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The Pharo Foundation

The Pharo Foundation


Position: Head of Human Resources
Job Time: Full-Time
Job Type: Contract
Place of Work: Addis Ababa, Addis Abeba - Ethiopia
Posted date: 2 weeks ago
Deadline: Submition date is over


Pharo Foundation (“the Foundation”) is a mission-driven, non-profit organization that designs, funds and operates economic development programs to achieve its vision of a vibrant, productive, and self-reliant Africa. Over the next decade, our goal is to create maximum impact toward three critical missions:

  • Empowering the next generation: Our education mission is to ensure that all students have an opportunity to access a high-quality, affordable education, and become productive citizens of a rapidly-changing world.
  • Eliminating barriers to employment and productivity: Our productivity mission is to identify and eliminate health, financial, and structural barriers to employment and productivity for working people.
  • Solving water scarcity: Our water mission is to ensure that people and communities across Africa have access to a safe and affordable source of water.

We are a diverse, multicultural, and passionate organization, with over 500 employees in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Somaliland. Our headquarters are in Nairobi, Kenya, and we have a liaison office in London, UK, which is home to our parent organization, Pharo Management.


A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a Head of Human Resources to join the Pharo Foundation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. You will be motivated by the opportunity to play a key role in the success of multiple programmes in the country.

Collaborating with the senior teams in Addis Ababa and Nairobi, you will be at the forefront of defining and implementing human resources management strategy across a diverse portfolio of programs in Ethiopia. Critical to success in this role will be your ability to help infuse the vision, mission, and values of the Foundation and create the culture that derives from these principles. With our growing staff population in Ethiopia, your role in ensuring a positive employee experience is key to the overall success of the Foundation. You will therefore define and lead the organisation’s approach to employee engagement in the country.

This strategic HR position requires you to understand the objectives and goals of the Foundation and to work with the teams to create a human resources management strategy that aligns with these objectives in Ethiopia. Capable of being a mentor and guide to your HR reports, and beyond to the rest of the organization in Ethiopia (teams are in Addis and Assosa) you will help them to implement best practice HR policies and procedures. The challenge will be to ensure excellence in the HR function whilst accounting for diverse operating environments.

Sharing the Foundation’s passion for talent development, you will create a comprehensive talent management program in Ethiopia. This will be a wide-ranging scheme, which includes talent management, succession planning, building talent pipelines, creating career progression learning and development programs, retention strategies, and all the other aspects required to promote individual job satisfaction, and team harmony and ensure exceptional overall organizational performance.

Key relationships

Role: Head of Human Resources

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Reporting to: Country Director, Ethiopia

Direct Reports: Senior HR Officer

Duties and responsibilities

Human Capital Development and Management

  • To expand and strengthen our Ethiopian team by recruiting and retaining the best talent possible domestically and from the diaspora.
  • To identify the training needs of employees and ensure processes are in place to support and encourage appropriate personal and professional development of staff within the context of the organizational objectives.
  • To provide solid leadership, inspiration, and mentorship to the team.
  • To ensure that an employee handbook and other guidelines are compliant with the Foundation’s HR policies and the local employment law and regulations are updated regularly.

Policies and Procedures

  • Ensure that all HR policies are regularly reviewed, and all staff are aware of these policies and follow the provided guidelines.
  • Ensure that HR assessments for key people processes such as attrition, performance management, training, onboarding, and offboarding are conducted regularly.
  • Ensure compliance with other relevant local regulations and policies as they are developed.

Employee Relations and Welfare

  • Demonstrate mature leadership that wins the confidence of employees for resolving all sensitive matters.
  • Serve as a bridge between employees and management by addressing grievances and staff welfare issues.
  • Closely working with the Foundation legal advisors to administer employee processes fairly and within appropriate legal frameworks.
  • Play a key role in the Senior Management Team (SMT) of the Foundation’s country office and use the forum for resolving high-level HR issues.

Talent Management

  • Implement a best practice and comprehensive talent management program in Ethiopia.
  • Build talent pipelines and create career development plans.
  • Oversee and manage periodic performance appraisal systems in a way that nurtures high performance.
  • Develop retention strategies and all talent development aspects required to promote individual satisfaction, and team harmony, and ensure exceptional overall performance.

Culture, Performance and Compensation Management

  • Have processes in place to ensure new employees are a culture fit, aligned, fully understand, and uphold Pharo Foundation values.
  • Drive performance management processes utilizing SMART KPIs.
  • Learn from research and industry practices to maintain competitive pay plans and benefits programs.

Qualifications and requirements

  • Possess a postgraduate qualification (the minimum required is a Bachelor’s Degree. Membership of an HR professional association will be an added advantage.)
  • A minimum of seven (7) years of professional experience; three (3) of these must have been in senior management roles.
  • Prior experience of working across diverse entities or subsidiaries is a distinct advantage but as a minimum, each candidate must be able to demonstrate strong HR leadership in sizeable companies or divisions.
  • An excellent bilingual communicator, written and spoken, in Amharic and English.
  • Deep understanding of Ethiopian labor laws, standards, and legal requirements.
  • Proven working experience as an HR Manager or other HR executive role with knowledge of HR systems and databases.
  • Excellent active listening, negotiation, and presentation skills.

Personal attributes

  • A strong and charismatic individual with a solid pedigree and experience of working for and leading the HR function in significant organizations.
  • Superb management skills: able to manage and motivate a wide variety of employees from diverse backgrounds professionally and compellingly.
  • Respect and understand the local culture and values and yet embrace and work within international work ethics and standards.
  • Problem-solving and creative thinking skills: the ability to get results in unstructured environments, solid track record for growing businesses, and implementing best practice policies and processes.
  • A self-assured, internally motivated, and passionate individual with outstanding communication skills driven to succeed and make a difference.
  • Must possess high levels of integrity, resilience, accountability, commitment, and determination.
  • Data-driven and at the same time people-oriented in decision-making.

Application procedure

We will review completed applications on a rolling basis. If we identify an outstanding candidate early in the process, we reserve the right to appoint them before the deadline. For this reason, we encourage interested candidates to apply as early as possible. Due to the high volume of applications, we regret that we will only contact shortlisted candidates.

  • A detailed CV and cover letter. In your letter, please state where you heard about this position or saw it advertised (g., website, LinkedIn, etc.).
  • An essay of no more than 1,000 words outlining:
  • What experience have you gained that makes you the most qualified candidate for the role?
  • What plan would you execute to motivate and retain talent within our Ethiopian team while promoting the Foundation’s work in the country?
  • A one-page list of 4 references with current addresses, phone numbers, and email contacts.

Pharo Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.