Current Hiring Practices and Trends in the Development Sector
- BY David Mackenzie
The International Rescue Committee is at a critical juncture. A leading global humanitarian organization since its inception at the request of Albert Einstein in 1933, the IRC is modernizing, with a new strategic mission and vision, and a Strategy Unit that is leading the charge in turning that vision into reality.
As a core member of the Strategy Unit you will enable this organization of more than 12,000 staff to overcome the largest hurdles it faces in putting its new strategy into action. Your work will spread far and wide within the organization and ultimately impact the lives of those who interact with the IRC - 18 million people worldwide in places affected by war and disaster.
You will be expected to find solutions. You will persuade and influence, create and innovate, and use structured thinking and evidence to solve problems where there is no pre-defined methodology. Focusing on the highest priority initiatives of the organization and the CEO, you will build relationships across the IRC and deliver high quality results at a pace a leading private sector organization would be proud of.
This is a demanding role - you will be expected to work hard and to learn and grow quickly. Ultimately the measure of your success will be your impact - the lasting benefit you bring to the organization through your contributions.
One of the Strategy Unit's key functions is collecting, monitoring, and surfacing organization-wide performance data to the IRC's CEO and executive team (known internally as our 'Leadership Board') to drive better visibility and decision-making. This role will be responsible for execution of the IRC's Quarterly Strategy Reviews (QSRs), a quarterly meeting that serves as the Leadership Board's primary way of monitoring the IRC's performance and tackling the most pressing issues facing the organization.
During QSRs, the CEO and Leadership Board review status updates of IRC's major projects and a dashboard of quantitative metrics on the IRC's organizational health and progress against its 2020 strategy. Based on the dashboard, 2-3 "focus topics" that have strategic importance and/or are falling short of expectations are selected for further Leadership Board discussion and decisions during the QSR. Previous focus topics have included topics such as the IRC's approach to Measurement & Evaluation and the IRC's approach to global implementation of its 2020 strategy.
The Portfolio Manager will be responsible for the end-to-end process of preparing for and executing QSRs, which entails heavy exposure to the CEO and Senior Vice Presidents of the organization. This individual will help prepare the QSR dashboard each quarter, work with the CEO to select the 2-3 focus topics, collaborate with Senior Vice Presidents to develop focus topic presentations and solutions, and help facilitate the QSRs. These topics offer an opportunity to think critically about strategic issues essential to the IRC's success, and to drive solution-oriented and data-driven conversations about how best to course-correct moving forward. Given the high visibility and topic breadth of the QSRs, this role will gain a strong holistic understanding of the organization and each function in a short period of time.
This position will also play a role in managing the Strategy Unit Portfolio Analyst, who will be responsible for ensuring that the IRC's projects have rigorous project plans with integrity. Together, these two roles will ensure that the IRC consistently has good visibility into how the organization is tracking against its goals and is able to course correct early and often.
Key Working Relationships:
Position Reports to: Director, Strategy Unit - Advisory
Position Indirectly Supervises: Strategy Unit Portfolio Analyst
External: As needed
Working Environment: Standard office work environment