Senior On-Boarding Advisor, People and Strategy

Portland | Washington D.C


The People and Strategy Team ensures that Mercy Corps has the people, strategies and learning that will enable it to be a world-class, cutting edge, humanitarian organization, creating transformational change in the world. We do this through the recruitment, retention and development of the best global talent. Our aim is to drive strategic thinking and planning at all levels of the organization; create a robust body of research to guide us internally and externally and steward the organizational culture. To achieve this we align conversations on learning; keep the organization focused on what has the greatest impact; leverage our comparative advantages and assure we are constantly learning from our work and the external environment.


The Senior Onboarding Advisor is a senior member of People and Strategy Team focused on the design, planning, implementation and monitoring of a global and centrally-managed onboarding system across Mercy Corps. Delivering structured support to all new team members, especially during the critical first six months, increases time to performance and it accelerates business growth and also elevates employee engagement. The Senior Onboarding Advisor role will evolve to include leading additional targeted strategic initiatives that advance the goals and objectives of this team in service of its global customers. S/he will partner with other internal leaders of organizational change initiatives to encourage the widespread application of effective practices and approaches.


Strategy and Vision

  • Define and drive strategy for Mercy Corps' global onboarding system as it advances our vision of a unified global culture, aligned on vision, strategy, priorities and 'what it takes to be effective,' to achieve increased rates of retention and engagement.
  • Advocate for adoption of the strategy with key stakeholders in the field and at HQ and ensure integration into the People and Strategy activities.
  • As a key member of the People and Strategy senior team help shape the vision and strategy for the team, including the identification of additional high leverage projects.

Onboarding Implementation

  • Plan, implement, and adapt global onboarding system.
  • Establish and monitor key onboarding implementation and impact metrics and use in conversations with relevant internal stakeholders to accelerate learning and uptake of effective onboarding practices.
  • Ensure the system is responsive to rapid start up and complex programs and provide direct support for onboarding rapid growth specifically in SRGE response and for Complex Programs.
  • Foster a culture in Mercy Corps that values onboarding; act as problem-solving support that works with the field teams in adopting onboarding practices at Mercy Corps.
  • Accelerate stakeholder and new hire accountability by integrating content into the talent management platform.
  • Ensure implementation of regularly scheduled HQ onboarding workshops.
  • Integrate onboarding into organization-wide orientation and training events.
  • Ensure system effectiveness and adaptability by regularly evaluating key system components and using defined metrics (e.g., engagement and retention) on a regular basis.
  • Continuously review the design, of an integrated onboarding system across agency to ensure meeting critical people needs.

Communications & Coordination

  • Work in close collaboration with the Internal Communications (IC) to ensure onboarding is fully coordinated with IC efforts to ensure high organizational alignment around strategy and learning.
  • Provide regular updates to key stakeholders, and broader global audience on results and lessons learned using range of communication tools.
  • Build and maintain effective stakeholder engagement with Senior Leadership Team and field leaders including a committee to provide regular feedback on content and progress.
  • Leverage other training and change initiatives to more broadly integrate onboarding across the agency.
  • Build capacity of HR practitioners and other field actors to implement onboarding.
  • Represent Mercy Corps at internal and external international meetings or gatherings.

Other Initiatives

  • Design, implement and monitor other People and Strategy related change initiatives that will contribute significantly in how we support and engage our team members as assigned.

Organizational Learning:

  • As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve - we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries:

  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.



REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Chief People and Strategy Officer

WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: People and Strategy Directors, RPT, SRGE, RPD, CD


  • Master's degree in management, organizational change/development or closely-related discipline preferred, or relevant experience
  • 3-5 years of field leadership experience, ideally at Country Director level, is highly preferred.
  • 7 + years of experience with demonstrable success managing large complex projects and organizational change efforts.
  • Exceptional skills in writing, communications, organization and compelling story-telling.
  • High emotional intelligence and creativity, as well as strong interpersonal skills.


The successful Special Projects Director will have a deep understanding of effective organizational change in complex social systems. Experience of facilitating diverse internal stakeholder groups to co-diagnose and co-learn the underlying systemic drivers of ongoing challenges with an eye on co-designing change initiatives. S/he will combine this understanding with detailed and disciplined project management skills. S/he will be a skilled diplomat and negotiator with high emotional intelligence able to deliver results primarily through influence - without great formal authority. S/he will respond well to feedback, and will be able to synthesize complex ideas into compelling stories that inspire change.


The position is based in Portland, Oregon and it requires up to 30% travel. Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Please follow this link to apply:

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Portland | Washington D.C
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2015-11-15

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