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People Services, Operations Lead - Emergencies & Recovery

Canadian Red Cross

Location: Ottawa, ON

The opportunity we have available will not be for the faint of heart!  We’re looking for someone with the right stuff!  Having the right stuff means you thrive under pressure, tight deadlines, without losing track of the details, can manage multiple processes simultaneously, without losing your cool.  This opportunity is custom-made for someone who doesn’t shy away from stressful situations; in fact, you tackle them head-on!  Oh, and did we mention that when we say that you’ll make a difference, it’s not just a slogan?  What you do will have a direct impact on the Canadian Red Cross responding to international humanitarian crises; you’ll be an integral part of providing aid to those around the world who are most in need.  If it sounds like you’ve got the right stuff for this opportunity, we invite you to keep on reading and submit your resume to us!

This position reports to the People Services (PS) Manager, International Operations (IO), and is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate human resources are identified and deployed to international and domestic emergencies in a timely manner.  This will require the Advisor to act as the main focal points for the deploying employees and as the interface between the International emergencies Team and various services within the PS department.  In times of major deployments to sudden-onset disaster, this will require flexible working hours and the ability to handle short deadlines.

The Advisor is also responsible for PS support to the Emergencies team including employee relations, performance management, coaching and development, recruiting, training, workforce and succession planning, organizational structure and change in accordance with Canadian Red Cross established policies and procedures, relevant legislation and best practices. The People Services, Operations Lead participates in client management meetings and leads in the implementation and coordination of various PS programs.


  • Coordinates deployment of Delegates in response to international and domestic emergencies
    • Ensures timely deployment and return of Delegates
    • Develops a strong understanding of the various administrative functions, such as travel arrangements, letters of offer, visa applications
    • Proactively seeks solutions for staffing of key functions required to ensure successful operations
  • Participates in the rotating “On Call” process.
  • Maintains and builds relationships with other Red Cross/Red Crescent National Societies to ensure cooperation and collaboration on a shared mission
  • Ensures own understanding and familiarity with emergency response systems, structures and tools;
  • Makes commitments to the Emergencies & Recovery Team on PS activities that are mindful of PS resource availability, service level agreements (mandate letters) and data driven prioritization of investments.
  • Develops an in-depth understanding of the Emergencies & Recovery Team operations and workforce and their needs and priorities and understands how to leverage the collective People Services team to meet those needs and priorities;
  • Partners with managers and leaders in the Emergencies & Recovery Team to identify and drive talent priorities and develop workforce plans in alignment with broader organizational strategy and planning;
  • Assesses critical PS metrics and data (e.g., surveys, exit interviews, focus groups) to generate insights that inform decisions and strategy and reports to the client’s leadership team;
  • Implements PS initiatives which support operational strategies and enable the operations to anticipate and adapt to existing and future needs (e.g., workforce planning, training, succession planning, performance management, rewards, compensation, change management, onboarding) in coordination with the broader People Services team;
  • Continuously evaluates and adapts programs/procedures/policies developed by National Office/IFRC/ICRC to identify the implications in International Operations.
  • Provides guidance to employees and managers on the interpretation of People Services policies and employment legislation, monitors compliance and acts on gaps and risks;
  • Consults on issues related to performance, Code of Conduct breaches, People Services–related complaints, termination, etc. and guides management in their effective resolution;
  • Assesses personnel attitudes and tracks trends in behaviors, identifying areas of risk and concern, bringing them to client leadership attention and implementing strategies for improvement;
  • Participates, and where assigned, leads in the development and implementation of PS programs (e.g., training & development, compensation, workforce planning, performance, junior delegate program, etc.)
  • Facilitates focus groups, consultations, surveys etc. with client groups and other stakeholders to identify PS program/system/policy needs, receive feedback and buy-in on strategies and solution.
  • Represents the PS team with their client group to manage expectations and ensure effective two-way communication
  • Support the identification of strategic and operational PS needs analysis
  • Establishes, builds and monitors ongoing internal client relationships ensuring effective and positive interaction and satisfaction;


Qualifications and Knowledge

  • Bachelor’s degree or diploma in Human Resources Management, business or related discipline, or a combination of education and management experience that would be considered equivalent
  • Candidates with relevant operational experience as part of the Red Cross Movement or another international emergency response organization will also be considered
  • Knowledge of emergency deployment systems highly desired
  • Knowledge and experience with workforce management and PS metrics
  • Up to date knowledge and understanding of employment related legislation, and operational best practices
  • Possesses CHRL or working towards preferred
  • Strong business operations acumen


  • Minimum of five years of combined experience in one or more of the following areas:
    • HR Generalist.
    • Project/Program Coordinator in a relevant field, such as operations or emergency response.
    • Third party recruitment in fast-paced temporary staffing.
  • Demonstrated experience providing coaching and advice on complex people relations issues (e.g., performance management, discipline, termination, restructuring, change management).
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing a range of People Services strategies and programs in response to business needs (e.g., workforce planning, compensation, development, performance management).
  • Experience providing operational guidance to management, experience and knowledge of employee relations and risk management.
  • Exposure to working in a matrix management environment a strong asset.
  • Experience with the Canadian Red Cross and/or the Red Cross Movement a definite asset.


  • Proven to be solutions-oriented, proactive, flexible and diligent in solving emergency deployment challenges
  • Professionalism, credibility and exceptional interpersonal skills to work collaboratively within a team and establish and manage productive internal and external relationships at all levels of the organization
  • Ability to work in stressful and often ambiguous conditions.
  • Ability to function effectively in a matrix environment balancing the expectations and needs of both the functional and professional teams.
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to identify cross-impacts between geographies, functions and people services.
  • Strong project management, problem solving, evaluation and analytical skills, keen attention to detail
  • Strong customer service orientation and planning, organization, priority setting and negotiation skills to manage multiple clients with competing priorities
  • Superior time management skills and ability to deal with ambiguity and reprioritize tasks in response to unexpected changes in priorities/requests and effectively manage change in fast paced environment.
  • Fluency (speaking, reading and writing) in English is essential; fluency in French is highly desirable.


  • The majority of the work is performed in typical office environment;
  • Willingness to work non-traditional and longer hours often on short notice especially during times of emergency response;
  • International travel may be required, including deployment to difficult/restricted locations.
  • Must be able to be Medical Cleared for travel in accordance with established CRC Medical criteria in positions where travel will be required;
  • Must be able to successfully complete a Canadian criminal record reference check and vulnerable sector check.
If you are interested in making a difference and be part of a global humanitarian movement, please submit your cover letter and resume directly online here or by midnight EST on October 1st , 2017. Applications will be reviewed on a regular basis and the job posting will remain open until a qualified candidate is recruited.


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