HR Business Partner - 1 Year Maternity Cover

City of Edinburgh
Circa 32,000 GBP
31 Jul 2017
31 Aug 2017
Specialist Area
HR function, Reward Management
HR Jobs Level
Business partner
Full Time

Location                      Edinburgh
Position Status           1 year fixed term (maternity cover)
Salary Level                Competitive plus benefits
Reports to                   Director of Human Resources, MCE
Travel                          Up to 30%

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.
In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions
into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future.

Mercy Corps Europe

Mercy Corps Europe (MCE) has grown rapidly both in terms of the volume of activity and its complexity. With offices in Edinburgh, London and Geneva, we now attract over £80m in income, and employ around 100 domestic and expatriate field team members. The breadth and impact of our programmes makes Mercy Corps a unique and truly rewarding place to work. Our teams are proud of what we achieve in the field and we are always looking for talented individuals who share our passion and commitment. 

Position Summary

The HR Business Partner (HRBP) will cover a one year maternity leave position and play both an advisory and operational role. The role provides generalist HR advice and support to all team members and expatriates hired through MCE whilst maintaining responsibility for the smooth day to day running of HR operations. Reporting to the London-based HR Director and with a part time Edinburgh-based Payroll & Benefits Administrator reporting to them, the HRBP will support and advise Senior Leadership all parts of the HR lifecycle including performance management, absence and employee relations processes, will independently manage restructures as they arise, and be involved in any other HR related matters.

In addition to the core European responsibilities, the HR Business Partner will also manage key projects related to HQ and global compensation, working with Global People team leadership in the US and other team members in coordinating and communicating a consistent compensation approach. Key to success in this year-long role is working collaboratively with team members through the Global People Team and will require someone with a strong analytical mind and a focus on process improvement. 

Essential Job Responsibilities HR ADVISORY

  • With the HR Director and Senior Management, manage employee relations issues for both domestic and expatriate team members
  • Keep abreast of all appropriate legislation in the UK & ensure a base understanding of employment relations basics in Switzerland.
  • Working closely with the Global HR officers (primarily US based) and the Director of Global Human Resources (Beirut based), the HRBP manages HR queries related to all MCE contracted expatriates (30-40) in all global locations. The HRBP is also the point of contact for those expatriates should they have questions related to their employment or benefits. 
  • Responsible for MCE’s annual performance management processes.


  • Lead and manage the complete HR lifecycle for all MCE contracted domestic and expatriate team members. Mercy Corps have a combination of automated and paper based systems that differ between jurisdictions, requiring the HRBP to quickly navigate these various systems and administrative processes in order to manage HR operations effectively.   
  • Oversight of payroll processes for the UK, Switzerland, Belgium and Ireland. Oversight of benefits administration including change reporting, benefits improvement and benefits advisory.
  • Lead and administer the contracting and on boarding processes for all new starters.
  • Ownership of the consultancy process for MCE.
  • Ultimate responsibility for the management of the MCE section of the Mercy Corps’ global HRIS, ensuring people files, data and reporting for MCE is up to date and accurate.
  • Administration of the policies and procedures that govern employment for MCE, partnering across the agency to make improvements where relevant.
  • Responsible for immigration processes for all European locations.
  • In conjunction with the wider People & Facilities team contribute towards the development and improvement of HR processes and procedures.


  • Provide expertise on compensation analysis, assisting with salary structures and advise on complex compensation related issues.
  • Assist managers, MCE Senior Management and the Global People Team with compensation issues to ensure fair and equitable application of compensation policy as well as assisting team members with pay related issues.
  • Work closely with the MCE Director of HR (London), Senior Director of Global HR (Portland), and Director of Global HR (Beirut) to manage and communicate salary classification and compensation programs between MCE and MCG.
  • Provide/Develop local compensation and benefits tools to support Global HR Officers and field HR practitioners on an ad hoc basis.
  • Where relevant, develop and manage salary survey participation and analysis of salary structure to ensure that organizational compensation objectives are achieved.


  • MCE typically relies on external support to manage key recruitment priorities, however at certain points through the year, the HRBP may need to work with external consultancy and agency support, to personally manage some of those recruitment priorities for MCE
  • The HRBP may oversee specific recruitment campaigns advising managers on process, advertising roles and managing responses, organising and conducting interviews, through to offer management
  • All MCE intern recruitment is managed through the HRBP.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in business, human resources or related field of study.
  • 3 years of business partner experience, ideally including compensation analysis and general knowledge of both compensation and benefits.
  • Experience in a UK or European-based organisation or a solid working knowledge of UK labour law is required.
  • Proven ability to demonstrate solid analytical, interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Strong stakeholder management experience is required.
  • Must be able to take initiative and demonstrate sound judgements concerning the interpretation of policies & procedures.
  • Must be able to discover and anticipate problems that may arise in administrative practices, contracts, and policies when working between differing US and UK HQ environments.
  • Previous experience working in organisations with an international remint would be plus.
  • Business level proficiency in English is a requirement of the role. French language skills would be of benefit.



Success Factors Success in this role requires strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work well with teams and individuals based in multiple global locations. Exceptional coordination and project management skills as well as the ability to flex between the operational and the strategic aspects of the role with ease will be key to a successful year.


An analytical mindset will be needed for the compensation work, and for all parts of the role - a healthy sense of humor. Passionate and clear empathy with the organisation’s aims and values is important as is the desire to create positive change on a large scale. Willingness and flexibility to travel and to potentially spend time in environments with significant restrictions to personal movement and some operating risks is key.


Learning & Accountability

  • As part of our commitment to organisational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organisations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically
    to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a short term assignment to the field. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country locations.

Please apply via our careers site with both a CV and cover letter. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis

Please note that applicants must have the right to work in the UK at the time of appointment.