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Head of Compensation & Benefits

Requisition ID:  19242
Region:  Europe (HQ)
Contract type:  Open-ended contract

What we do


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies and, at the same time, promote respect for international humanitarian law. We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.

Purpose of the position


The Department of People & Culture(PAC) is accountable for attracting, developing and retaining a proficient, diverse, inclusive and engaged workforce to meet ICRC's operational needs worldwide and to allow for its sustainability. It strives to develop employee resilience and protect staff physical and mental health. It drives efforts to ensure the workplace culture and working environment foster strong people management and leadership across the organization and empower all colleagues to deliver on ICRC's mission to protect and assist victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence.


The Head of Compensation & Benefits (C&B) leads the design and implementation of a global and integrated C&B strategy that enables the organization to attract, reward and retain staff members across geographies and functions. As part of the People & Culture leadership team, they partner closely with the ICRC leadership across other departments to ensure alignment of our C&B strategy to the broader organizational strategy. They are also responsible to lead the design, development, implementation and overseeing of the C&B programmes, the Payroll function and ensure the C&B framework is comprehensive and cost-efficient, aligned to support the mission and the values of the organization.

Core duties and responsibilities


  • Lead the C&B centre of expertise (COE), ensuring they nurture robust internal partnerships and collaboration with PAC end-users and across departments.
  • Lead all aspects of the global C&B strategy - designing, implementing and reviewing the strategic, operational and daily C&B framework and solutions. Assess and implement continuous improvements of the C&B strategy based on the PAC end-user feedback on policies, frameworks and practices.
  • Lead the maintenance, development, long-term relevance, and robustness of the global job grading framework.
  • Ensure there is a thorough ongoing capacity building & communication to all end-users - within the PAC department, line managers across the organization and employees. Establishing a sound understanding of our C&B policies, frameworks and practices.
  • Evaluate the impact of the C&B programmes in the short & long term and assesses options against external benchmark norms, providing impact studies and modelling for decision-making based on relevant data & research.
  • Stay up to date .of the broader regulatory landscape to ensure that programmes and policies align with local laws, government regulations and practices, including the successful and effective delivery of Geneva-based payroll and compliance with the local rules.
  • Maintain solid knowledge of leading C&B practices in the humanitarian sector, actively recommending modifications and programmes aligned with these leading practices to attract, empower and retain talent.
  • Collaborate and advise the Global Shared Services (GSS) programme team on all C&B-related aspects of the centralization and offshoring of services and engage in dialogue on continuous improvement.
  • Cultivates strong relationships with third-party suppliers and service providers, ensuring consistent quality in line with expectations and contractual terms.
  • Lead the C&B COE team - setting a vision, defining goals and objectives, supporting, mentoring and empowering the team members to develop their talent. Encourage open communication & feedback within, maintaining a healthy and inclusive work environment.

Scope & Impact


  • Lead the definition and implementation of C&B orientations, strategy and objectives globally (22’000 colleagues in over 100 countries).
  • Manages a team of about 13 people split across 3 Geneva-based teams: Global Compensation, Benefits and Payroll.
  • In addition, provide technical guidance to the Manilla-based shared services teams delivering on C&B-related topics (15 people).




  • Internally, interacts with Department and division leadership, ICRC senior management and governance bodies. 
  • Externally, interacts with a network of other organisations and represents the ICRC vis-à-vis key partners such as external consultants, suppliers and counterparts in other organisations.

Education and experience required

  • University degree in HR, business administration or related fields.
  • Typically 15 or more years of professional experience.
  • Minimum 10 years of proven and demonstrated experience in C&B strategy, design, implementation and communication, ideally 3-5 years of experience leading a C&B and/or Total Rewards function. 
  • Proven experience in partnering with operations/business in supporting organizational strategy by aligning the C&B strategy/framework to support the organizational transformation. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. French and other ICRC official languages (Arabic, Russian, Spanis) are assets. 
  • Computer literacy. Knowledge of relevant IT tools, programs and HR information systems. 



  • Recognized expertise in compensation and employment benefits;
  • Solid knowledge of various country requirements and regulatory compliance;
  • Good understanding of payroll management;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Advanced level in critical thinking and organizational development;
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and empower teams in a dynamic, challenging and fast-paced environment;
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment with a strong focus on stakeholder management and collaboration;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with various levels within an organisation and across departments;
  • Demonstrated ability to lead multiple projects and initiatives;
  • Demonstrates and promotes ICRC values (Impact, Collaboration, Respect, Compassion);
  • Resilience, persistence and resourcefulness in the face of challenges.

Additional information


  • Location: Geneva
  • Type of contract: Open-ended contract
  • Type of role: Long-term assignment
  • Grade: D1
  • Activity rate: 100% 
  • Estimated start date: ASAP
  • Application deadline: Sunday, 21 August 2022, 11:59 PM GMT 


Are you ready for the next chapter of your career? Apply today!

The ICRC values diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates.

We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.