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Operating Manager for People & Culture

Requisition ID:  19395
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 is responsible for attracting, developing and retaining a competent, 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 Operating Manager for People and Culture (PAC) is in charge of the department's functioning, working closely with the director, heads of divisions, units and centres of expertise in the PAC department and other departments' Operating Managers. They are the main point of contact for functional partners – Finance, People & Culture, Internal Communication, Technology & Information, Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO), etc. and represent the PAC department in front of the institutional bodies. 

Core duties and responsibilities (1/2)


  • Ensure a robust enabling platform supports the PAC department. That platform aligns all operational aspects with the People Strategy 2020-2025 and effectively supports its implementation - the financial and workforce planning, processes, projects, systems, risks and controls, data and analytics, etc.  
  • Be the main internal and external conduit on systems, data and processes-related matters for the PAC department/divisions. And responsible for steering the continuous development, improvement and integration of digital tools, applications and processes to support the effective delivery of the PAC department/division leadership and ICRC-wide technical teams. More specifically,  they will drive efforts to ensure the delivery of PAC services is efficient, user-centric and enable a strong, positive employee experience. 
  • Supervise the Planning and Monitoring for Results (PfR) process, oversee the development and implementation of the PAC department's objectives and corresponding budgets, and define, monitor and report on the key performance indicators at the departmental/division level, in partnership with the PAC leadership team. 
  • Be accountable for articulating, planning and sequencing PAC's project portfolio, supporting the Director or Head of Division in identifying the PAC department/division's top priorities and liaising on behalf of the department/division with institutional bodies or boards overseeing project delivery (Project Management Office, Tech & Data Board, etc.). 
  • Ensure the assessment, control and reporting on all PAC projects with communication and change-management frameworks in place to ensure effective adoption. Ensure the review of projects and processes and their prioritizing, considering the resources available and the workload. Manage interdependencies between projects, escalating issues and risks to the leadership team, with mitigation actions defined and undertaken as needed. 
  • Implement and strengthen compliance and risk-management practices across the PAC department, ensuring effective risk identification as well as the definition & implementation of mitigation measures.
  • Monitor and coordinate responses to internal and external audit requests and ensure appropriate follow-up for the timely and effective resolution of audit findings and compliance recommendations.
  • Look after the department/division's organization design (OD),  job grading-related matters, and workplace needs in close collaboration with PAC leadership and the HR Business Partner.

Core duties and responsibilities (2/2)


  • Lead a specialized team, ensuring efficient support to managers, team members, and the department's overall management. Oversee and support all areas related to PfR and budget control, systems, data processes, department portfolio, change management and communication, and office space management in the departments/divisions. 
  • Support the PAC Director with institutional reporting and internal communication (town halls, newsletters, intranet, community engagement).
  • Collaborate with Head of Global Shared Services (GSS) to implement and further develop PAC-services within the GSS catalogue and engage in dialogue on continuous improvement of existing services. 
  • Be the People & Culture representative within the Platform for Organization and Management (POM). The POM tackles issues related to ICRC's internal functioning. It is vital in ensuring coherence and efficiency in issue identification, decision-making and follow-up across departments. 

Scope & Impact


  • The Operating Manager report to the Director of People and Culture 
  • They have a high operational impact within the PAC department 
  • Geographic remit: Global and department/division-wide.
  • They are members of working groups and steering committees for inter-departmental projects.
  • They are a decision-making authority in select steering committees on behalf of the PAC Director.
  • The team reporting directly to the People & Culture Operating Manager is typically between 5 and 9. The group includes individual contributors and team leaders with expertise in change management, project management, process management, business analysis, data, people analytics, risk and compliance.



  • Internally, interacts with Department and division leadership, Platform for Organisation and Management, Business Process Managers, Technology & Information Division, Project Management Office, Finance and Administration (FAD), and peers in other departments. 
  • Externally, interacts with a network of other organizations and represents the ICRC vis-à-vis key partners such as donors and suppliers. 

Education and experience required


  • Typically at least 15 years of professional experience. Previous experience at the ICRC is an asset.
  • With at least 5 years of team management experience and the ability to develop and empower a diverse workforce.
  • Previous experience in Human Resources (HR) with a solid understanding of HR-related business delivery requirements and external best practices in all areas under control.
  • Proven track record in strategic planning and managing large-scale transformation, in a complex organizational structure, through a combination of business acumen and social skills.
  • Advanced university degree, preferably in business administration.
  • Professional certification in project/programme management – e.g. Managing Successful Programmes (MSP), Projects in Controlled Environments (PRINCE) or Project Management Professional (PMP) an asset.
  • Change management certification is an asset.
  • Experience in digital transformation is recommended, and experience in organizational performance is an asset.
  • Sound knowledge of ICRC policies and programming is an asset. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. French is an asset. 
  • Computer proficiency. Advanced Excel, strong PowerPoint, Word and database skills. 

What we offer

  • The opportunity to practice your profession in a fast-paced humanitarian environment on a global level. 
  • An outstanding opportunity to contribute and play a meaningful role at an executive level.
  • The opportunity for personal development & growth, including access to career and further development opportunities in the future.
  • Adequate compensation & benefits package with social benefits, including pension plan, etc.

Additional information


  • Location: Geneva
  • Type of contract: open-ended (6 years)
  • Grade: D1
  • Activity rate: 100%
  • Estimated start date: 1 January 2023
  • Application deadline: 17 July 2022

Please note that if you are selected to participate in the case study, it will be during the first two weeks of August.


Are you ready to explore the next chapter of your HR career? Apply now!


The ICRC values diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all regions of the world.