Human Resources Director

Posted over 1 year ago by International Rescue Committee
Location Erbil Job Type Permanent
Salary Sector NGO

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 in 22 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.



Iraq is emerging from over three years of civil war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and remains one of the most complex operating environments in the world. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades and the destruction of communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair. Over 6 million Iraqis have been internally displaced since the conflict erupted in 2014. Two out of five Iraqis who returned home lack adequate housing, jobs and access to basic services.

A lead responder in Iraq since 2003, the IRC delivers aid and services that help communities survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The IRC is providing robust programming across five governorates through women’s protection and empowerment, child protection and protection and rule of law programming; cash distributions and livelihoods programming in support of economic recovery and development; integrated early childhood development programming as well as governance programming. Our work spans emergency response to long-term programming supporting our clients to rebuild their lives while partnering with local civil society and stakeholders.



The HR Director is accountable for providing strategic leadership for over 250 staff in Iraq Country Program across multiple geographical locations such as Erbil, Kirkuk, Anbar, Mosul and Baghdad. S/he will lead an HR team to ensure high quality and efficient staff recruitment, contracts management, orientation, learning and development, performance management, compensation and benefits, code of conduct compliance, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, safeguarding and staff care. The position holder operates within the scope of IRC management in partnership model and reports directly to both, Iraq Country Director and Regional HR Director – MENA.

The HR Director will adapt and implement Global and Regional HR initiatives and practices and serve as an advisor to maximize organizational staffing resources and performance, promote a positive and healthy organizational workplace, minimize risk and ensure economy and efficiency of work processes.

The position holder will serve as a key member in the Senior Management Team (SMT) and work collaboratively with the leadership to establish and maintain an organizational culture in line with IRC’s values


Strategic HR Leadership and Management

  • Devise and deliver a planned HR approach to attracting, developing, inspiring and retaining the right people with the right skills to achieve strategic, high-quality programmatic outcomes.
  • Identify workforce needs, identify human resource and competency gaps, and devise a development and workforce plan to facilitate nationalizing roles and retaining staff.
  • Actively participate in proposal design and grants opening and review meetings (GRMs, GOMs) specifically guiding on organizational structure, position scoping, demographic/staffing analysis and other inputs critical to ensure strong HR foundation to support program quality and timely implementation.
  • Monitor the KPIs for Iraq Country Scorecards and lead on Iraq inputs to both country and regional HR scorecards.
  • Observe and analyze monthly HR data such as turnover rates, time to fill, workforce composition, etc., to diagnose and identify priorities and evaluate effectiveness of relevant HR programs. 
  • In collaboration with the Regional Team, set a strategy for recruitment. Develop candidate rosters, actively network, and employ innovative, creative recruiting methods to attract and hire the best talent. Proactively position IRC as an Employer of Choice.
  • Review and approve national job positions, review job descriptions, and make recommendations, ensuring accuracy and consistency.
  • Lead on the selection and recruitment of all senior-level (band level 5 and above) positions and ensure their proper onboarding.
  • Deliver international HR management, including policy, process and employee relations management.
  • Lead the performance management process in Iraq CP with guidance from Regional and HQ HR. Create a plan to implement the annual and mid-year reviews, conduct training on goal-setting, utilize budgets to organize development activities and work one-on-one with managers and employees to create country wide development plans. Through various initiatives and actions, embed a culture of regular feedback.
  • In coordination with Regional Compensation and Benefits Coordinator, define and review salary structure; coordinate annual compensation review process and compensation adjustments for Iraq staff.
  • Devise staff care action plans that elevate morale and support the social, physical, and psychological well-being of staff; create emergency staff care interventions.
  • Oversee HR-related administrative duties and support compliance with existing legal and governmental reporting requirements. Ensure all legal obligations are fulfilled in Iraq.
  • Lead all employee relations with professional patience with the aim of empowering employees and supervisors to have the tools and resources vital to resolve conflicts with mutual respect.
  • Call out behavioral issues, lead or co-lead investigations and ensure issues are resolved and appropriate follow-up is carried out.
  • Coach supervisors in resolving appropriate disciplinary plans of action in a judicious manner. Follow-up disciplinary measures and related employment law matters.
  • Act as impartial mediator in disciplinary procedures and ensure it is administered in a fair manner and meets all legal and labor regulations and requirements.
  • Handle any lay-offs or reductions in workforce in partnership with senior and regional management and to maintain compliance, due diligence, communications and staff well-being.
  • Ensure exit management procedures are detailed and a positive transition for departing employees under Iraq CP.
  • In charge of the development and implementation of HR policies, for example, on Staff Safeguarding and Management of Incentive Workers.
  • Play a critical role in any change initiative, either by initiating and driving the change or by serving as a facilitator for changes that other leaders and departments initiated.
  •  Contribute to the development of the in-country Gender, Equality, Inclusion and Diversity Action Plans and Safeguarding Action Plans. Support the work of Gender Champion team and Women@Work resource groups.

Staff Performance Management and Development

  • Serve as a model of supervisory excellence; supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and timely performance feedback, and leading documented semi-annual performance reviews.
  • Provide constructive feedback and counsel on career paths and professional development for HR team and IRC Iraq staff; establish an organizational environment of continuous learning opportunities.
  • Support the management in mentoring national and international staff to build a cadre of skilled, committed and motivated staff.
  • Support senior staff to continue to pursue nationalization/regionalization of senior and middle management positions.
  • Promote and assess staff care and well-being. Model healthy work-life balance practices.


  • Model and encourage active practice of the principles of the “IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct” throughout the Syria team.
  • Maintain a healthy and empowering office environment that encourages open, honest and productive communication among IRC staff by delivering an employee engagement and communication strategy.
  • Maintain and demonstrate open communication and partnership on projects and shared goals with other HR Leads at the country level, regional HR and HR HQ levels.
  • Provide direct support to the country and field based management on staff communications to ensure clear, consistent and transparency in communications

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) and Safeguarding (SG)

  • Integrate DEI strategies for building a diverse workforce through recruitment, development, leadership assessment and succession, and total rewards.
  • Ensure management and leadership create and empower a diverse organizational environment. One that is respectful and inclusive and grants each employee an equal opportunity to learn, grow and contribute to the IRC.
  • Research and advice on diversity, equality and inclusion issues from an HR lens and create programs, training and organizational cultural values around them.
  • Identify external HR Diversity trends and recognize standard practices which will increase diversity among the workforce for current and future employees.
  • Ensure a safe workplace is established where every staff member is welcomed, treated equally and respected irrespective of their individual characteristics.
  • Support in the development of all necessary strategies and procedures to ensure safeguarding is integrated at all stages and points in our organizational culture and programmes.
  • Foster ongoing learning, honest dialogue, and reflection to strengthen safeguarding and to promote IRC values and adherence to IRC policies.


Position Reports to: Iraq Country Director and Regional HR Director, MENA – management in partnership.

Position directly supervises: Iraq HR Team which includes HR Business partners, Recruiting, Talent Development, Compensation & Benefits. and Safeguarding.

Key Internal Stakeholders:

  • Country: Iraq SMT and Extended Management Team
  • Regional: Regional Recruiting Team, Staff Care Specialist, Regional HR Coordinator, Regional C&B Coordinator, HR Ops, Gender Equality Advisor, and all Regional Staff.
  • HQ Compensation & Benefits, Talent Management, Employee Relations, Duty of Care and HR Ops Directors. General Counsel Office. Ethics & Compliance Unit (ECU).

Key External Stakeholders: The NCCI HR forums and working groups; INGO and UN HR staff; Legal counsel; Social Security, Ministry of Interior; Ministry of Labor, etc.



  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s university degree in HR management, organizational behavior, international relations or development, MBA, Law or related field is preferred.

Work Experience:

  • 10 - 12 years of progressive experience as a HR practitioner, including recruitment, employee relations, compensation, training and development and HR Administration.
  • Minimum 5 years staff management experience in a fast-paced environment.
  • Confirmed experience with an international organization or international experience.
  • INGO experience strongly preferred.

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:

  • A commitment to IRC’s mission, vision, values and IRC Way – Professional Code of Conduct.
  • Strategic leadership experience leading an HR function for large budget programs in the INGO sector is strongly preferred.
  • Strategic experience with leading staff, global workforce planning, and development of HR processes during a start-up phase is a plus.
  • Credible written, presentation and verbal communication skills; ability to convey information effectively and solid experience providing training and staff development in English and Arabic.
  • Validated sense of professional discretion, integrity, and ability to handle complex HR situations diplomatically and to effective resolution.
  • Excellent management and interpersonal skills and a solid ability to promote harmonious/cohesive teamwork, in a cross cultural context.
  • Validated ability to plan long-term, organize priorities and work under administrative and programmatic pressures with detail orientation and professional patience.
  • Highly collaborative and resourceful; ability to establish positive working relationships with senior level management and all other partners to maximize cooperation and productivity.
  • Very strong proficiency in MS Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint is required.
  • Curiosity, a desire to continually learn and develop and a sense of humor is a must.
  • Analytical ability in creating effective HR solutions while adhering to labor laws;


  • English and Arabic are required, while Kurdish is desired.
  • Travel: 30% to field sites in Baghdad, Anbar, Mosul and Kirkuk as well as attending regional and global workshops and meetings

Returning National Candidates: We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a citizen of the Country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the Middle East Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply. IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs.

Standards of Professional Conduct: The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct.  These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability.  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, and Anti-Retaliation.

Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including maternity leave, gender-sensitive security protocols, and other supportive benefits and allowances. Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: Per the Iraqi Ministry of Health COVID-19 guidelines, IRC requires candidates who are selected for positions to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter IRC premises. However, the exemption is only accepted per the Iraqi Health regulation and upon the provision of a negative PCR test.

Diversity and Inclusion: at IRC MENA, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. Organizations that are diverse in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, nationality, and perspective are validated to be better organizations. More importantly, creating a safe workspace environment where everyone, from any background, can do their best is the right thing to do. So, bring your whole self to work. IRC is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, respectful and safe work environment where all persons are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. In keeping with our core values of Integrity, Service, Accountability and Equality, IRC strives to maintain a work environment built on mutual respect in which all individuals treat each other professionally, and free of bias, prejudice, and harassment. IRC expressly prohibits and will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or bullying of IRC Persons in any work setting. All IRC staff, wherever they are located, are accountable for creating an environment free of discrimination, harassment, bullying, and retaliation.

Notice to all Job Seekers

IRC implements an equal employment opportunity policy, and our recruitment process is based on merit.

Applicants and/or successful interview candidates (both internal and external) are not required to pay any fees at any stage of the recruitment process.

If anyone asks you for any financial or non-financial favors to help you secure a job at IRC, kindly report to

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اذا قام اي شخص بطلب اي خدمة مالية او غير مالية لقاء مساعدتكم في تأمين فرصة عمل داخل المنظمة ،يرجى الابلاغ عن ذلك الى

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The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives.

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