Senior Manager, Human Resources

Vacancy Details

Position: Senior Manager, Human Resources

Grade: Grade 6 (UN equivalent: P5)

Duty Station: Montpellier, France

Closing Date for Applications: 25 August 2019

Employment Opportunity

We are looking for an experienced and suitably qualified Human Resources Management expert who will lead and manage the CGIAR System Organization’s HR function, which sits within the Legal and Office Services Unit. This position offers an exciting opportunity for a senior HR professional to be part of a dynamic team working to contribute to a world free of poverty, hunger, and environmental degradation.

Who We Are

CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources and ecosystem services. Its research is carried out by 15 CGIAR Research Centers in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations, and the private sector. These 15 Research Centers have close to 10,000 staff based in over 50 countries. Established in 2012, the CGIAR System Organization (an international organization headquartered in Montpellier, France) provides governance to the CGIAR System in collaboration with the System Council and has about 40 staff. The System Organization is committed to cultivating a work environment that reflects teamwork, gender equality, and respect for diversity.

Please find more information about CGIAR on our website: and in the Candidate Pack available here.

Summary of the Position

Under the strategic oversight of the Director of the Legal and Office Services Unit, the Senior Manager, Human Resources serves as a key strategic partner and counsel to the System Organization’s management team and works collaboratively with CGIAR’s HR Community of Practice to deliver effective, reliable and efficient human resources services within the CGIAR System Organization and across the wider CGIAR System.

This is a newly developed position which heads the HR function, playing a key role in championing and stewarding organizational change, and overseeing all HR operations to ensure the delivery of seamless and efficient generalist HR services of a confidential, sensitive and often-complex nature in the following broad areas of responsibility:

  • Development and implementation of appropriate HR strategies, policies, operational plans, systems and tools that support the achievement of the organization’s overall strategic objectives;
  • Effective employment relations management aimed at effectively attracting, acquiring, developing and retaining an engaged workforce and cultivating a high-performance culture and a diverse work environment; and
  • Leadership of HR operations and administration to ensure effective delivery of the full HR cycle.

For a detailed outline of the position, please refer to the Job Description available here.


Education and Experience:

  • An advanced degree (Masters or equivalent) in Human Resources Management, Organizational Development, Personnel Psychology or related field.
  • Post-graduate professional certification or active membership to a professional HR Association
  • At least 10 years of progressive experience in managing HR teams in international, development or complex organizations, 5 of which were in a senior or executive leadership role
  • Demonstrated experience in supporting senior management teams and managing multi-stakeholder relationships and/or processes in cross-functional, matrix work environments
  • Understanding of the French labor system, including the French Social Security System is an added advantage

Key Competencies

  • In-depth knowledge of generalist HR management principles and standards and strong skills in providing advice/presenting complex, and sometimes sensitive, information at a wide range of levels
  • Strong aptitude for coaching, networking, and facilitation within diverse cultural contexts
  • Gravitas in communication at all levels and excellent written and oral reporting skills in English. Intermediate knowledge of French is preferred
  • Excellent project and change management skills
  • Ability to positively influence key strategic processes and HR-related decisions and good capacity for collaboration and consultation
  • Proficiency in use of Microsoft Office software packages (MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint at a minimum) and HR management information systems

Personal Traits

  • Highly organized with demonstrated capacity to multitask and remain flexible in the face of changing conditions
  • Excellent leadership and interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence
  • Strategic thinker with high work ethic and who inspires trust
  • Who can operate effectively in a continually developing and changing context and capable of motivating others to embrace and champion change
  • Highly effective problem-solver who can think outside the box and who seeks to find solutions across multiple stakeholders in a manner that brings everyone along
  • Politically savvy and able to navigate and manage informal and formal relationships
  • Demonstrated capacity to act in a transparent manner whilst ensuring that individual information remains confidential


The CGIAR System Organization is an equal opportunity employer, offering a comprehensive package of employee benefits comprising a favorable taxation arrangement in France, health insurance coverage, a retirement plan, and relocation support where applicable.

Full terms and conditions will be made available to shortlisted candidates.