Deputy Head HR Services

Médecins Sans Frontières
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Full time Staff

About Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) 

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent, medical humanitarian, emergency relief organisation that provides assistance to people worldwide, regardless of their background, religion or political convictions. Above all, we aim to save lives and to offer medical humanitarian care to victims of conflict and epidemics. Our staff in the field projects consists mainly of locally recruited staff, but we express international humanitarian solidarity working side by side as national and internationally recruited staff, giving direct medical humanitarian support to people in need.

MSF was founded in 1971 and has gained a strong position as an independent, medical humanitarian organisation working worldwide.

MSF coordinates operations through collaborations between global MSF offices. ‘MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam’ (MSF-OCA) is a partnership between ‘Artsen zonder Grenzen Nederland’ (MSF-Holland) MSF-UK, MSF-India and MSF-Germany. MSF-OCA operates medical humanitarian interventions in about 25 countries with about 80 projects. Annually, MSF-OCA deploys approximately 800 international staff and employs 10,000 national staff.

The Role

Objectives of the position

  • To manage the operations of HR Services including tools, systems, project implementation, policies and administration.
  • To work extensively with primary partners for MSF-OCA interests, on reporting duties, accountability for plans and actions, target setting and OCA HR management meetings.
  • To support – in collaboration with Head of Department HR Field – the MSFOCA staffing goals as outlined in the Strategic Plan 2020-2023.
  • To lead the HR Services team of approximately 30-35 FTE, including HR Office, Back Office/Payroll (HR4U) and HR Excellence (Compensations & Benefits, Data Analytics & Reporting).

Main Characteristics

  • Strives for Operational Excellence in HR office and field; improving HR systems, processes, structures and procedures and to make it more effective and efficient and ensure a flawless execution.
  • Maintains an HR dashboard (HR analytics) that supports management to manage people and organisation.
  • Develops the annual HR (Services) plan for the MSF-Holland organization and OCA.
  • Provides input to the Head of Department HR Field with relation to the overall HR strategy.
  • Manages, coaches, develops and motivates their team and create a working environment where people can contribute and develop.
  • Manages the implementation, execution and monitoring of HRM policies, instruments and activities within MSF OCA and other MSF intersectional initiatives.
  • Oversees and steers the chain of all HR administrative processes to ensure coherent and complete HRM administration across OCA and MSF-Holland as well as further guiding the implementation and functioning of HR-IT systems and tools.
  • In collaboration with Head of Department HR Field, ensures synergy on projects impacting international staffing.
  • Executes performance management to ensure all staff is fully accountable and acknowledged for their actions and results.
  • Optimises common frameworks, tools and processes for various HR processes.
  • Working closely with the Head of Learning & Development, designs proactive talent and succession plans for employees within pools and monitor progress.
  • Represents OCA’s interests in various HR platforms to flag issues, promote cohesive approaches and share lessons learned, with the objective of ensuring excellent quality support to operations.
  • Responsible for leading HR activities specific to MSF Holland, in cooperation with the Head of Department HR Field and the Interim – Delegate Director.
  • Self-starter with persistent quality improvement skills.

Person Specification

  • Results orientation
  • Group Leadership
  • Coaching
  • Planning & organizing
  • Management control
  • Networking
  • Vision
  • Organizational sensitivity
  • Initiative


  • Degree in HR management or substantial experience in HR at a senior level.
  • In-depth knowledge of Dutch Labour Law and HR best practices.
  • Knowledge of HR systems and databases.
  • Experience working in a fast-paced, demanding, and changing working environment.
  • Experience working in an international environment.
  • Excellent command of the English and Dutch language.
  • People-oriented and results-driven.
  • MSF experience is preferred with a proven senior management track record.
Closing date: 
17th February 2020