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Head of Human Resources

International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Last Date: June 26, 2011

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance — International IDEA is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. Its objective is to strengthen democratic institutions and processes. International IDEA acts as a catalyst for democracy building by providing knowledge resources, policy proposals and supporting democratic reforms in response to specific national requests. It works together with policy makers, governments, UN organizations and agencies and regional organizations engaged in the field of democracy building.

International IDEA’s notable areas of expertise are: electoral processes, political parties, constitution-building processes, democracy and gender and democracy assessments. International IDEA works worldwide. It is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has offices in Brussels, New York, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Head of Human Resources


Main functions of the post:

The main functions of the post are:

  • To commit to organisational and people development;
  • To  develop, document  and revise  HR policies and procedures;
  • To help create and support a collaborative culture conducive to attainment of International IDEA’s vision, mission and goals
  • To build partnerships with Senior Management and Line Managers in general;
  • To be a consultative business partner in HR issues;
  • To provide leadership and overall guidance and supervision to the HR-Unit.


The Human Resources (HR) Unit provides the Institute with both strategic and day-to-day HR support. The ability of the HR-team to perform as role models of integrity, collaboration and stability are essential to its reputation and success within the institute. The Head of Human Resources, under the supervision of the Director, Corporate Services, leads Human Resources practices and objectives that will provide an employee-oriented, high performance culture that emphasizes collaboration, empowerment, quality, productivity and standards, goal attainment, and the recruitment and ongoing development of an exemplary workforce.

Reporting to the Director, Corporate Services, The Head of HR is a position requiring senior level knowledge, skills and perspective. In particular, this position requires the ability to design work practices in which employees succeed, contribute and collaborate; develop innovative HR policies and procedures that balance equity and business needs across a culturally diverse workforce operating under different jurisdictions in geographically separate locations throughout the world.

In ensuring that the said policies and procedures are adhered to, the Head of HR depends on the commitment of Senior Management and on collaboration of all Line Managers. S/he will have effective interpersonal collaborative skills and emotional intelligence in order to manage conflict and human concerns, and in order to work collaboratively across functions, levels and regions. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

Under the immediate supervision of the Director, Corporate Services the incumbent performs the following duties:

  • Develops and designs strategies and policies required for the effective recruitment, development and retention of staff within International IDEA;
  • Provides advice and support on HR Management issues; e.g. performance management and staff improvement systems, organizational development, compensation and benefits and employment compliance to regulatory concerns.
  • Responsible for the development and implementation of efficient HR services such as the design of work positions, hiring, induction, reward, recognition and strategic pay, performance development and appraisal systems, career and succession planning and employee development;
  • Takes a proactive role in ensuring that Staff Regulations, Rules and Procedures are continuously evaluated, reviewed and improved, and that necessary changes are incorporated in the regular reviews;
  • Liaises with Managers at all levels within International IDEA and provides advice and support to the management of teams. Provides advice on hiring, job descriptions and staff development including performance management;
  • Oversees and facilitates the implementation of Staff Rules and Regulations,  HR policies, strategies and continuously reviews where and when appropriate;
  • Liaises with the Staff Association on both general issues and specific cases and maintains a close working relationship at all times;
  • Advises and keeps staff informed about HR issues and developments;
  • Actively builds trust and rapport throughout the organisation in order to keep abreast of and be responsive to the concerns of staff, manages conflicts effectively and builds a collaborative culture;
  • Provides leadership and overall guidance and supervision to the HR Unit and takes responsibility for the position and output of the unit;
  • Acts as Officer in Charge (OIC) to the Director, Corporate Services, as and when required;
  • Actively integrates the inclusion of a gender perspective in all activities;
  • Performs other duties that may be assigned by the Director, Corporate Services.  

Qualifications and Required skills 

Level and type of formal education

  • University degree, and preferably a postgraduate qualification, in Public Administration, Human Resources Management, Law or a related subject.

Professional experience

  • Minimum of 12 (twelve) years of professional experience in Human Resources Management;
  • Minimum of 5 years experience in senior management position;
  • Proven experience in HR Management theories and principles, policy and strategy development, employee relations, as well as in personnel administration and operations;
  • Proven ability in combining both hands-on and strategy and policy issues;
  • Deeply knowledgeable about the design of HR work systems; e.g. salary structure development and management, performance appraisal systems and staff development;
  • Varied experience within governmental, intergovernmental and/or non governmental organizations is preferred.

Functional competencies:   

  • Effective interpersonal collaborative skills in order in order to work across functions, levels and regions;
  • Effective skills at building and repairing relationships and at working across cultures; sensitivity and compassion, models an exceptional level of self-awareness, and openness to feedback and learning;
  • Capability to both recognise problems as they occur and work with others to solve them;
  • Ability to plan and organise, and good problem-solving and administrative skills as well as people management skills; 
  • Ability to coordinate multi dimensional projects;
  • Excellent organisational and efficiency skills;
  • Proven ability to conceptualize, innovate and plan;
  • Excellent analytical, drafting, editing and problem solving skills;
  • Strong coaching skills.

Supervisory responsibilities: 

  • Proven record of strong managerial skills, including motivating and leading teams;
  • The ability to hire people with the skills and talent required for success;
  • Ability to develop system, processes and a culture that ensures the retention of key staff
  • The ability to effectively manage teams to deliver under pressure;
  • Budget and control expenditure for all costs related to the Human Resources budget;
  • Legal and budgetary responsibilities will be guided by International IDEA's regulations and procedures.  

Difficulty of work:

  • The incumbent is expected to show a high level of professionalism, personal initiative and creativity. S/he will also be expected to possess and continuously update her/his knowledge of major international trends and development in the field of Human Resources. S/he should be able to work under tight deadlines and to cope with situations of stress. Complex and intellectually demanding work. The additional challenge is the leadership of high profile teams.

Language skills:

  • English: Excellent knowledge both written and oral;
  • Other: Considered an asset.

Computer skills:

  • Computer skills (MS Office package) and knowledge and experience of computerised support systems used in HR Management.

Criteria for Professional Performance

The incumbent of this post is expected to act according to a set of principles when carrying out her/his responsibilities both at Headquarters as appropriate to their role, display the following characteristics:

  • Be a Visionary
  • Be a Facilitator of Change
  • Get Results/ Be Accountable and Proactive
  • Lead By Example
  • Be a Decision Maker
  • Be a Model of Integrity
  • Celebrate Diversity
  • Be a Team Worker/Builder
  • Strive for Success and Excellence
  • Plan and Organize

Terms of Contract:

Level III Post. Three (3) Year Fixed Term Appointment.

Deadline for Applications:

Applications should be submitted no later than 26 June 2011.

International IDEA is an equal opportunity employer which seeks to further diversify its staff in terms of gender, culture and nationality.

Should internet not be an option, applications can be submitted to International IDEA by fax: +46-20 24 22 or by post: International IDEA, SE-103 34, Stockholm, Sweden

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