Bilingual Senior Officer, Human Resources in Emergencies

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Nairobi, Kenya

Experience: 5 to 10 Years

Skill Required: HR and Admin

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, with a network of 192-member National Societies. The overall aim of the IFRC is “to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.”  The IFRC works to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people before, during and after disasters, health emergencies and other crises.

IFRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement), together with its member National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The work of the IFRC is guided by the following fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.

IFRC is led by its Secretary General, and has its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The Headquarters are organized into three main Divisions: (i) National Society Development and Operations Coordination; (ii) Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization; and (iii) Management Policy, Strategy and Corporate Services.

IFRC has five regional offices in Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and the Americas.  IFRC also has country cluster delegation and country delegations throughout the world. Together, the Geneva Headquarters and the field structure (regional, cluster and country) comprise the IFRC Secretariat.

Job Purpose

Senior Officer HR in Emergencies – under line management of the Regional HR Manager will provide –seamless, high quality, value-adding HR in emergencies services and advice that support response operations while ensuring fair and consistent treatment of employees and compliance with HR policies and procedures. H/She will also work closely with the Regional team in Health, Disasters, Climate & Crises (HDCC)Unit in managing rosters of IFRC-wide regional response capacity, including regional HR assets available for emergency response deployments. 

Job Duties and Responsibilities

Human Resource (HR) Coordination:

  • Provide inputs to Emergency Plans of Action (EPOA) for Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) or Emergency Appeals from a HR perspective when the same are circulated by the HDCC Unit to all units for technical review.
  • Attend Joint Task Force meetings and hold regular operations meetings with the HDCC Unit to determine HR needs of various operations and, where necessary, remain on call for additional or continued HR support to emergency operations.
  • Support the development and the implementation of staffing strategies to support emergency operations and ensure the timely provision of HR solutions to meet anticipated challenges in disaster-prone countries by participating in the definition of workforce plans and recruitment needs.
  • Provide support to various IFRC offices and operations teams in drafting job descriptions and identifying job requirements and grading positions required for emergency operations.
  • Participate in the recruitment process for positions relating to emergency operations including shortlisting candidates for interview, participating in the interview panels, calculating remuneration offers and conducting relevant negotiations with selected candidates.
  • Pinpoint and define job profiles for easy access to pre-classified job descriptions on the designated IFRC intranet.
  • Where required, travel to affected countries to conduct HR needs assessments, and act as a back-up for HR resourcing pending mobilization of a suitable profile to ensure adequate in-country HR capacity.
  • When deployed, contribute to building the capacity of National Society HR practitioners via transfer of knowledge and coaching on HR policies, procedures, guidelines, systems and tools.
  • In coordination with the Regional HR Manager, provide proactive advice and support to HR counterparts in countries affected by disasters and crises on the application of policies, procedures, systems, and best practices as needed.
  • Support the transitioning of ongoing emergency operations into recovery phase or long-term programming and perform appropriate handover of the HR file assigned to the IFRC office.
  • Support operational reviews and real time evaluations, and captured lessons learned on HR aspects to inform improvements to future deployments.

Emergency Preparedness and Response

  • Provide back up support for emergency response in HR as and when requested
  • Provide support on emergency deployment including regional Disaster Response Teams (RDRT) in close collaboration with Technical Departments

Capacity Building and staff Development

  • In coordination with the relevant programme heads, implement timely and effective staff learning and development programmes and briefing on career management to international staff in the office in order to strengthen their capacity building and advance career development planning.
  • Identify training and learning needs in consultation with line managers.
  • Plan and arrange workshops/learning programmes for competency building in the field staff and National society



  • 5+ years of professional HR management experience, with at least three years as HR generalist. 
  • Demonstrated HR professional experience in an international matrix organization (Movement, INGO, NGO, humanitarian sector) is required. 
  • Experience with Business Partnering, performance and talent management. 
  • Experience managing and delivering human resources programs/projects and reports. 
  • Experience in facilitating and supporting management/HR/admin personnel in HR related matters. 


  • Experience working in a Red Cross or Red Crescent National Society and/or IFRC or ICRC. 

Knowledge, Skills and Languages


  • Self-supporting in computers (Email, Internet, spread sheets, word-processing, etc.).
  • Group process facilitation skills, coordination skills.
  • Skills in mentoring and developing people.
  • Ability to work in empowering and participative ways.
  • Open to learning and committed to acting on learning and sharing experiences.
  • Able to work under stressful conditions and meet tight deadlines.
  • Excellent multi-cultural, interpersonal, communication and networking skills.
  • Fluently spoken and written English and French.