easier for affected communities to access resources, services, and opportunities that support them to cope, adapt, and ultimately thrive.   


In more than 40+ countries around the world, over 5,400+ team members work side by side with people living through poverty, disaster, violent conflict, and the acute impacts of climate change. We’re committed to creating global change through local impact — 84% of our team members are from the countries where they work.   


As conflict and the climate crisis further deepen challenges across the globe, Mercy Corps is steadfast in our commitment to sparking new possibilities alongside our partners, communities we serve, and dedicated supporters 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, and development 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 Director, People Team works closely with Executive Director and the European Senior Leadership Team (ESLT) to lead the European People Team. They are also a member of the People Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and will have a dual reporting line to the VP, People Team.  The Director will define, drive, develop, and implement People team strategies and culture change  that align with MCE strategy and global People Team priorities in support of Mercy Corps’ transformative Pathways to Possibility (P2P) strategy. The post-holder's responsibilities extend to all Mercy Corps’ offices in Europe and include ensuring full legal and regulatory compliance across all jurisdictions and working effectively with other stakeholders to ensure a positive employee experience and an organizational culture where talented people want to come to work and can thrive.  


Essential Responsibilities 



         Advocates for and represents all areas of Mercy Corps’ People strategy. Actively participate as a strategic leader and member of the Mercy Corps Europe (MCE) senior leadership team and People Team SLT. 


         Works with the Executive Director to guide the overall vision and approach of the People Team in MCE, delivering clear actionable plans aligned with needs and the context for MCE, and gain support/ownership for that agenda with key stakeholders. 


         Build a strong, people-focused team in Europe characterized by high-level of trust, engagement, innovation and creativity who are aligned to the vision and have the skills and motivation to deliver it. 


         Strategically develops and manages cross-departmental and cross-functional relationships and activities to ensure that the people function is well integrated into wider agency objectives. 


         Design, develop and lead the People function for Mercy Corps in Europe, supporting the Executive Director in Europe to deliver on the European Strategic Plan.  


         Oversee the expansion of MCE into new countries in Europe and ensure full HR compliance in all European legal jurisdictions in which Mercy Corps operates.   


         Set and track annual KPIs as part of the three-year strategic plan for Mercy Corps in Europe, providing this data monthly and quarterly to the Executive Director in Europe and supporting with reporting to the Board as required.   


         Lead the compensation benchmarking across all European markets and benchmark individual roles within the pay bands, ensuring there are clear guidelines for all staff on how to position staff within bands, support career development and ensure staff are trained to manage staff according to the Mercy Corps progression approach.  


         Ensure our benefits align with vision to ensure we remain an employer of choice able to attract, develop, and retain talent.  


         Support Senior Leadership Team in Europe to promote team member wellbeing and build the culture which will support us to deliver on the Mercy Corps strategy.  


         Serve as a trusted and credible advisor to managers and team members on a wide range of HR-related topics, including performance management, team member development, All Voices survey and leadership development 


         Leverage and supports ongoing communication campaigns to strengthen the People team brand throughout appropriate digital, social media and in-person avenues within the agency. Apply lessons learned and best practices to achieve this objective at the country and regional level. 


         Partner with the Employee Relations Team to ensure strategic decision-making and compliance in all performance and conduct related issues. 


         Leads and assists in the development and planning of organizational change/transformation, leading identification/framing of problems, creation of trusting relationships, and action plan fulfillment. 


         Works with the People team leadership team to develop and implement organization-wide HR policies and programs and ensure that they are consistently applied across the region. 


         Adopts a data and evidence-based approach to identify trends and areas for improvement and providing recommendations to senior leadership on how to address any issues or concerns. 


         Actively promoting the organization's diversity and inclusion initiatives and working with the European Senior Leadership Team (ESLT) and the People team functions to develop programs and initiatives that support a diverse and inclusive workplace. 


         In addition to these specific responsibilities, the Director, People Team must possess strong leadership skills, excellent communication and interpersonal abilities, and a deep understanding of HR best practices and regulations. They must also be able to work effectively in a fast-paced and dynamic environment and be able to adapt to changing business needs and priorities. 



Supervisory Responsibility 

Human Resources Business Partners Mercy Corps Europe  




Reports Directly To: Executive Director MCE, and the VP, People Team  

Works Directly With: ESLT, Total Rewards, Talent Management, Leadership and Learning, Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations, People Operations, People Systems, Corporate Finance; Ethics, Legal and other teams as needed. 


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  


         10 years of Human Resources experience in global roles with a bachelor’s degree in HR or related field.  

         CIPD (or equivalent) qualified to Level 7 is highly desirable. 

         A minimum of 7 years international HR experience. 

         Understanding of the HR legal requirements in UK and mainland European countries, especially Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, and France. Knowledge of Germany an advantage.  

         Exposure to INGO or similar international organisation is highly preferable. 

         Experience leading a diverse team across geographies for at least five years. 

         Demonstrated capacity to utilize analytics and technology to improve efficiency. 

         Demonstrated capacity to incorporate best in class assessment approaches in global organization. 

         Demonstrated experience and ability to create, implement, maintain, and improve HR processes. 

         Experience of improving team member wellbeing, through support initiatives and working practices that gets the best from all team members and increases engagement and trust.  

         Experience of working as part of a global organization with specific responsibilities for a region and working within a matrix management structure and reporting to more than one manager. 

         Experience of overseeing benchmarking, establishing salary/job bands, and managing movement of staff within the bands across multiple legal jurisdictions 

         Demonstrated understanding of working in Europe, and significant experience with the challenges of operating and managing HR functions in the region. 

         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. 

         Fluency in written and spoken French and another European language is desirable.  



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 onsite and collaborate with team members, deliver compelling designs within the guidelines of specific project objectives, and interact professionally and productively with all Mercy Corps staff. Additionally, the individual will thrive in a fast-paced environment prone to rapid change and be willing to increase his/her 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 London or Edinburgh or remote home-working location in the UK and will be required to travel to Mercy Corps in Europe’s offices across the UK and the European continent to oversee team members and represent the organization’s European Senior Leadership Team. It requires up to 20% 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 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 do 

es 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 Inter organization 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. 


As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment. 


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.