Total Rewards Director - Global People Team

Human Resources & Talent Acquisition Anywhere, United States Washington, District of Columbia Seattle, Washington Portland, Oregon San Francisco, California


Location: United States - Remote, Portland OR, or Washington DC.  Open to considering candidates based in Bogota, Colombia.

Position Status: Full-time, Exempt, Regular 

The salary range for this role is $100,000 - $125,000 USD Annually.  Salary will be based on local benchmark for candidates outside of the US.

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.

Department Summary

The Global People Team ensures that Mercy Corps has the people, strategies and learning that 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 Director, Total Rewards develops, deploys, and leads compensation, benefits, and wellness programs across the organization, ensuring Mercy Corps’ Total Rewards meet the unique needs of team members in 40+ locations. This position will ensure alignment with the organization’s business objectives through strategic compensation and benefits initiatives, programs, policies, processes, and systems. This individual will research, design, and implement Total Rewards strategies and programs that are aligned and integrated with business plans, which will enhance our talent attraction, retention, performance, and development initiatives globally. This position is also responsible for ensuring Mercy Corps’ compensation and benefit programs are consistently administered in compliance with internal policies and government regulations with a strong emphasis on diversity and equity.

The Director, Total Rewards will be a strategic partner in developing a comprehensive strategy for global compensation and benefits on an international scale. The individual will work with leadership in our 40+ countries to strategically define and implement international benefits and compensation practices and policies with a keen equity lens. A key element of this role focuses on building, maintaining, and strengthening relationships to support a well-integrated and resilient service delivery model.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Work with leadership to guide the People Team’s overall vision and approach, delivering clear actionable plans to achieve department priorities.
  • Influence agency priorities, as well as country and regional strategies, based on compensation and benefits, practical experience and understanding of MC needs, focused on both impact and growth.
  • Identify and implement a vision for a comprehensive Total Rewards Strategy with support for global team members, ensuring coherence across regional teams and the People Team; strategically engage to advance implementation of those plans.
  • Advise country/program teams on compensation and benefit best practices, supported through a global compensation/Total Rewards philosophy.
  • Strategically develop and manage cross-departmental and cross-functional relationships and activities to ensure the compensation and benefit function is well integrated into wider agency objectives.
  • Build and maintain external partnerships agency-wide and serve as key external communicator for Mercy Corps in a wide range of public forums.
  • In collaboration with others on the People Team, identify areas of opportunity to strengthen compensation and benefit operations and proactively offer recommendations to management.
  • Develop strategies to intentionally leverage Total Rewards to promote agency Diversity and Equity goals


  • Consistently demonstrate flexibility, resilience, and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure, even under challenging or difficult circumstances.
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
  • Nurture Mercy Corps’ culture by promoting the development and advancement of ideas allowing for new and unique approaches to problem-solving within existing policy and procedural requirements.
  • Provide leadership in all areas of compensation and benefits; establish policies and strategy in support of Mercy Corps’ Total Rewards philosophy.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of personal strengths and development needs.


  • Create and monitor salary structures and classifications while ensuring practices are compliant with applicable laws and regulations, and ensure they are in alignment with the organization’s overall strategic objectives and vision.
  • Manage pay structures through salary survey analysis to ensure appropriate and competitive compensation programs and standards are in place.
  • Manage and develop global compensations policies.
  • Provide management oversight for base pay and bonus programs globally including merit pay, bonus plans, promotions, and salary changes.
  • Advise and partner with department leaders, HR Officers, and recruiters on compensation-related matters such as benchmarking new positions, job offers, promotions, internal transfers, and department restructures.
  • Report on, and ensure compliance with, applicable regulations such as Fair Pay Affirmative Action, EEO, Oregon Equal Pay Act, etc.


  • Develop and execute Mercy Corps’ global benefit strategy; partner with brokers to develop programs which are cost effective, supportive of team members, and in line with current benefit trends.
  • Manage all Benefits programs, including medical, dental, vision, life, disability, retirement, expatriate benefits and voluntary benefits.
  • Organize, lead and manage Benefits Open Enrollment to include communications and materials, coordination and scheduling of meetings and travel, system configuration support, system testing and conducting benefit meetings and webinars for team members globally.
  • Establish/maintain effective employee communications on benefits topics including conducting benefit orientations.
  • Work with insurance carriers to resolve escalated issues regarding eligibility and claims.
  • Ensure all executable vendor contracts are up-to-date and accessible to internal stakeholders.
  • With Global Administrative Assistant - Total Rewards, maintain the HRIS system, including troubleshooting file feeds to vendors, ensuring data integrity by resolving data errors or discrepancies.
  • Ensure all benefit plans comply with organizational policy and procedures, as well as regulatory requirements (ERISA, DOL, IRS, ACA, HIPAA, OSHA, ADA, FMLA, etc.).
  • Analyze workers’ compensation injury reports and participate in workplace injury prevention and risk reduction.
  • Strategically manage the Enhanced Family Leave Policy, as well as all statutory leaves, at Mercy Corps.
  • Conduct periodic audits of global benefit programs, procedures, policies, and workflows to ensure efficiency and compliance; develop processes to improve department and end user efficiency and enhance overall process productivity.
  • Participate in Plan Administration Committee (PAC) meetings ensuring PAC members are well informed of 403(b) retirement plan performance, participation, and activities.


  • Participate within the larger People Team, and agency, to share ideas, develop standard practices and implement best practices across Mercy Corps programs.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence and continued learning.
  • Develop the capacity of the People Team as it relates to the Total Rewards function.
  • Supervise the Global Total Rewards Administrative Assistant role by providing coaching as well as development opportunities and performance evaluations.


  • Communicate Total Rewards strategy and overall benefits more broadly internally, and work with the Talent team to incorporate into the employment brand strategy.
  • Track key initiatives, identify appropriate metrics, and track progress towards meeting established objectives, with an eye towards constant improvement.
  • Support in maintaining collaborative relationships with Mercy Corps’ leaders to ensure clear mutual understanding of People Team priorities.
  • Collaborate with Mercy Corps Europe’s Human Resource Team to ensure a mutually supportive approach to compensation and benefits.

Supervisory Responsibility

Sr. Compensation Advisor, Total Rewards Administrative Assistant


Reports Directly To: Chief People Officer
Works Directly With: Global Human Resources, Global Talent, and other People Team COE’s, Corporate Finance, Global Regional Directors and Teams.

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 Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • Minimum of 7+ years of experience managing Total Rewards (compensation & benefits) programs, designed to meet the needs of a globally dispersed workforce.
  • BA/BS in Human Resources, Business Administration, or related field, preferred.
  • International experience in Compensation and Benefits required.
  • Ability to recognize and demonstrate sensitivity to team members’ personal situations.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and maintain composure in stressful situations.
  • Proven track record of successfully managing multiple priorities in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Strong analytical skills and a thorough knowledge of compensation and benefit plan designs.
  • Ability to understand how to leverage benefit, wellness, and compensation programs to align with industry duty of care best practices.
  • Proven experience and intermediate skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Google Suites, as well as project management tools.
  • Knowledge of all pertinent federal and state regulations, filing and compliance requirements, both adopted and pending, affecting employee benefit and compensation programs, including but not limited to the ACA, ERISA, COBRA, FMLA, ADA, Section 125, workers compensation, Medicare, Social Security, FLSA, Oregon Equal Pay Act, DOL requirements, etc.

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 HQ and other global staff. 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 effective communication is a priority in all situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position can be based in Washington DC, or Portland, OR. It requires minimal international travel in support of Mercy Corps programs, though up to 10% travel domestically can be expected. This position may be asked to travel on occasion with little notice.

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 on the basis of 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 Interagency 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.

Covid-19 Vaccine Policy for US-Based Employees

Mercy Corps has determined that, in an effort to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all Mercy Corps employees working in the United States, all U.S.-based employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, regardless of prior COVID-19 infection status. This policy is necessary to ensure not only the safety of our workforce, but the ongoing functionality of the organization.

This policy will be revised as needed to comply with federal, state, and local requirements, and to respond to changing guidance from public health authorities. 

For new employees this requirement goes into effect within 10 business days of employment.  Team members that travel are expected to comply with host-country requirements, including vaccinations.  Failure to comply may impact your employment.  Proof of vaccination or exemption must be provided.