International Reference Field Function Grid Coordinator

Location:    Geneva, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam or Barcelona
Duration:   10 months
    Full-time position
Reporting to: International Human Resources Coordinator
MSF experience:    At least 2 years prior MSF experience required


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is a leading international independent medical relief organisation, dedicated to providing expert medical relief to vulnerable populations at times of conflict or disaster.

MSF's aim is to provide impartial assistance, on the basis of need alone, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, creed or political affiliation. To maintain its independence from political interference, MSF relies on donations from individuals around the world for at least 50 percent of its income. This private funding gives MSF the freedom to respond to the greatest needs as fast as possible.

MSF International is the legal entity that binds MSF’s 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together. Based in Geneva, MSF International provides coordination, information and support to the MSF movement, and implements international projects and initiatives as requested.


MSF field staff is composed of National Staff (90%) and International Staff (10%) providing life-saving emergency and longer-term assistance in 80 countries. MSF recruits international field staff (expats) from 130 countries worldwide, working for five Operational Centres.

In order to facilitate the management of more than 34.000 field staff, MSF has developed an international reference field function grid (IRFFG). With the IRFFG MSF intends to improve  the quality of its operations in the field in the mid to long-term by supporting a consistent, transparent and fair HR management and reinforcing the accountability of the field staff.

This grid applies to both national and international field staff. The IRFFG is the result of a professional grading of field functions based on a common set of weighting criteria agreed by all MSF operational sections. It has an all-inclusive approach: all field positions (from HoM to watchman function) are included in one function grid, with no distinction between positions held by international or national staff

The main objectives of the reference function grid are to:

  • Support pay structures and define career paths
  • Increase transparency and clarity in definition of responsibilities
  • Facilitate mobility between positions via increased standardization of positions
  • Increase equity in post classification between missions and MSF sections
  • Reduce unnecessary workload and duplication

In the start- up phase of implementation the need for central coordination and a centralized database to be able to maintain the grid became apparent.  As a consequence the intersectional Focal Point for the IRFFG was appointed in 2014 to ensure that the IRFFG strategy is followed by the OCs and to coordinate the efforts of the OCs to further develop, implement and maintain the IRFFG.

There is now a need for an intersectional coordinator to realise the long term objective of the grid and to ensure the grid is a living tool and evolves according to the operational needs and to its primary objective of harmonisation.  


The position reports hierarchically to the International HR-Coordinator and works in collaboration with the relevant international platforms (technical and field HR platform).


The main tasks and responsibilities are:

  • Developing the IRFFG vision of the IDHR (platform of the HR directors) into objectives, policies and tools :
    • Serve as facilitator to the IDRH in finalizing a clear vision for the function grid
    • Develop the objectives and policies of the grid for IDRH approval (including maintenance structure and governance rules)
    • Ensure that the vision and long term objective are appropriated by the various stakeholders.
    • Providing updates on progress to various stakeholders.
    • Supporting the platforms in increasing the level of knowledge and acceptance of the IRFFG across the organization (for instance, providing content for training modules on IRFFG for field and HQ HR)
    • Mediate discussions between platforms to reach agreement on function definitions.
    • Liaising with all the stakeholders of the IRFFG to clarify questions and develop content
    • Proposing maintenance structure and governance rules for IRFFG involving all stakeholders.
  • IRFFG Implementation :
    • Finalizing with the Field HR Platform the planning of the implementation
    • Playing a support role when go-live implementations really take off.
    • Act as referral point and arbitrator for IRFFG questions/disagreements within platforms. By delegation from the IDRH, the IRFFG-Co has the mandate to put on the agenda of the different stakeholders - technical working groups, international platforms - the pending issues linked to the concerned jobs families in order to reach agreement on functions definition, classification and  process of alignment.
    • Ensuring the follow up of the function allocation audit
    • Defining KPIs and monitoring the progress of implementation
    • Ensuring the evaluation of the impact of IRFFG implementation
    • Whereas the actual implementation is done by the various OC’s, the IRFFG coordinator guards the integrity of the tool through all processes, providing advice on request
  • IRRFG evolution and maintenance (in close cooperation with the Technical HR Platform)
    • Developing, implementing and communicating maintenance procedures for IRFFG
    • Ensuring the internal coherence of the IRFFG through its evolution
    • Defining procedures to prevent the proliferation of roles in the grid  with the support of the different Platforms
    • Ensuring the completion of Reference jobs profiles and overseeing their standardization.
    • Scoring new functions
    • Providing function codes for new functions
    • Liaising with external partners (HAY, Web developer, Translators)  
    • Maintaining the IRFFG website/ centralized database
  • Training of the IRFFG end users
    • Formulating necessary training strategy for IRFFG, in collaboration with necessary platforms
    • Providing content for training modules on IRFFG for field and HQ HR


  • Genuine interest in, understanding of, and commitment to the humanitarian principles and challenges of MSF
  • Proven success in managing global, virtual teams
  • At least 2 years MSF experience
  • Experience in HR and knowledge and experience in Job profiling methodology is strongly preferred
  • Strong analytical skills and solution oriented
  • Able to interact effectively at all levels in a complex organization through excellent communication, negotiation and conflict management skills
  • Outstanding level of resilience, able to work in highly agile environment
  • Self-driven with the ability to take initiative
  • Able to work alone and as part of a team
  • Excellent organization and planning skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a proven ability to gain buy-in and commitment from a range of people
  • English: fluent, French: desirable.
  • Able to travel internationally

Starting date: End of February 2015
Contract: 10 months 100%
Location: MSF hub location
Deadline for applications: 13 February 2015
Please submit all applications only by email to: stating “IRFFG Coordinator” in the title.
Please submit your CV and cover letter in ONE file and name the file with your LAST NAME.

-Only short-listed candidates will be contacted-