Director, People & Culture, Africa Dakar, Senegal, Dakar

Director, People & Culture, Africa Dakar, Senegal, Dakar

Director, People & Culture, Africa Dakar, Senegal, Dakar

This job posting expired and applications are no longer accepted.
Helen KellerInternational
May 19, 2022
Dakar, Senegal
Position type
Experience (minimum)
10+ Years
Education (minimum)
Travel required?
Base salary (minimum)
Not specified


Helen Keller Intl

Job Announcement


Director, People & Culture, Africa

Dakar, Senegal preferred

Other locations where Helen Keller has a presence in Africa will be considered


Guided by the remarkable legacy of its co-founder, Helen Keller, Helen Keller Intl partners with communities striving to overcome longstanding cycles of poverty.  By delivering the essential building blocks of good health, sound nutrition and clear vision, we help millions of people create lasting change in their own lives.  Working in more than 20 countries – across Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States – and together with a global community of supporters, we are ensuring every person has the opportunity – as Helen did – to reach their true potential.


Helen Keller is seeking a Director, People & Culture to lead human resources management throughout our Africa country and program offices that balances the importance of policy and process with the cultivation of a positive and inclusive workplace culture.


The ideal candidate will share our view that how we work with and treat one another, and how we interact with our donors, partners and clients are essential to both a healthy workplace culture and to positive program outcomes.


Functional Relationships

Reporting to the Vice President, People & Culture, the Africa Director is a member of the global People & Culture department as well as the Africa Regional Management Team (RMT).


The Director partners with Regional Directors, Country Directors, Directors of multi-country program portfolios and global colleagues from other departments who support our field projects, to ensure alignment and appropriate adaptation of all HR policies and procedures to each country office and program portfolio.


As the functional lead for People & Culture in the region, the Director serves as the dotted line manager of HR staff in the country offices, contributing to selection and ongoing performance management.  S/he will also engage and supervise consultants and other vendors, as assigned.


Helen Keller has a matrixed reporting structure. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential to make this structure thrive.


Scope of the Position

The Director serves as a leader on the global People & Culture team, contributing to the annual HR & Culture risk assessment and the development of Helen Keller’s strategic People & Culture and human resources management plans with a specific focus on national staff.


This position serves as the lead People & Culture partner for Regional Directors in their oversight and support to country programs, as well as to Country Directors, Country Representatives and their deputies, and their HR staff with regards to compensation design, analysis and implementation; employee relations; HR systems, labor law compliance organizational design, talent recruitment and management etc.  S/he collaborates with the Director, Learning & Development to identify and respond to learning needs and to create a supportive environment for growth and development.


The Director supports management to understand and comply with relevant internal and external policies, laws and regulations. To be an effective partner, the incumbent must seek to understand and support the organizational business model and program objectives.

S/he will be a client-focused resource providing end-to-end HR support to build and cultivate a high-performance, ethical team culture that reflects our organizational values of rigor, integrity, grit and compassion to better fulfill our mission.


This position will ideally be based at the regional office in Dakar, Senegal, with regular field travel to the country offices and occasionally to the US for meetings.


Specific Responsibilities


As a member of the global People & Culture department

  • Foster and contribute to efforts to apply a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lens to all aspects of human resources management.
  • Collaborate with colleagues, both individually and on organization-wide workgroups to develop and roll-out organization-wide policy, procedure and systems changes, with a particular focus on sharing the perspective of and potential impact on our country program offices.
  • Participate in the continuous reflection and improvement on policies and practices related to compensation and benefits including, but not limited to: job analysis; survey participation; job matching; building harmonized salary scales; benefits gap analysis; and communicating effectively about our practices.
  • Share perspective on country office learning and development needs. Facilitate trainings on Code of Conduct, Performance Management, Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment, and other topics as requested.
  • Participate actively in HR Community of Practice. Coordinate and/or lead sessions, as requested.
  • Cross-train on and back-up the duties of colleagues, providing surge support where and when needed.


As the lead for National Staff management in Africa

  • Provide direction, guidance and support for end-to-end HR management of national staff in the Africa region.
  • Lead the development of an annual HR work plan that sets priorities for projects that align with the organizational and departmental strategy.
  • Partner with the RMT, country program leadership and HR staff to build a highly effective HR function in each place we work, manage each office effectively and cultivate a positive work environment. Collaborate to:
    • Review and recommend changes to country office organization structure and staffing levels to support effective program delivery and anticipation of funding or programmatic changes.
    • Harmonize HR practices with Helen Keller global standards and guidelines while observing all local labor laws.
    • Advise and assist in the interpretation and implementation Helen Keller policies and procedures. Introduce new or revised policies.
    • Ensure understanding and compliance with host country labor and tax laws.
    • Ensure handbooks, recruitment guidelines, reglements interieurs, etc. are regularly reviewed, updated as needed and carefully adhered to.
    • Conduct at least semi-annual compensation analysis.
    • Analyse and recommend annual salary increase to keep pace with the local market;
    • Guide the resolution of complex employee relations matters in a manner that treats employees equitably and serves the best interests of the organization, calling upon expert resources, as needed.
    • Lead quality control of data in and usage of HR systems and reporting tools such as the employee management system (NetSuite), learning management system (Keller Learning Hub) payroll software (Homere), Time & Effort reporting (Journyx), etc.
    • Lead and/or participate in recruitment of HR staff.
  • Coach management teams and supervisors in their units to:
    • Effectively onboard new staff;
    • engage in our continuous performance conversation model designed to address both work results and work behaviors;
    • continually integrate employee development in their supervision; and
    • to proactively handle employee relations issues as they arise.
  • Collaborate to recruit, supervise, mentor, and evaluate HR staff, and engaging in frequent performance conversations.
  • Provide orientation to all human resources staff as well as new regional staff and senior country office staff, introducing them to ongoing projects and new initiatives.
  • Delegate authority, consult with, and guide staff to achieve goals and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development.
  • Model collaboration for your matrixed team: effectively consult and inform colleagues to maximize efficiency and knowledge sharing and integrate guidance and direction from subject matter experts in your office and elsewhere in the global organization to maximize performance.


Required Skills/Abilities

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and French.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including active listening skills, the ability to communicate effectively across cultures, and to negotiate effectively with internal and external colleagues.
  • Ability to comprehend, interpret and apply the appropriate sections of applicable laws, guidelines, regulations, ordinances, and policies.
  • Ability to acquire a thorough understanding of the organization’s hierarchy, jobs, qual-ifications, compensation practices, and the administrative practices related to those factors.
  • Demonstrated interest in development / public health programs and an understanding of the synergy between the programmatic, operational, and financial components of development programs strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to partner with senior managers to address HR needs, and to effectively coach and mentor staff. Strong track record in solving complex employee issue
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the application of information technology to this type of work including HR systems, and Microsoft Office Suite or equivalent, including Excel.
  • Pro-active learning, keeping abreast of current and changing HR trends and practices
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team including ability to prioritize workload, assume responsibility for work, and follow through to completion.
  • Collaborative, flexible and solution-oriented. An ability to maintain balance when under stress.
  • Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender, with a high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards.
  • Personal commitment to Helen Keller’s mission and goals and the values embodied by Helen Keller Intl’s co-founder, Helen Keller: compassion, grit, rigor and optimism.
  • Ability and willingness to flex work hours to accommodate multiple time zones, and to travel when need be.
  • Ability to undertake international and field travel (approximately 20%). Please note that all staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to travel internationally.




Education and Experience

  • A bachelor’s degree in a related field and a minimum of 10 years directly relevant HR experience in Africa, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Working knowledge of multiple HR disciplines including staffing, workforce planning, recruiting, employee relations, compensation practices, performance management, and relevant employment laws.
  • Experience in a multi-national/multi-cultural organization, including experience supporting the HR function in more than one country.
  • Experience in a non-profit and general knowledge of the rules and regulations pertaining to donor funded projects, a strong plus.


To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to .  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


In the spirit of our founder and namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated to

building an inclusive workforce where diversity in all its forms is fully valued.


We are an Equal Opportunity Employer where all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities.  If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need to request an accommodation during the application or interview process, please contact us at the email above or call: +1 646-356-1789.

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