People and Culture Director Job Vacancy in Nairobi, Kenya

Mercy Corps 

Position Title: People and Culture Director - Nairobi, Kenya

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.

In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions

into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.

Now, and for the future.

Mercy Corps began working in Kenya in 2008 and has built a robust and diverse portfolio working to enable Kenyans affected by poverty, resource scarcity and conflict to be healthy, productive and to drive peace and development of their communities. To do this, we deliver integrated programming to strengthen market and governance systems, innovate urban youth employment opportunities, address the root causes of conflict, and build the resilience of vulnerable populations - in particular youth, women, adolescents and marginalized communities.

Working with a diverse base of donors that includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UK Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), European Commission (EC), Switzerland,, Cisco, and other foundations, institutional and private donors, Mercy Corps empowers people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. We work closely with the private sector, civil society and governance structures at local and national levels to facilitate change and ensure that opportunities are inclusive of all Kenyans.

Program / Department Summary

The People and Culture Department is responsible for providing effective HR policies, procedures, and people-friendly guidelines and support within Mercy Corps Kenya, regional and global teams based in Kenya. This includes but is not limited to lead the support on: talent acquisition & development; employee engagement coordination; country wide training & learning management; compensation & benefits administration; country wide performance management oversight; disciplinary & grievance handling; staff data management; staff disengagement management and third party service provision management.

General Position Summary

The People and Culture Director provides leadership of the human resource and organizational development function in Mercy Corps Kenya. S/he will drive excellence in all people functions of all offices in Kenya through 1) developing and implementing people strategy as well as systems and processes (such as performance management systems), 2) Build the capacity of teams through appropriate learning opportunities, 3) Promote a healthy working environment through building a culture of trust, accountability and mutual respect.

This position ensures the overall provision of a high-level standard of HR services, policies, and programs for the Kenya Country Office. This includes developing, implementing and overseeing HR processes and procedures in accordance with Kenya policy laws / standards, Mercy Corps policies and procedures, leadership of the People Team as well as support initiatives and projects aimed at ensuring the MC Kenya Team is implementing the Global Mercy Corps’ People Team Strategy while ensuring compliance with all donor policies. S/he will ensure that the Kenya Team is always as happy and productive as possible. The People Director builds the capacity of all team members across the country team as well as provides support and advice to the Country Director on HR issues. S/he will work closely with all staff to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in HR procedures.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Develop and implement a country People Strategy for Mercy Corps Kenya and liaise with HQ, regional and country offices to support and contribute to global/regional People/HR strategy.
  • Establish annual People and Culture work plan, set priorities, monitor work progress and ensure results are achieved according to schedule and set standards.
  • Support all People and Culture processes for national staff holding global and regional roles,
  • Support and contribute to the development and implementation of Mercy Corps Kenya strategy.
  • Provide strategic leadership and oversight of all MCK People and Culture processes.
  • Develop, implement and monitor the interpretation and application of Kenya labor laws, human resources systems, practices and procedures as well as complementary procedures that reflect the needs of programming as required.
  • Ensure that the National Employee Handbook is updated and revised in line with the Labor Law and that clarity is provided accordingly.
  • Remain informed, on an ongoing basis, about current and changing HR related laws, policies and “best practices” to ensure that current and future staff policies, employment practices, and compensation packages are within the limits of established standards.
  • Advise departments on organizational structure challenges, reviews, and improvements.


  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence and continued learning.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.


  • Help design optimal program and shared services staffing plans to deliver programs and strategy effectively.
  • Support the People and Culture team to develop and implement a country-level recruitment strategy that is inclusive of gender and diversity, etc. This includes setting clear performance indicators and regularly monitoring progress.
  • Ensure recruiting and hiring practices are in compliance with government regulations and organizational policies.
  • Ensure all hiring requests are completed according to Recruitment Policies and Procedures.
  • Ensure that exit process for staff departing Mercy Corps is conducted in line with the HR policies and Mercy Corps requirements.
  • Ensure strategic reviews of the organizational charts and structure for all positions across all programs and departments are conducted on a regular basis, covered within budgets and shared with the team.
  • Oversee the implementation of consistent systems in the orientation and induction of new national and expatriate staff.


  • Support in implementation of country level compensation in line with Global Compensation philosophy.
  • Ensure all country staff are covered on all relevant insurances.
  • Benchmark and review the salary scale and benefits packages against the market every two-years basis to ensure competitiveness within the job market.
  • Conduct job evaluations on new and existing positions and manage country wide job audits to ensure equity and competitiveness within the job market.
  • Provide required support during assigned expatriate recruitment activities.


  • Using available HR data work with the team to deploy annual employee surveys to promote employee engagement within our offices.
  • Ensure effective implementation of MC Kenya performance management system.
  • Support management’s goal of continuous capacity development of national team members through the provision of internal and external training.
  • Coordinate with People and Culture team during internal compliance activities including of routine audits, investigations and disciplinary meetings.
  • Alongside our legal counsel, support the management of all human resource related legal issues in compliance with Kenya labor law.
  • Proactively update senior management on any issues and grievances and ensure efficient and transparent solutions that protect both Mercy Corps Kenya Team members and the organization's interests in accordance with policies, regulations and procedures.
  • Promote the Mercy Corps Kenya goals and targets in support of global initiatives.
  • Coordinate office/work spaces between the HR and Operations departments to foster a harmonious work environment that reinforces Mercy Corps’ culture of innovation, influence and impact.


  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback and assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.


  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

Organizational Learning

As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient, and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

Supervisory Responsibility: People and Culture Team.

Reports Directly to: Country Director.

Works Directly with: Senior Management team, Global and Regional People and Talent Acquisition Team, Program and Department Leads.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field; masters in Human Resource Management is highly desired.
  • Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP K) is highly preferred.
  • 10 - 12 years of professional HR experience, including at least 5 years in leadership positions in the practice of Human Resource Management.
  • Understanding and experience navigating multiple regulatory sources (labor laws, donor requirements, etc) and developing HR policies and procedures that ensure compliance with each.
  • Demonstrated understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns and appropriate responses with experience in insecure environments.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines, problem-solving independently and cooperatively.
  • Experience in the deployment and management of HR systems.
  • Knowledge of donor regulations including USAID, EC, FCDO regulations is an added advantage.
  • Excellent negotiation and representation skills.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications.
  • Demonstrated experience in promoting and leading organizational learning, culture and wellbeing.
  • Excellent oral and written English language skills required; knowledge of Kiswahili is an added advantage.
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Demonstrated understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns, and appropriate responses to such emergencies.

Success Factors

The People and Culture Director has superb skills, experience and passion for developing strategy and processes, promoting culture of wellbeing. S/he will possess critical problem-solving skills, and the ability to work out methods to deliver successful programs while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor regulations. A successful candidate will have the ability to maintain strong cooperating relationships and interact effectively with international and national staff as well as capacity building and demonstrate ability to multitask, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. S/he will have the ability to work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work environment and be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites.

The successful candidate will have a desire to grow and learn in one of the most interesting and complex crisis of our times. She/He will be comfortable in asking colleagues for help as well as stepping out of her/his role to assist others since the Mercy Corps team is one that emphasizes the value of joy and curiosity.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives. We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

How to apply

People and Culture Director - Nairobi, Kenya | Mercy Corps Kenya (