Médecins Sans Frontières: HR Advisor (Irish Office)


Job Title: HR Advisor (Irish Office)
Department: Human Resources
Hours: 40 hours/week (open to flexibility)
Reports to: Executive Director Ireland
Works closely with: Functional member of the MSF-UK / IE HR team; works under the guidance and support of UK HR Department
Location: Dublin Office
Duration: Permanent
Salary Grade: 4.1
Salary: € 49,784.83 per annum plus generous benefits
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) provides life-saving emergency relief and longer-term medical care to some of the most vulnerable and excluded communities around the world. As an independent medical humanitarian organisation, we deliver care based only on need, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, religion or political affiliation.
MSF relies on donations from private individuals and organisations for the majority of its income. This private funding gives MSF the freedom to respond where needs are greatest and to speak out publicly, free from political interference.
MSF employs around 40,000 local and international staff working in over 70 countries, in some of the most challenging places in the world. Our projects are supported by teams in 32 countries, including the UK, spread across Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia.
At MSF UK, we support MSF’s work by building relationships with our supporters, increasing awareness of MSF, raising funds, providing specialist medical expertise, campaigning for change on medical humanitarian issues and recruiting project staff.
The Dublin office is staffed with 12 full-time and 1 part-time employees plus 2 interns, involved in general management, communications, advocacy, fundraising and overseas recruitment. MSF Ireland also supports 3 host contract staff, who are Ireland-based but working for other MSF entities.
The HR Function is responsible for attracting, selecting, developing, and retaining high-quality medical and non-medical staff for MSF operations and for the MSF UK and Ireland office. The department is in a period of transition in its structure to support an increased workload.
Currently the department consists of 3 units and 18 UK based staff, and 4 team members based remotely in Ireland, Jordan, and Tunisia.  
The activities of the department focus on two main areas:
a) Secondment of field staff to MSF's field operations worldwide. This includes on the sourcing of staff profiles required for field operations, active recruitment, selection, development, retention, and all related administrative aspects. This also involves management of the recruitment & career management function in Tunisia and Jordan as well as support for the HR function in Dublin.  
b) HR support includes HR planning, recruitment, contracting, reward and benefits, staff development and retention, HR policy development, management support and all related administrative aspects.  In addition, the department plays an active role in the MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam (OCA) partnership of which MSF-UK is a member. Together with partner sections in Holland, Germany, and India, MSF-UK is responsible for implementing the staff and support goals as defined in OCA's Strategic Plan. Last but not least, there is an international MSF HR community, where wider HR discussions take place and where the overall MSF HR agenda is set.


As part of an overall restructure within the HR department based in the UK, the HR Advisor position has been created to bring HR generalist \ advice and support “in-house” to Dublin and provide all required HR support to the Irish office staff and working collaboratively with the HR London office.
The HR Advisor will be responsible for contributing to strategic level input on HR related topics for the Irish office, this includes:

  • Recruitment & On Boarding
  • Workforce Planning
  • Global mobility i.e. Hosted Contracts
  • Performance Management
  • Employee Engagement
  • Staff wellbeing
  • Equality Diversity and Inclusion
  • Safeguarding
  • Management of HR 3rd Party Suppliers
  • Management of Personnel HR information
  • HR data and reporting
  • Off boarding
  • Employee Relations
  • HR Business Partnering
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Payroll and statutory benefit advice
  • Individual staff contracts, letters and administration
  • Annual pay award including annual proposal and uplift of individual staff salaries   
  • HR Policy review and development
  • Learning and Development

 The postholder will act as the key advisor to the Executive Director and Irish Board on Irish employment law and best HR practice on (but not limited to) issues related to employee relations and case management.
The position is expected to take a primary role in the development of HR solutions which addresses the complexity of an organisation that works within a federated structure and needs to be someone who thrives in a setting with at times a high level of ambiguity and last-minute changes.


Decision and Planning - Working closely with Executive Director and UK HR Department

  • Contribute to a longer-term HR Strategy for MSF Ireland Office staff.
  • Identify the Irish office HR priorities and recommend appropriate people management solutions which support MSF IE’s overall strategic aim and objectives, in addition to providing a high-quality HR service.
  • Translate the overall office HR strategy in specific operational activities aimed at supporting the attraction, retention, development, and succession planning of staff in MSF Ireland.
  •  Advise the Executive Director and HR UK on any implications of new legislation in the Irish employment landscape.
  • Ensure compliance with General Data Protection Regulations for Irish office.

Analysis and Initiative -Working collaboratively with UK HR department contribute to:

  • Development and delivery of key HR Indicators and annual HR processes (e.g., performance management, annual salary reviews, HR reporting on HR System).
  • Driving continuous improvement in the provision of HR support, identifying improvement opportunities, and initiating relevant activities to bring about change.
  • Ensuring effective management of the recruitment and selection process with line managers, including advising on and developing alternative recruitment strategies for complex and/or specialist positions.
  • Support and advise line managers to make optimal use of their staff through talent management practices.
  • Ensure line managers and staff have access to appropriate learning and development to support them in the delivery of their objectives.
  • Identify, implement, communicate, and regularly review appropriate provision and take up of staff benefits.
  • Contribute to the development of and proactively make use of relevant HR management information to aid management’s decision-making in relation to people management.
  • Assist the Executive Director in the provision of regular reports on people and development activities for the Irish Board of Trustees.
  • Manage employee relations casework, including disciplinaries and grievances, to ensure their timely and appropriate resolution.


  • Develop and manage the Irish remuneration policies and practices, including undertaking regular salary and benefits benchmarking identifying relevant corrections to maintain competitiveness within the context of fairness and affordability.  
  • Identify, select, and manage relationships with external service providers and stakeholders on all matters relating to reward, wellbeing, immigration, as well as employment law.
  • Contribute to the regular review of key service providers for organisational benefits such as pensions, insurance, and payroll.
  • Communicating - Working closely with HR Department
  • Develop, implement, and communicate HR policies and procedures across MSF Ireland, ensuring legal compliance and best practice, advising MSF Ireland on up-to-date employment law.
  • Contribute to the effective functioning of the UK/IE HR department and by encouraging collaboration across functional lines.

 Developing Others

  • Coach and advise through all elements of the employee life cycle, supporting the development of their skills, knowledge, and confidence in applying them in people management.
  •  Advise line manager on pragmatic and appropriate management and resolution of, for example, performance, capability, and attendance issues.
  •  Manage HR-related emergencies, concerns, or grievances for Irish office employees, including field staff.                                                                                    
  • Advise line managers and employees on the application and interpretation of employee policies and procedures.
  • Provide advice on learning and development support.


  • Act as designated HR point of contact for MSF Ireland contracted staff on favour (host) contract with regard to employee relations, contractual issues and communication.


  • Build and maintain HR networks, within and outside the sector representing MSF Ireland as appropriate.
  •  Serve as an expert resource for resolution in case of grievances to all managers and staff.

 This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employee may perform other related duties to meet the ongoing needs of the organisation. This job description does not form part of the contract of employment.


Essential Skills

  • Educated to post-graduate level with CIPD / Irish Institute of Training and Development qualification or an equivalent level of professional knowledge and expertise gained through relevant experience.
  • Numeracy skill for Payroll and Compensation and Benefits.
  • Demonstrable extensive knowledge of Irish employment legislation.
  • HR advisory and business partnering experience.
  • Demonstrable experience in defining diverse recruitment paths.
  • Develop and implement HR strategy and build HR annual plans.
  • Strong organisational and prioritising skills and the ability to handle a variety of tasks simultaneously.
  • Excellent inter-personal, networking and communication skills.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, unpredictable, and demanding environment with constantly shifting priorities.
  • Strong analytical skills as well as positive attitude to problem solving and conflict resolution.
  • Excellent team-working skills as well as proven ability to work independently.
  • Experience in negotiating, reviewing, and managing external contracts.
  • Good working knowledge of MS Office, including proficient use of Excel.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English.
  • Commitment to aims and values to Médecins Sans Frontières.


  • Extensive experience of working in a generalist HR environment, within the Charity Sector.
  • Coaching Experience of working in a large matrix organisation.
  • Experience working in International HR contexts.

MSF UK/IE is an equal opportunities employer. We are committed to diversity and creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We encourage applications from all sections of our diverse community.


Apply on our website by submitting a copy of your CV together with a letter of motivation by the closing date.

Application checklist
Please check that you have included the following in your application:

  • an up-to-date CV
  • Letter of Motivation, which is a supporting statement demonstrating how you meet the key requirements of the role.

Recruitment timetable:

• Closing date for applications: 29 October 2021, 11.59pm
• Interviews: to be confirmed

General Info

Date Entered/Updated
11th Oct, 2021
Expiry Date
29th Oct, 2021