HR Officer Cell 1


At the heart of the Operations department in the Operational Centre of Brussels (OCB), the cells are comprised of a multidisciplinary team of 7 people (Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator, Medical Officer, HR, Log, Fin, Supply, Advocacy), whose function is to supervise and coordinate MSF activities in several countries. The cells are the direct interface from HQ to field. Each member is in charge of a specific component under the supervision (hierarchical link) of an Operations Coordinator, with a functional link (technical link) with the coordinator of the corresponding department. In the cell, the HR department is represented by the HR Officer function.

The HRO has a role of strategic generalist, is integrated into the operations department in close collaboration with the HR Department and is assisted by the Centre of Expertise in the HR Department.

He/she is a strategic actor of the HR department at the heart of the cell. She/he is familiar with all the projects of the cell and actively participates in the operational decision process in relation to the strategy and the mission and project’s objectives.

She/he is the guarantor of the coherence and quality of the HR response to operational needs whilst respecting the contextual specificities of missions and of the OCB HR vision pertaining to the search for excellence, MSF as a responsible employer and the development of talent. She/he can relay HR needs and operational issues in missions to the HR department.


The main areas of responsibility of the HR Officer are:

Accountable for the coherence and quality of administrative and HR management

  • Guiding and providing counsel to HRCo for the elaboration and annual revision of an HR strategy which is adapted to the specific mission needs.
  • Monitoring the quality of the use of HR for the movement and the adequacy of resources with the project(s)/mission(s). She/he participates to common efforts needed for the institution to create a healthy HR pyramid in terms of field posts.
  • Mobilising the field teams to provide an HR demand which is clear, precise, complete, quality-driven and predictable. She/he supervises the quality of set up in the mission (coordination and project).
  • Responsible for the HR budget of the cell and guarantor of the HR commitments taken during the ARO.
  • Ensuring the promotion and supervision of respect and the contextualized practical application of the MSF HR principles, policies, procedures and tools by the HRCo to ensure optimal efficiency. The HRO is guarantor of their coherence and their longevity.
  • The HRO is responsible for submitting exceptions and deviations to the HRO coordinator or to the exception committee, depending on the case and following the principle « apply or explain ».
  • She/he monitors the HR & administrative quality of the mission. She/he uses control tools (HR Fundamentals, to be developed) at his/her disposal in order to ensure the HR and administrative health of the mission.
  • Following the legal-judicial situation in missions and involves the legal unit as soon as she/he deems it necessary.
  • The HRO steers the HRCo towards an optimal management of HR information tools (Homere, HR.Net, KITSCH, and, in future, Symphony) and their use as a management tool.
  • Briefing/debriefing: The HRO is guarantor of the quality of the induction process of expats before arriving on the mission.
  • Matching: The HRO takes part in the expat selection for the missions according to the defined frame for the matching process.
  • The HRO is guarantor of the quality of open positions.
  • She/he contributes towards national staff detachment initiatives, all the while respecting the procedures.

HR Management

  • She/he is guarantor of the taking into consideration of the social context in the HR OPS decision-making process and the subsequent enforcement.
  • She/he is the person in the cell who ensures that decisions applying to employees take into account a respect for legal aspects and good HR management.
  • She/he assists the HRCo in their responsibility as career manager for national staff in their mission and assures the continuity thereof.
  • She/he supplies the L&D department with information in order to develop competencies for field actors.
  • She/he advises and develops HR management competencies within field teams.
  • She/he is a key factor in the resolution and/or management of conflicts.

Definition of operational HR demand in the HR department

  • Thanks to their knowledge of the HR issues on the field, he/she is an indispensable relay between operations and the HR department, and takes part in the definition of the operational HR demand in the HR department.
  • She/he ensures support to missions from the Centre of expertise (CoE) during the development, the implementation and the improvement of the HR & administrative management framework, puts into context the recommendations of the CoE and validates. She/he will obtain approval for all deviation or exception by the HRO Coordinator according to the procedure.

Formative supervisor of the HRCos

  • She/he frames, supports, follows and develops HRCo competencies, together with the career manager/pool manager who has identified the areas of development and this in the specific frame of formative supervision.


  • She/he contributes to the proposition, to the development and to the setting up of innovations which respond to specific HR & operational needs of missions.
  • The HRO will initiate/propose changes/improvements to the frame of control of the HR & administrative quality of the mission and will ensure their implementation.

Various :

  • Upon request of his CO and/or the HRO coordinator, she/he is involved in vertical files; they can be allocated the development and follow-up of specific HR files.
  • According to their availability, experience, and/or affinity, she/he may play the role of referent or key user in certain fields (Homere, HR.Net, …) for the rest of the team.
  • She/he actively participates in platforms to which he/she has been invited (cell meeting, HRO platform, ARO, MultiYears ARO and CoPros, etc.)
  • She/he is the back up of other HROs upon request and according to availability/workload.
  • She/he can be requested to co-present training sessions.


  • Minimum 2 years of MSF experience on the field, at least one year in HR and one year in a coordination position
  • Available for frequent field visits
  • IT competencies: Word and Excel indispensable. HR.Net & Homere.
  • Languages: bilingual French-English (written and spoken)
  • Strategic vision
  • Analytical spirit
  • People Management
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Planning and organisation
  • Stress management
  • Adherence to MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust, Empowerment
  • Adherence the MSF Behavioral Commitments


  • 12 months Replacement Contract - full time position based in Brussels with regular field visits (min. 4/year)
  • Hospital insurance (DKV)-Pension plan-Canteen-100% reimbursement for public transportation costs
  • Starting date : 06/04/2020

Deadline for applications: March 1st, 2020

CV + cover letter to be sent via e-mail to with “HRO” in the title.

Please name your application documents (CV and cover letter) with your LAST NAME. 

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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