Skip to main content

Job Posting

You are here

Human Resources Director

Apply by Starting Date Job Section Location
Apply by: 
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 17:00
Starting Date: 
Monday, December 3, 2018
Job Section: 
Work in our Offices
South Africa



Doctors without Borders (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation committed to two objectives: providing medical assistance to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion, natural and man-made disasters; and speaking out about the plight of the populations assisted. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. Today, MSF is present in more than 60 countries, where thousands of MSF doctors, nurses, logisticians, water-and-sanitation experts, and other medical and non-medical professionals work together to bring essential health services to people caught in humanitarian crises.



MSF SA is currently looking to recruit a HR Director (HRD) to manage the overall structure, processes and all aspects of HR at MSF SA, both internally (office staff) as well as field human resources (fieldworkers on assignment). Historically, internal HR and Field HR at MSF SA functioned as two separate departments. These two units are since 2016 under the management of the HR Director position, covering both portfolios and increasing the level of synergy within the arena of HR matters. The purpose of the HR Director function will be to ensure the sound management and the development of Human Resources of MSF in Southern Africa in accordance with the national labour law and legislations as well as with the social mission of MSF. The HRD will also contribute through different international platforms to the development of HR concerns internationally. The HRD is part of the Management Team of MSF-SA and is the responsible person for any interaction with MSF-SA Board of Directors and Social & Ethics committee on HR matters.

The recently created HR department (2 years existence as a department) will continue to provide an optimal support from MSF SA to the MSF social mission through:

  •  Increased synergy between MSF SA  Section/MSF Operational Centres’ concerns & field staff concerns,
  • Development/review of policy & procedures to facilitate the flow between Office and Field
  • Developments of common tools & policies,
  • Improved backup & reactivity & optimal use of resources in the department
  • Stewardship in regards to MSF behavioural commitments, and management of potential abuses reported.

 Domestic Human resources

The Human Resources Department at MSF SA provides support to the organisation to ensure optimal people management of all staff under contract or people working as interns & office volunteers for MSF-SA. The HR Department manages all aspects of domestic HR delivery and development of HR management to agreed levels of service. MSF SA currently employs around 85 office staff, which includes full-time as well as part-time and intern staff, in two offices: Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The areas of responsibilities are employment contracts, staff policies, HR database, compensation & benefits including payroll administration. The area of responsibility includes an advisory role towards the line managers in HR management and legal labour law related issues, training & development & office recruitment, organisational development processes & projects.

Administration & Office Management

Apart from the HR functions, the HR Director will also oversee the other support functions within the HR department, including office administration, office management as well as administrative support to MSF missions in the region and above. The HR Director will take overall responsibility for ensuring that consistent administrative policies, processes and procedures are developed and implemented, facilitating the efficient functioning of the MSF SA office.

Information and Communication Technology

The ICT service delivery for the Johannesburg Office falls under the portfolio of the HR Department and the HR Director oversees the activity. The HR Director supervises the newly appointed IT Manager and provide him with managerial support on planning, budgeting, team management and strategy building. The ICT unit is composed of an ICT Manager, 1 Assistant (to be recruited) and 1 Intern. Overall, the ICT unit aims at providing the Section with an ICT mid- term strategy to lead new technology-driven solutions (including Office 365) to support the core functions in MSF South Africa, in line with the vision of the Section and departmental strategies.

Field Human Resources

The FHR team is composed of 1 Head of FHR, 1 Recruiter, 2 Career Managers,1 Psycho-social officer, 1 Admin Officer. The Field HR unit is in charge of ensuring the provision from SA of quality expatriates for MSF missions. It has therefore the responsibility for the recruitment, pool and people management, career planning and follow-up of expatriates. The unit is also in charge of developing MSF SA strategies and policies, and eventually ensuring synergy with the international HR management of expatriates (retention, ethical guidelines, recruitment criteria etc.). In 2017, the Field HR unit of MSF SA sent 166 fieldworkers to various missions around the world with the vision of increasing reasonably this number year-on-year (target 2018: 190-200 fieldworkers) but most importantly to provide qualitative support to our fieldworkers (career, mental health, learning and development) .


 Leadership & Representation

The HR Director in MSF SA is the representative of MSF SA for HR matters in Southern Africa and the representative of MSF SA HR concerns in the relevant regional and international platforms within the MSF movement.

  • As a leader, she/he is the source of inspiration, stimulation and support for her/his team, a constructive member of the management team (MT) in the development of MSF SA, as well as an inspiring leader of African concerns, ideas and projects within the HR9 OCB platform and HR28 international platform.
  • Leading monthly HR meetings to monitor progress on MSF SA HR objectives, as well as reporting quarterly to the section and the movement on these progresses.
  • Be the contact person for all relevant external contacts in the field of HR, (including authorities) and ensuring that MSF complies with all relevant South African NPO legislation
  • Is the Employment Equity Manager (within the EE Committee)
  • Represent MSF in INGO HR-network  meetings


As HRD, the manager will report to the General Director and ensure the following activities:

  • In accordance with the vision of MSF SA, be responsible for developing the department’s direction and strategic objectives (multi-year strategy, annual action plan & budget).
  • To be responsible for the overall management, supervision and organization of the HR Department’s activities and delegating relevant responsibilities to team members.
  • General management and supervision of all staff members within the Department  when it comes to performance, trainings, development, evaluations, contracts and salaries, delegation of tasks etc.
  • To budget the costs for the HR Department on a yearly basis, and to follow up on expenses on a regular basis during the year.
  • To be part of the management team of the office (participating in management team meetings, relevant board meetings, etc.).
  • To identify synergies and work for enhanced collaboration between the HR Department and other Departments at MSF SA as well as the association.
  • To monitor, evaluate, improve and optimize the functioning of the HR Department.
  • Prepare the migration and necessary change management process for a successful implementation of Symphony HRIS (towards 2nd semester 2019) for both FHR and DHR.

Domestic Human Resources

The Domestic HR team is composed of 1 HR Manager and 1 HR Officer.

  • Develop strategies to increase overall staff retention, satisfaction and performance (taking into account work environment, staff benefits, staff management etc.)
  • Ensuring that all tools and processes are in place for MSF SA to be a responsible, fair  and attractive employer
  • Monitors relevant legislation and ensuring legal compliance of all HR-related matters in accordance with South African labour law (including employment contracts and all internal policies and procedures)
  • Ensuring that all internal guidelines, policies and procedures are updated, developing new policies where necessary and ensuring that all HR policies and procedures are adhered to
  • Overall responsibility for MSF SA’s recruitment strategy, including the updating of job descriptions, scoping of salaries and assisting international staff with visa and work permit applications where necessary
  • Issuing contracts to all MSF-contracted staff and responds to and resolves staff queries with regard to contractual issues (including salaries, benefits and working conditions).
  • Develop an annual training plan and providing support to unit/department heads on staff’s career development and planning
  • Ensuring that performance appraisals are conducted bi-annually and followed-up on
  • Ensuring that a fair and equitable salary scale is implemented according to job specifications, that salary scales are updated regularly and benchmarking is conducted as necessary
  • Ensuring a welcoming and conducive working environment
  • Together with the Office Manager, assists staff, unit heads and the General Director with any workplace HR issues
  • Overall responsibility of staff payroll, liaising with the Finance Department and HR Manager
  • Working closely with the HR Manager to ensure that interns and volunteers are integrated into the MSF SA office
  • Overall responsibility of the implementation of a Health and Safety plan and ensuring that all office staff have the required training (first aid, evacuation plan etc.)
  • Ensure that yearly objectives are met in terms of field detachments, whereby office staff get exposed to field experience through the field office project.

 Field HR Functions

  •  Overall responsibility for the field-HR Strategy and entire FHR chain of MSF SA and ensuring that field recruitment targets and objectives are reached
  • Developing and implementing excellent recruitment strategies and exploring new recruitment markets
  • Developing and implementing career management strategies of all  fieldworkers
  • Overall responsibility for retention of fieldworkers and ensuring accurate and updated record keeping of fieldworker database
  • Supports and ensures good communication between the MSF SA FHR unit and Operation centre field support Departments.
  • Sets annual pool targets in collaboration with OCB and potentially with other OCs.
  • Ensuring a consistent, large pool of experienced, professional and available fieldworkers Ensuring that MSF is recognised as a responsible and attractive employer by current and prospective fieldworkers
  • Ensuring adequate and coordinated briefings, debriefings and induction of all departing and arriving fieldworkers

 Other responsibilities

  • Directly supervises the Office Manager, who is responsible for office administration, logistics (travel arrangements, transport), support to Operations (medevacs & admin) and knowledge management.
  • In accordance with her/his profile, the HRD may be directly in charge of some activities of the Department.
  • This position requires flexibility; the activities mentioned above may develop/change with the development of the MSF movement, the MSF SA office & the Department.



  •  Tertiary qualification in HR, Industrial Psychology, Business Management or related field
  • Minimum 6 years HR experience, of which 3 years in a senior management position
  • Significant & recognized HR Management expertise and experience combined with the experience of working for an international organization sending expatriates around the world.
  • Experience in managing and developing a team and other staff of an organisation

 Knowledge and Skills

  • Expertise in HR Management, dealing with international workforce.
  • Analytic & strategic skills; capacity to find creative solutions, to develop strategies, have a broad picture and be visionary.
  • Capacity to produce clear & efficient reports & proposals.
  • Well-developed administration and organising skills
  • Ability to handle HR processes, crisis management, conflicts management.
  • Knowledge of relevant South African labour laws (valuable)
  • Knowledge of competency-based HR Management (valuable)
  • Knowledge of MSF ICT environment (valuable)
  • Fluent in English, written and spoken (required)
  • Fluency in French (valuable for interactions with francophone African countries)

 Personal and professional attributes

  • Commitment to MSF principles
  • Must be available to travel (around 15%, equivalent to 6 weeks per year) : OCB Group HR Directors meetings, Partner Section, MSF HR29 gathering, MSF Missions and Association events in the Region, Cape Town MSF Office.
  • Excellent social skills, flexibility and commitment
  • Diplomatic, patient and  service-oriented
  • Motivated and dynamic
  • Proven communication abilities (Active listening ability, presentation skills and interviewing skills)
  • Excellent team player
  • Ability to manage and adapt to stress
  • Maturity and high levels of integrity
  • Initiative and innovation
  • Proven competency in people management and development
  • Robust planning and organising skills


How to apply

Apply online by 31 October 2018