People and Administration Director - DRC

Human Resources & Talent Acquisition Goma, Congo, Democratic Republic Of (Was Zaire)


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 partner 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

The Human Resource / Administrative Department is responsible for providing effective HR /Admin policies, procedures, and people-friendly guidelines and support within Mercy Corps DRC. This includes but is not limited to lead the support on: Talent Acquisition & development; employee engagement coordination; country wide training & learning management; compensation & benefits administration; country wide performance management oversight; disciplinary & grievance handling; staff data management; staff disengagement management and 3rd party service provision management; guest houses management, protocol / admin support.

General Position Summary

The People and Admin Director provides leadership of the human resource and organizational development function in Mercy Corps DRC. This position ensures the overall provision and high level standard of HR services, policies, and programs for the DRC Country Office. This includes Developing, implementing and managing HR and Admin processes and procedures in accordance with DRC policy laws / standards; leadership of the People & Admin Team; Supporting the driving of initiatives and projects aimed at ensuring the MC DRC Team is implementing the Global People Team Strategy and that the DRC Team is as happy & productive as possible at all times; and ensuring HR and Admin documentation is compliant with all donor policies. The People Director builds the capacity of all team members across the country team. S/he provides support and advises the Country Director on HR issues. The People Director works closely with all staff including Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and Program Managers to bring efficiency in HR procedures.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Alongside the Country Director and the Global People Team establish the annual HR and Admin work plan, set priorities, monitor work progress and ensure results are achieved according to schedule and set standards
  • Liaise with HQ, regional and country offices to support and contribute to HR and Admin strategy formulation
  • Provide technical leadership to the country HR and Admin team including reviewing and supervising the work of the HR team and setting of annual capacity development plans for each team member
  • Strategic oversight of all Mercy Corps Human Resources processes inclusive of Talent acquisition and development, Recruitment & Selection, performance management, Compensation and benefits, Employee relations, HR Policy and processes, grievances and counselling and stakeholder Management.
  • Strategi oversight of all Mercy Corps Admin processes inclusive of managing protocols, administration, guest houses, legal support to Operations team and to all the mission
  • Develop, implement and monitor the interpretation and application of new human resources systems, practices and procedures
  • Work closely with country HR teams to integrate assigned staff into existing policies and procedures. When needed, develop complementary procedures that reflect the needs of programming, while maintaining compliance with locally applicable HR laws and regulations.
  • Make sure that the National Employee Handbook for staff operating is updated and revised in line with latest Labor Law. Make sure that additional clarity is given to the National Employee Handbook in order to provide needed details.
  • Remain informed, on an ongoing basis, about current and changing HR related laws, policies and “best practices” to ensure that current and future personnel policies, employment practices, and compensation packages are within the limits of established standards, procedures, guidelines and policies of Mercy Corps, as well as national laws.


  • Help design optimal program and shared services staffing plans at international and national level
  • Support the Recruitment Specialist to develop and implements a country-level recruitment strategy that is inclusive of gender and diversity, etc. This includes setting clear performance indicators (or targets) and regularly monitoring progress
  • Ensure recruiting and hiring practices are in compliance with government regulations and organizational policies
  • Work with the Department and Program Directors to ensure all hiring requests are completed according to Recruiting Policies and Procedures;
  • Ensure that exit process for staff departing Mercy Corps is conducted in line with the HR policies and Mercy Corps requirements;
  • Work with the SLT, department heads and program managers to ensure org charts for programs and operations exist and positions are covered within budgets. Ensuring strategic reviews of org structure by team/dept. are conducted on a semi-regular basis and recommendations on adjustments provided as required.
  • Oversee the management and archiving of recruitment related exchanges between hiring teams, HR, and candidates.
  • In liaison with HQ, organize and help with the onboarding process for new hires and for the existing staff;
  • Ensure that orientation is conducted for each new hired national and expatriate staff;
  • Lead on developing and implementing consistent systems of new staff induction, and service requests between HR and other departments.


  • Provide innovative country level compensation philosophy
  • Ensure all country staff are covered on all relevant insurances
  • Review salary scales & benefits packages and benchmark against the market on every two-year basis and ensuring that our salary / benefits package are competitive
  • Ensure all merit based pay increases are done as and when required
  • Conduct job evaluations on new and existing positions and manage country wide job audits to ensure equity and competitiveness within the job market
  • Provide required support during assigned expatriate recruitment activities


  • Act as HR partner to all Mercy Corps DRC Team members
  • Using available HR data agree and deploy annual employee relations calendars to provide a positive employer-employee relationship and promote a high level of employee morale and motivation within our offices.
  • Ensure effective implementation of MC DRC performance management system
  • Support management’s goal of continuous capacity development of national staff through the provision of internal and external trainings.
  • HR focal person during internal compliance activities including of routine audits, investigations and disciplinary meetings
  • Alongside our legal counsel, support the management of all human resource related legal issues in compliance with DRC labor law.
  • Proactively update senior management on any issues & grievances and ensure efficient and transparent solutions that protect both Mercy Corps DRC Team members and Mercy Corps interests in accordance with policies, regulations and procedures
  • During all parts of the human resource life cycle, promote the Mercy Corps DRC goals and targets for gender equity and cultural diversity
  • Manage and maintain office/work spaces in such a way that fosters a harmonious work environment that reinforces Mercy Corps’ culture of innovation, influence and impact


  • Approve the identification of new guesthouses/office building as needed and support the Admin Manager to manage contractual negotiations and arrangements with property owners.
  • Ensure that the guest houses management is followed and well supported by the Admin Manager
  • Support the Admin Manager to ensure that all official documents such as visas and identification of international personnel are secured and renewed in a timely manner and the list of pending visas and other official documents is updated weekly.
  • Ensure that Mercy Corps obtains all necessary registrations, permissions and documentation for smooth operation of Mercy Corps in the DRC, and ensure renewal as necessary in a timely manner.
  • Advise Head of department on the current best practices in the DRC, as well as current legislation relating to tax laws, visas, travel restrictions, customs services and labor code,
  • Advise the Country Director, heads of projects and other management staff on government policies and procedures, the taxation system and the interaction with the government.
  • In close coordination with the Lawyer, ensure that Mercy Corps’ DRC staff regulations, contracts, documentation, policies and procedures are in line with the laws of the DR Congo and in compliance with Mercy Corps and Donor regulations.
  • Ensure that any process that is legally binding Mercy Corps’ DRC office is as riskless as possible.
  • Ensure that the Country Office has the necessary network of contacts to smoothly operate


  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback and assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

Organizational Learning

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.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

Supervisory Responsibility: The HR / Admin Department and Team

            Reports Directly to: Country Director

            Works Directly with: Senior Management team, HQ HR Team, HQ Talent Acquisition Team, Program and Department Leads, hiring managers

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor degree or equivalent in relevant field, masters preferred
  • 6- 10 years of professional HR experience, including at least 5 years as a manager or business partner, preferably 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 Democratic Republic of Congo 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, EC, DFID regulations is considered an advantage.
  • Excellent negotiation and representation skills.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications.
  • Excellent oral and written in French and English skills required; proficiency in Swahili is a plus.
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Demonstrated understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns, and appropriate responses to such emergencies.

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 ability to multitask, 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 crisis of our times.  S/he will face challenges with a smile and light heartedness. 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 emphasis the value of joy and curiosity.  The team enjoys a great sense of humor and appreciates sharing meals amongst colleagues.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Goma, DRC and could be accompanied posting.

Travel up to 30%

The position is based in Goma, DRC and it requires travels to various locations within North and South Kivu, Oriental Province and all DRC. While conditions in the country are improving, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity and petty crime is present. Mercy Corps' offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Years of conflict and corruption have badly damaged the country's infrastructure. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is limited, but available in all Mercy Corps’ offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with several evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods.

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.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision.  Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.