International Rescue Committee (IRC) – Senior Director, Global Employee Relations.

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Requisition ID: req28363

Job Title: Senior Director, Global Employee Relations

Sector: Human Resources

Employment Category: Regular

Employment Type: Full-Time

Open to Expatriates: No

Location: Nairobi, IHUB, Kenya; Remote

Job Description


The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, IRC offers life-saving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in more than 40 countries and more than 25 U.S. cities, IRC restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted by conflict or disaster. IRC leads the way from harm to home.

IRC Global Human Resources supports a global workforce of approximately 36,000 including employees and auxiliary staff through a direct and matrix management structure balanced globally, regionally, and locally.


The Senior Director, Global Employee Relations will contribute to the creation of a positive vision of Employee Relations at the IRC. They will oversee all related global Employee Relations policy, practice, and process; the global Employee Relations caseloads and related assignments; and oversight of workplace case reviews and examinations as well as serious workplace safeguarding investigations. The Senior Director, Global Employee Relations will also provide consultation and collaboration across the full spectrum of Human Resources issues, providing feedback to and linkage with all functional components of Human Resources. By serving as a primary point of contact for significant Employee Relations issues, the Senior Director, Global Employee Relations will coordinate with other HR functions to ensure cohesion with our practices, procedures, polices and processes with a particular focus and sensitivity to our Duty of Care, Safeguarding, and Gender, Diversity, Equality and Inclusion standards and requirements.


Employee Relations Leadership

  • Responsible for assuring that the IRC Way: Our Standards of Professional Conduct and all other IRC employee related policies reflect best practices across the HR discipline, including an inclusive, people-centered approach that infuses all the work we do. Acts as the primary Human Resources technical lead on matters related to Respect at Work, Workplace Harassment, Anti-Retaliation, and other related policies
  • Acts as the IRC lead on all Workplace Safeguarding matters from strategy design through case reviews, case closure, management action recommendations and trend reporting and analysis
  • Liaise with program management and regional leadership on appropriate levels of case reporting, trending, and analysis
  • Owner of US Employee Handbook and responsible for ensuring country HR handbooks model US standards or greater, where appropriate and are current, accurate and compliant with local law
  • Owner of employment policies and responsible for ensuring country employment policies model US standards or greater, where appropriate and are current, accurate and compliant with federal and local laws
  • Serves as a member of the Human Resources leadership team contributing to Human Resources and organizational direction and focus

Employee Relations Management

  • Conducts Human Resources needs assessments and makes recommendations for interventions based on industry and humanitarian sector best practices
  • Acts as the primary Human Resources partner to the Ethics and Compliance Unit to triage and assign incoming Employee Relations matters including non-HR cases that require Human Resources technical support and partnership with a special attention to Sexual Harassment and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
  • Responsible for partnering with HR Partners who are assigned breaches of IRC Way and policy violation cases and for ensuring cases are thoroughly reviewed, properly documented, and brought to resolution
  • Responsible for personally owning unique, complex and/or highly confidential Human Resources breaches of IRC Way or other Employee Relations cases, including deep in-country investigation missions
  • Advise and make recommendations to Human Resources and line management on matters related to disciplinary action, in line with labor laws and IRC values
  • Acts as the primary strategic employment policy partner with the General Counsel’s office
  • Partner with the Duty of Care, Safeguarding, and Gender Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Units, and related Employee Resource Groups to assure that all Employee Relations policies, practices, and procedures are appropriately sensitive, contextualized, and supportive
  • Partner with the Ethics & Compliance Unit to further evolve the shared technology and reporting vehicles needed to support the global Human Resources function

Employee Relations Communications, Training & Education

  • Responsible for assessing and building Country HR Lead Employee Relations case management capacity with a full suite of adult learning approaches and on the ground training delivery
  • Acts as a policy education and interpretation consultant to Human Resources and line management
  • Responsible for proactive, preventative, and multi-lingual US and global policy communications and education
  • Develop and contribute to Talent Management’s on-boarding and management development curriculum
  • Responsible for assuring that US and country level intranet content is current, accurate and informative
  • Further develop new and innovative means to communicate with global employees on Employee Relations matters
  • In partnership with General Counsel’s office and HR Partners, responsible for understanding, interpreting, and communicating to Human Resources and line management around all national and local applicable employment laws

Key Working Relationships

Position Reports to: Chief Human Resources Officer

Direct Reports: a cadre of 8 – 10 Safeguarding and Employee Relations Specialist, Case Management and Training roles

Key Internal Relationships

  • IRC Global and Regional HR Partners
  • IRC Global Program Leadership
  • IRC Duty of Care
  • IRC Ethics and Compliance Unit
  • IRC Office of the General Counsel
  • IRC Safety & Security

Key External Relationships:

·       Global outside counsel

·       Global NGOs for case reviews, benchmarking, and best practice

·       Global NGO regulatory agencies

Job Requirements:

·       Minimum of 15 years of progressive global Human Resources or strongly related experience with at least 5 years of specific Employee Relations experience required

·       Knowledge and demonstrated application of relevant domestic US and international employment laws, regulations, and trends

·       A commitment to the humanitarian mission and demonstrated professional work experience that upholds the highest values of the organization. Prior work experience in the humanitarian or development sector preferred

·       Ability to establish and nurture collaborative relationships across functions, disciplines, and countries, in a multi-cultural and diverse work environment; adept at incorporating cultural perspectives

·       An appropriate combination of education and work experience in Human Resource management and Employee Relations is required, a JD or master’s degree in labor relations, conflict resolution, international relations or other applicable fields is a significant advantage

·       Ability to operate at advanced levels of authority and manage significant activities and resources to produce and take responsibility for results

·       Change management and process improvement experience across global settings

·       Acumen in successful conflict resolution

·       Proven risk management mindset in resolving complex Employee Relations issues; ability to drive creative, holistic outcomes that balance employee and organizational interests

·       Demonstrated success in influencing policy and disciplinary action decisions

·       Demonstrated excellence in writing and developing policies and procedures is required

·       Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and concisely both verbally and in writing, and lead presentations, training courses, and effective meetings

·       Experience in and a commitment to incorporating employee engagement, diversity and inclusion and gender equality in all facets of work

  • Demonstrated capability to continuously multitask in high-pressure and insecure environments, while simultaneously exhibiting resilience in resisting stress, valuing, and pursuing personal work-life balance and leading with a staff care lens

·       Able to operate independently where appropriate, with a keen professional sense of when to escalate issues

·       Availability to travel approximately 25% both planned and unplanned to all global IRC locations

·       Reachable during non-traditional work hours

·       English proficiency required; French, Arabic or Spanish proficiency is a strong plus


The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Accountability & Service. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity Anti-Retaliation and Combating Trafficking in Persons.




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