Regional People Officer, West Africa Region

Job Title: Regional People Officer

Reports to: WARO Deputy Regional Director, Operations; dotted line to Regional Employee Experience Director

Department: Overseas Operations (OverOps) Regional Office (dotted line to HR)

Salary Grade: 11

About CRS

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.

Job Summary:

An integral member of OverOps and HR, the Regional People Officer leads implementation of a highly effective, strategic HR function in the West Africa region. His/her aim is for Country Programs to have the talent they need to deliver high-quality programs and a consistent, equitable employee experience that enables staff at all levels to contribute their best to CRS’ mission. The RPO will work closely with HR Managers in Country Programs and DRDs MQ to ensure efficient, effective and locally contextualized delivery of HR services and support in line with Global HR Standards. S/he will provide practical hands-on support in the roll-out and adoption of HR global initiatives and practices across the region and support the professional development of HR staff in the region. S/he will serve as advisor and counsel to leaders to maximize staffing resources and performance, ensure efficiency and consistency of business processes, and contain institutional risk.

Roles and Key Responsibilities:

Upholding Standards, Contextualizing Approaches

  • Work with Centers of Excellence, Country Program and regional leadership and Country Program HR staff to ensure Global HR initiatives are well-timed, meet Region/Country Program needs/priorities, and are adapted to the local context.
  • Work collaboratively with in-country HR staff and management to ensure consistent application of policy, practices and global and in-country specific HR initiatives and provide hands-on support for effective implementation.
  • Liaise with Director Global HR Compliance and Internal Audit team to develop and implement Global HR Standards for monitoring and evaluation to ensure HR systems, policies, processes, and practices meet agency, donor, and local legal requirements and standards.
  • Provide counsel and practical in-person support as necessary to in-country HR Managers in all areas of employee relations including effective staff management, to include disciplinary action, conflict resolution, performance, and separations.
  • Monitor and update relevant employee relations policies and employment practices within country programs, ensuring compliance with all regulations and laws.
  • Support investigations with instructions from Ethics Unit and/or HR Safeguarding Liaison.
  • Work closely with management and HR staff to support their efforts in improving work relationships, building morale, and staff engagement. Liaise with in-country HR staff and CP leadership to support development and implementation of action plans following the CRS Engagement Survey.

Providing Strategic HR Guidance, Aligning Priorities

  • Serve as a strategic partner and trusted adviser to Regional Directors and Regional Leadership teams, establishing HR needs and priorities that align with the overall agency plans and strategic objectives.
  • Collaborate with country program and regional leadership to identify gaps and make recommendations about appropriate HR staffing and structure in CPs given complexity of that CP, while ensuring timely hiring and development of the right talent.
  • Work with country program and regional leadership, hiring managers, HR managers to support local leadership and gender equity efforts.
  • Work with management and HR teams to provide analytical reports on HR data, metrics, and trends. Promote data-driven decision-making.
  • Provide strategic counsel to DRD MQ and RD regarding complex HR challenges in the region.

Strengthening HR Capacity in the Region

  • Work with Centers of Excellence on the collaborative development of effective capacity building efforts and trainings. Lead delivery of regional HR-related training and capacity building efforts, in-person or using e-learning, as needed.
  • Evaluate and facilitate HR functional capacity and service delivery for the region.
  • Build strong knowledge of the HR capabilities within the region. Build knowledge, expertise, and capacity of Country Program HR staff through purposeful development planning and coaching.
  • Travel to the assigned countries or other regions (as conditions allow) as and when needed to provide in-person practical hands-on support, technical trainings and/or management of special projects.
  • Collaborate with Country Program Leadership to technically lead, empower and mentor the in-country program HR team, including communicating clear HR functional expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and timely constructive performance feedback.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in HR Management, Business Administration, Organizational Development, or other relevant field required.
  • 10 to 15 years of professional HR experience with a minimum of 5 years as a regional manager in an international organization or equivalent with strong knowledge of HR best practices and standards.
  • Experience with implementing and supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Additional education may substitute for some experience.

Preferred Qualifications

Master’s degree strongly preferred.

Required Languages – Spoken and written English and French.

Travel – Must be willing and able to travel up to 30%.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent management and leadership skills including coaching, mentoring, performance management and delivering individual and group training.
  • Strong collaborator with effective interpersonal and analytical skills who can work seamlessly across countries and cultures required. Good knowledge of local context strongly preferred.
  • Broad knowledge and experience in employment laws in Africa/francophone countries, employee relations, staff engagement, compensation and benefits, talent acquisition, HR Audits, training and development
  • Demonstrated success as an HR professional in humanitarian sector, emergency response, conflict zones preferred.
  • Demonstrated success in supporting key senior management and building strong, trusted relationships.
  • Deep commitment to fostering equality in the workplace, with experience in establishing a supportive workplace for women and other under-represented groups and accelerating their professional development in support of the agency global gender strategy.
  • Superb interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills required.
  • Excellent relationship management skills with ability to influence and get buy-in from people not under direct supervision

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with and demonstrated ability to analyze, interpret and advise on employment laws, regulations, policies, principles, concepts, and practices for various countries.
  • Experience in project management and change management (HR projects).
  • Experience using HRIS (Oracle or PeopleSoft or other similar HRIS)

Supervisory Responsibilities: Direct supervision of two regional HR staff**,** Technical supervision (dotted line) to all Country Program HR Managers

Key Working Relationships:


Country Program Team: Country Representatives, Senior Management Teams, in-country HR staff

Regional Team: Regional Leadership team

HR: Global People Services, Director – Regional; Centers of Excellence; other RPOs, HRBPs, Safeguarding


INGO counterparts; legal counsel; HR associations and networks

Agency REDI Competencies (for all CRS Staff):

Agency competencies clarify expected behaviors and attitudes for all staff. When demonstrated, they create an engaging workplace, help staff achieve their best, and help CRS achieve agency goals. These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

  • Personal Accountability – Consistently takes responsibility for one’s own actions.
  • Acts with Integrity – Consistently models values aligned with CRS Guiding Principles and mission. Is considered honest.
  • Builds and Maintains Trust – Shows consistency between words and actions.
  • Collaborates with Others – Works effectively in intercultural and diverse teams.
  • Open to Learn – Seeks out experiences that may change perspective or provide an opportunity to learn new things.

Agency Leadership Competencies:

  • Lead Change – Continually looks for ways to improve the agency through a culture of agility, openness, and innovation.
  • Develops and Recognizes Others – Builds the capacity of staff to reach their full potential and enhance team and agency performance.
  • Strategic Mindset – Understands role in translating, communicating, and implementing agency strategy and team priorities.

What we offer

CRS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, life insurance, vision, generous retirement savings plan and the opportunity to work in a collaborative, mission-driven culture that is committed to improving the lives of the poor throughout the world.

***Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We welcome as a part of our staff people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need. CRS’ processes and policies reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

CRS prioritizes candidates who are citizens/ permanent residents of the countries where we have CRS offices.

How to apply

To apply please visit the career site at:

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