Associate Director, International Human Resources

Job board
Job Posting

Associate Director, International Human Resources

January 13, 2017

Job Category: Human Resources

Chicago, Illinois

Position Summary (Please summarize this job description in 250 words or less.)

Organizational Background:

Heartland Alliance International (HAI) is the global arm of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, a family of organizations that has been leading anti-poverty and social justice work in Chicago for more than 125 years. HAI is comprised of offices in nearly a dozen countries that implement programs on a range of global human rights issues, as well as the Chicago-based Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture, which serves individuals from more than 50 countries. HAI has significant expertise in the fields of trauma-informed mental health care and access to justice for survivors of rights abuses. It is also an industry leader in access to high-quality and stigma-free health care, including HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs. Across all of its programs, HAI promotes progressive, innovative approaches to human rights protections and gender equality that are inclusive of the rights of LGBT persons.





The Opportunity:

HAI’s new Associate Director of International Human Resources would join a team of dedicated, energetic staff committed to making the world a better place. HAI is the fastest growing part of the Heartland family, having tripled in size in the last five years. This is a unique opportunity to work with talented leaders to lead the internal implementation of HAI’s strategic plan goal to be the best place to work in human rights and integrate a progressive approach to gender and human rights into our internal operations. HAI is seeking a flexible, talented leader with experience managing international human resources, someone who is eager to be based in Chicago and is excited to help move our organization’s human resources infrastructure forward at a moment of rapid growth and change.



Strategic Leadership:

  • Leads in the implementation of HAI’s strategic plan goal to be the best place to work in human rights, including leading the strengthening of the human resources function, supporting and improving organizational culture, and leading staff development strategies for our international work.
  • Collaboratively develops, strategically aligns and implements disciplined execution of the valued processes, policies, and systemic solutions required to meet global HR requirements.
  • Ensure the right talent at the right time and place, including developing equal opportunity strategy across the organization to recruit and create a safe place for diversity.
  • Evaluate and facilitate HR functional capacity and service delivery for all sectors. Implement collaborative actions to evaluate development of HR capacity and infrastructure. Build knowledge, expertise, and capacity leveraging internal and external resources. Ensure effective HR service systems and delivery at multi-levels as confirmed by key stakeholders. Measure and evaluate.
  • Identifies, develops and/or adapts HR systems, policies and procedures to meet international context (i.e. compliance with local employment laws, customs, technical capacity, or other relevant factors) in collaboration with staff across the organization.
  • Travel at least 25% time to HAI offices and programs including high risk locations to support country strategies, meet organizational needs, and monitor effectiveness of HR practices.
  • Provides recommendations to HAI COO and Senior HR Director for annual budgeting and planning.
  • Advocate for the adaptability of enterprise wide initiatives to international operations.
  • Manages a small team of HR staff dedicated to HAI and provides dotted line supervision of HR focal points in country offices.


    HR Operations and Services:

  • Positively leads human resources practices and processes, including but not limited to oversight of staff development and performance management, process workflows, total rewards for non-US based staff (compensation, payroll, benefits, employee resources), and human resources information system implementation.
  • In case of emergency, serve on HAI’s crisis management team.
  • Works closely with the Executive Director and COO of HAI to develop and prioritize HR operational projects related to the HAI strategic objectives in line with the global operations work plan.
  • Ensures that human resources workflows meet end-to-end employee administration across all systems, including batch payroll, benefits, employee change administration pre-offer coordination and pre-hire checks in compliance with all laws.


Matrix Management:

Provides leadership and guidance to the benefits, payroll, and human resources information system teams concerning international standards and country specific context for the purpose of improving the quality of services and support to staff globally; clarify processes and procedures for each classification of employee (HQ, Expat/TCN, Key Personnel, Local National); and ensuring global compliance according to USG and other funder regulations, organization strategies and goals.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Education and/or Experience:Bachelors degree or equivalent and six years of progressive HR experience and/or training. GPHR/SPHR preferred. Experience must include:
    • International HR experience and management experience, including experience with developing and implementing new systems;
    • Preferred experience includes; experience working in countries and regions in which HAI operates; living and working abroad; and exposure to USG regulations for contracts and cooperative agreements.
  • Communications and Language Skills:  Strong verbal and written English communications skills, with an ability to write policies and communicate with staff in a global organization. Preferred skills include advanced written and verbal professional proficiency in Spanish, French, Arabic, and/or Sorani Kurdish.
  • Reasoning Ability:Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.
  • Computer Skills:To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of human resources management systems, including ADP and others. Demonstrated proficiency in Word, Power Point, Outlook and Excel.


Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  • The employee is required to travel periodically to often high risk, insecure, and limited-resource environments.


Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987