Head of Human Resources

Heidelberg, Germany
Commensurate depending on experience and qualifications
04 May 2022
End of advertisement period
03 Jun 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

We are looking for a forward-thinking Head of Human Resources with strong service orientation to develop and lead delivery of EMBL’s people strategy.

As a world-renowned scientific organisation EMBL’s continuing success depends on attracting, motivating, supporting and developing highly educated, creative and talented, diverse groups of people from across the globe to work on solving some of the most important issues facing humankind. Our 1900 staff include researchers, technology experts, scientific services staff and other support professionals.

This is an exciting time to join EMBL as we start on an ambitious new programme across the six European sites, bringing the opportunity to shape the overall people strategy and develop a solutions-driven, engaged and cohesive HR function.

Your role

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), you will lead on both the strategic and operational remits of Human Resources.

EMBL leadership will look to you for expert advice on people matters and organisational development issues and as key liaison point with the Staff Association.  As a member of the COO Strategy team you will work closely with colleagues to develop integrated strategy and operations.

Leading the HR team of around 35 staff located in Heidelberg, Germany and Hinxton, UK, you will aim to run highly effective HR operations that meet the needs of the organisation, staff and stakeholders - delivering a full HR partnering service supported by specialists in recruitment, employee relations, learning and development, pay and benefits.

In addition, there are aspects of the role which relate to EMBL’s status as an international organisation, including internal social security system which comprises pension, health insurance and unemployment insurance, and a system of family-related benefits and allowances. EMBL benefits from privileges including exemption from national taxation and standard immigration restrictions.  Wide international experience will provide a more useful background than deep knowledge of HR in one nation.

EMBL’s ambitious people programme requires you to lead strategic, cultural and digital change and transformation within the HR function.

You will role model and champion EMBL’s values of innovation, collaboration, equality, diversity and inclusion - ensuring policies and practices support and align with these values, and leading by example to ensure consistent, fair and transparent application of the EMBL Staff Rules and Regulations and related policies across the organisation.

To be successful in this role you will engage fully with the drivers, challenges and demands of a scientific organisation, have real excitement and enthusiasm for change and want to make a measurable difference.

  You have

  • Advanced university degree or similar in human resources management, public or business administration or related area
  • Significant leadership experience with a minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in international human resources management
  • Proven ability to set out clear vision, purpose and plans, and motivate staff at all levels
  • Broad experience in all aspects of human resources management, including recruitment, benefits and entitlements, employee relations, policies and procedures, performance management, learning and development
  • Demonstrable experience of organisational development and leading change in a cultural, strategic and digital transformation exercise
  • An ability to work with a wide range of colleagues and stakeholders from a wide variety of functions and background within a research and academic environment
  • Track record as a champion of equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Ability to inspire and empower staff in HR and beyond, nurture an innovative engaging culture encouraging staff to take initiatives and responsibility
  • Proactive approach - aligning service provision with current requirements, while horizon-scanning and planning for future needs
  • Advanced analytical skills, demonstrated in data-driven decision-making, and the ability to provide advice on a broad range of HR and organisational matters
  • Excellent people skills and the ability to engage constructively, collaboratively and productively with colleagues at all levels and from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures
  • Strong negotiation skills and ability to proactively problem solve
  • Excellent teamwork and enthusiasm to support collective ambitions, specifically where HR interfaces with areas such as finance, legal and digitalisation
  • Fluent verbal and written English and the ability to work in either German and/or French

  You might also have

  • Experience of the life sciences or academic sector
  • Experience of working in an international or intergovernmental organisation

  Why join us

EMBL is curiosity-driven, community-oriented and international. As an inclusive, equal opportunity employer, we believe that diversity enables us to collaborate more effectively and be innovative in our approaches. We are, therefore, committed to creating an inclusive and flexible culture - one where everyone can realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to our organisation. EMBL offers attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation with a very collegial and family-friendly working environment. Competitive salary, a relaxed culture, ongoing professional development, an on-site nursery, canteen and library all make EMBL a great place to work.

For this role we encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing team – we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and personal experiences reflect the diversity of the populations that our science serves. We are particularly interested in the strengths and lived experiences of women, different ethnic groups and cultures, and all demographics to help us avoid perpetuating biases and oversights at this transformational point in our people strategy.

What else you need to know

We are Europe’s flagship research laboratory for the life sciences – an intergovernmental organisation performing scientific research in disciplines including molecular biology, physics, chemistry and computer science. We are an international, innovative and interdisciplinary laboratory with approx. 2000 employees from many nations, operating across six sites, in Heidelberg (HQ), Barcelona, Hinxton near Cambridge, Hamburg, Grenoble and Rome.

Please note that appointments on fixed term contracts can be renewed up to 9 years in total, depending on circumstances at time of review.

If you would like more information or to talk about this role please email coo-office@embl.org.