Highly Sought After Head of Human Resources Operations Job at World Trade Organisation (WTO)

Highly Sought After Head of Human Resources Operations Job at World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The recruitment policy of the WTO is to seek to attract and retain staff members offering the highest standards of competence, efficiency and integrity. As an Equal Opportunities Employer, the WTO gives full regard to merit and diversity.

Highly Sought After Head of Human Resources Operations Job at World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The Secretariat of the WTO seeks to fill the position of Head of Human Resources Operations (HRO) in the Human Resources Division.

This is an External Vacancy Notice open to external candidates and WTO staff. It is posted on the WTO internal as well as external career site. Eligible WTO staff on short-term, fixed-term or regular contracts and interns must apply through the Workday internal career site.

This is a Fixed-term contract funded through the regular budget. The duration will be two years with the possibility of extension.

The Human Resources Division is comprised of four Sections:

  • Legal, Policy, and Insurance;
  • Human Resources Operations;
  • Learning Service and Career Development; and
  • Staffing & Recruitment

The Human Resources Operations section comprises two units – the Staff Administration Unit and Payroll Unit – with approximately 8 to 10 staff members in total.

General Functions

Reporting to the Director of the Human Resources Division (HRD), the incumbent will oversee and manage operational aspects of the HR function, ensuring that HR processes, systems and services are efficient, effective and aligned with organizational objectives. S/he will provide leadership and direction in aligning HR processes with strategic goals and will foster a culture of operational excellence and client service within the team. Drawing on an in-depth understanding of HR processes, s/he will drive continuous improvement initiatives, monitor service performance, make data-driven decisions, ensure compliance of benefits and entitlements with rules & regulations, ensure that the payroll is accurate and that timely payments are made and focus on enhancing HR services.

Specific responsibilities of the incumbent will include:

1.            Provide oversight and management of HR service delivery, systems, and processes with the goal of optimizing their efficiency and effectiveness. This involves delivering high-quality services to employees within the areas of employee data management, compensation & benefits administration (including payroll), HR systems and technology, and HR reporting & analytics.

2.            Drive HR process standardization across the HR function to enhance efficiency, service quality, and the employee experience, and develop and enhance procedures, processes and policy standards.

3.            Drive HR projects and improvement programs in the areas of HR Operations and staff administration, ensuring their successful implementation and impact to the organization.

4.            Proactively forecast and monitor operational performance and metrics within the HR function, identifying areas for improvement and implementing appropriate actions to drive positive outcomes.

5.            Ensure adherence to policy standards set out in the WTO Staff Rules and Regulations, Administrative Memoranda, established service levels and key performance indicators (KPIs) as a means of driving operational excellence and continuously enhancing the delivery of HR services.

6.            Oversee development and enhancement of HR technology platforms (e.g. Workday) to optimize system capabilities and improve overall HR processes.  Manage human resources and employee-related data, information and reporting requirements.

7.            Effectively respond to employee inquiries and requests and drive issue resolution while upholding exceptional customer service standards.

8.            Provide leadership and guidance to the team of functional specialists, fostering a culture of operational excellence, continuous improvement, and learning.

9.            Assist in building and developing HR knowledge and capabilities within the team.



Advanced university degree in Human Resources, Business Administration or related field. Alternatively a basic university degree combined with relevant professional expertise equivalent to an advanced university degree may be considered.

HR Certification is an advantage (e.g. SHRM, PHR, CIPD etc.).

Knowledge and Skills:

Technical knowledge and skills:

Strong knowledge of HR operations (including process management, data management, compensation & benefits administration, compliance, HR systems & technology, reporting & analytics).

Demonstrated experience in HR service delivery optimization, driving process improvement initiatives, and overseeing successful execution of projects.

Proficiency in HR systems and technology tools with the ability to leverage technology to streamline HR processes (e.g. Workday, Oracle, ServiceNow).

Behavioural skills:

Strong leadership and people management skills, with the ability to manage and motivate the team effectively through clear goal setting as well as fostering a positive and productive work environment.

Strong relationship building skills, fostering collaboration, influence and alignment among key stakeholders.

Exceptional analytics, problem-solving, planning and decision-making abilities.

Service-oriented mindset, actively seeking solutions to deliver exceptional service.

Work experience:

At least eight years of relevant professional experience in HR Operations with at least three years in a supervisory role.


Excellent written and oral skills in English and French (at a level corresponding or equivalent to a minimum of C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)). Knowledge of Spanish would be an asset.

Additional Information:
Only applications from nationals of WTO Members will be accepted. 

The recruitment process will be undertaken as per Administrative Memorandum No. 976 (OFFICE(16)/15) on Staff Promotions and external recruitment through Vacancy Notices.

For non-entry level positions, the position may be offered at a lower grade if the selected candidate does not fully meet all the required qualifications. 

The initial fixed-term contract shall be two years, which shall be probationary, as per Administrative Memorandum No. 997 (OFFICE(23)/4) on Probation Policy.

The WTO may use various communication technologies such as video or teleconference for the assessment and evaluation of candidates. The recruitment process may also involve the use of various forms of testing, assessment centres, interviews and reference checks. 

Applicants may be required to sit a written examination. 

Applicants will be contacted directly if selected for an interview. 

Candidates not selected whose performance in the selection process nevertheless shows them to be suitable for a similar position may be kept on a roster for up to 24 months, and may subsequently be called upon as and when the need arises for additional resources.

All applicants are encouraged to apply online as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the closing date – Geneva (Switzerland) time – stated in the vacancy announcement. 

The WTO is a non-smoking environment.

Highly Sought After Head of Human Resources Operations Job at World Trade Organisation (WTO)
Highly Sought After Head of Human Resources Operations Job at World Trade Organisation (WTO)

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