TradeMark East Africa - Head of Human Resources

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About TradeMark Africa

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TMEA operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom, and United States of America.

TMEA works closely with regional intergovernmental organisations, including the African Union (AU), East Africa Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.

The first phase of TradeMark East Africa (2010-2018) delivered exceptional results which contributed to substantial gains in East Africa’s trade and regional integration in terms of reduced cargo transit times, improved border efficiency, and reduced barriers to trade. The second phase (2018- 2024) is focusing on:

1. Reducing barriers to trade; and

2. Improving business competitiveness.

TMEA believes this will deliver large-scale impact in job creation, poverty reduction and enhanced economic welfare.

With an annual expenditure of around US$100 million, TMEA is now the leading aid-for-trade facility in the world.

TMEA has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, with successful operations and offices in EAC-Arusha, Burundi (Bujumbura), Democratic Republic of Congo (Bukavu), Ethiopia (Addis-Ababa), Horn of Africa (Hargeisa), Malawi (Lilongwe), Rwanda (Kigali), South Sudan (Juba), Tanzania (Dar es Salaam) and Uganda (Kampala).



The job holder is responsible for the overall excellence of the HR function in the organisation, achieved through ensuring that the organisation is structured and resourced to deliver successfully on its mandate, developing and implementing its HR strategy, evolving talent management, nurturing a high performance and caring organisational culture, and providing excellent and consistent HR service to the organisation.

As a key member of the senior management team, s/he is expected to provide strategic advice, leadership and direction in the development and implementation of a results-driven performance management system, succession planning strategy, strategic workforce planning, progressive staff

welfare policies and strategies designed to build a motivating working environment, and continuous learning initiatives to equip staff to succeed now and in the future.

This role will oversee the HR function, delivering both cross-portfolio strategic initiatives as well as day-to-day HR business partnering in a multifunctional and matrix environment. S/he will draw on the latest thinking and best practice whilst ensuring relevant compliance requirements are met. With strong people engagement skills, the jobholder will respond dynamically to organisational and staff needs and embrace and implement innovative approaches and ideas.

Competitive salary and benefits
Role Role: Head of Human Resources (HoHR) Location: Nairobi, Kenya Salary:


Strategic Thought Partnership

• Collaborate with senior leadership to understand the organisation’s goals and strategy related to staffing, recruiting, retention, motivation, workforce planning and change management.

• Ensure people and business operations initiatives are aligned with the overall strategy.

• Provide expert strategic HR advice to support the Chief Executive Officer, the Senior Leadership and Management Teams and the Board, liaising with professional advisors where relevant.

• Lead the development and implementation of TMEA’s human resources strategy, policies, procedures and HR budgets to achieve TMEA’s strategic objectives.

• Lead, manage and support organisational change, working closely with colleagues to ensure that organisational changes are managed effectively in line with best practice and TradeMark values.

Sustainable Culture Building

• Steer a people-focused culture that celebrates the diversity of teams within the organisation and makes TMEA an employer of choice.

• Ensure that TradeMark is an equitable and inclusive employer with a safe workspace where all staff can thrive and feel valued.

• Develop initiatives that enhance relations and communication across the organisation to align and reflect our culture and values.

• Implement best practices for maintaining organisation’s health during change, scale and growth.

• Ensure effective employee safeguarding and an enabling working environment which is free of bullying and harassment through developing and implementing a robust staff management framework.

Talent Strategy

• Develop and implement a talent strategy in line with organisational needs, strengthening talent initiatives across the employee life cycle.

• Ensure there is an attractive employee value proposition aligned with business objectives to support employee retention.

• Build and proactively manage talent pipelines to fulfil resourcing and succession needs, ensuring strong relationships with programme

leadership and deep insight into TradeMark’s business needs.

• Responsible for strategic workforce planning, including the recruitment and selection process, induction and orientation of new staff, and ensuring deployment of staff adheres to TradeMark’s budget planning and optimises distribution and use of skills across the organisation.

• Lead the continuous improvement and implementation of an effective performance management system.

• Administer best practice compensation and benefits systems and maintain a robust remuneration strategy and appropriate terms and conditions of employment that are competitive to ensure that TradeMark attracts and retains a motivated workforce.

• Ensure that appropriate learning and development policies and programmes are in place.

• Identify, develop, deploy and retain talented staff including completing performance appraisals, personal development and succession plans effectively and on time in accordance with the established performance management system.



Leadership of the HR Function

• Provide technical expertise, oversight and, leadership for all essential HR activities leading to efficient and high-quality support across the organisation to facilitate delivery and support a motivated and high performing staff team.

• Develop accountability structures, oversee periodic reporting and projects and monitor the key performance indicators for the HR department.

• Identify and monitor HR risks, contributing to TRADEMARK’s overall risk register and the implementation of mitigating strategies and actions.

• Establish efficient machinery for effective employee relations and advise both management and staff to ensure effective communication and development of TRADEMARK’s desired organisation culture.

• Accountable for the development, implementation and ongoing review of relevant HR frameworks, policies and procedures that meet organisational needs and are understood by staff.

• Monitor and address legal compliance issues to ensure that TRADEMARK complies with local, national and regional laws as applicable in various areas including recruitment practices, workforce diversity, data protection and terms and conditions of service among others.

• Provide management and staff with advice and guidance in interpreting and implementing HR policies.

• Manage staff benefits including staff medical/group life/group personal accident/gratuity schemes.

• Facilitate payroll administration in liaison with Finance.

• Lead on the implementation of TRADEMARK’s safeguarding policy, working with Risk and Compliance and Audit and Assurance units to create an environment where concerns are listened to and acted upon.

• Champion Diversity, Equity and Inclusion approach both through the HR function and supporting systems as well as through active leadership.

• Provide mentoring and coaching to all HR colleagues to support their delivery and professional development, including line management of direct reports.

• Develop and manage the HR budget and oversee the performance of contracted consultants.

• Champion our leadership principles:

a. Caring about the people we work with and what we do.

b. Being open, and willing to listen, learn and change.

c. Embodying a culture of integrity, honesty, and fairness.

d. Creating a platform for staff growth, innovation, and empowerment.

e. Inspiring others through our leadership and behaviours.

f. Acting with courage and conviction to achieve our goals.




• Lead the team in regular informal and formal reflection, knowledge sharing and learning events.

• Quality-assure tools and procedures to document and share knowledge, incentivise staff/teams and enforce compliance and standards.

• Apply the highest standards of controls and risk management practices and behaviours and embed a positive risk and control culture.

• Demonstrate prudence, sound judgement and appropriate and timely escalations in management of all types of risk (including fraud risk) applicable to the role.

• Understand and comply with the relevant end-to-end processes including applicable risks and controls.

• Seek to identify, understand and escalate risk events/incidents/ issues on a timely basis focusing on fixing root-causes and taking ownership of identified mitigating actions.

• Complete all relevant mandatory trainings within the stipulated timelines.

• Promote and adhere to TradeMarks’s core values and ensure compliance with organisational policies and procedures.

• Maintain zero tolerance to bribery, fraud and corruption, and ensure the immediate reporting of any corruption or suspect behaviour that threatens TRADEMARK’s reputation.

• Adhere to the safeguarding policies and procedures and immediately report any safeguarding concerns.

• Any other related responsibilities that may be assigned by the CEO from time to time.


Candidate Profile

Academic and professional qualifications

• An undergraduate or Master’s degree.

• A post-graduate diploma in Human Resource Management.

• Member of a professional human resources association such as the Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM) or CIPD.

Work experience

• Undergraduate degree holders will have at least 12 years of relevant progressive working experience while postgraduate degree holders will require at least 10 years of relevant progressive working experience.

• Five years’ leadership experience of a busy human resources function in a regional organisation, preferably in East Africa is essential.

• Demonstrable knowledge of key human resources processes, roles and responsibilities across the entire HR lifecycle.

Additional Skills

• Excellent leadership and people management skills.

• Strong strategy formulation and implementation skills.

• Ability to establish and maintain strong working relationships with colleagues and partners.

• Sound decision-making and judgement capabilities.

• Strong problem solving and analytical skills.

• Excellent presentation, oral and written communication skills.

• Ability to work under pressure and within tight deadlines.

• Attention to detail and quality orientation skills.

• Proven ability to maintain confidentiality and delicately solve sensitive matters.

• Good understanding of labour legislation in the EAC countries and in South Sudan.


How to Apply

All correspondence, at this stage, should be via Oxford HR. To apply for this post, click on the “Apply” button on the job advert page, complete our online application form, and submit your CV and cover letter in two different documents, which should be prepared before applying as they will be considered in the application process.

Selection process

All candidates will receive an update regarding their application after the closing date. We advise candidates to add the role email to their safe senders list and regularly check their spam folder.

Equality statement

The cover letter should be no more than two pages long and explain why you are interested in this post and how your skills and experience make you a good fit.

Equality and diversity are at the core of TradeMark East Africa’s values. Staff are expected to work collectively and individually to promote a constructive and sensitive approach to others from a variety of backgrounds, where the work of others is valued and respected.

The document should be saved in MS Word in the following format: Your First Name-Your Last Name-Document Name-Date (mmyy) e.g., Pat-Jones-CV122022-TMEA or Pat-Jones-CoverLetter122022-TMEA


Closing date: 16th January 2023

First stage interviews: Late January

Final panel interviews: Early February


If you have any queries on any aspect of the appointment process, need additional information, or would like to have an informal discussion, please email at trademark-head-of-hr@ in the first instance.


About Oxford HR

Oxford HR operates globally - mainly within the international development and charity sectors. We carry out retained executive search mandates at board and senior management levels. We also offer human resource and organisational development consultancy.

Oxford HR has many years of experience in search as well as an extensive network of international development, social sector, corporate, public sector, and academic contacts from across the world. We carry out comprehensive and often international searches designed to meet the specific needs of our client.

TRADEMARK AFRICA HEAD OF HUMAN RESOURCES 10 | Company No. 6456325 OXFORD 46 Woodstock Road Oxford OX2 6HT United Kingdom +44 (0) 1865 985 457 AMSTERDAM Korte Schimmelstraat 12 1053 SZ Amsterdam The Netherlands +31 (0) 683 334 473 LONDON 5 Tanner Street Bermondsey London SE1 3LE United Kingdom +44 (0)20 7939 7451 NAIROBI Workify Africa ABC Place Waiyaki way Nairobi Kenya +254 (0) 797 233 217 SINGAPORE 7500A Beach Road #04-326 The Plaza 199591 Singapore +65 9114 1439