Consultancy: Building a global remuneration system for Terre des hommes Foundation At Terre des hommes

Background and justification

Terre des hommes is an independent, neutral and impartial Swiss organization founded in 1960, dedicated to bringing about significant and lasting change in the lives of children and young people, especially those most at risk. Tdh intervenes in 32 different countries around the world, in complex humanitarian and development contexts and directly employs 2’122 staff (1’965 in the delegations worldwide and 157 in Switzerland) at the end of 2021.

Tdh Human Resources Strategy for 2021-2024:

In its priority I “Building a global workforce”, Terre des hommes considers its entire staff as a reservoir of expertise and potential. To benefit from this richness, global HR standards have to be implemented in areas of high impact like sourcing, recruitment, learning and development, career management, mobility, diversity and inclusion and duty of care. The organization’s attractiveness shall be optimized as to make Tdh a first-choice employer in the child-protection area.

The definition of Tdh’s Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is ongoing and a complete review of the organization’s Compensation and Benefits system shall be conducted in 2022 with the objective of rolling it out progressively during the period of the strategic plan and onward, depending on the resources available. The deliverables of the review shall be:

  • Clarification of reward principles including recognition of performance and seniority
  • Harmonization of the job families, job descriptions and roles according to the different departments strategies as well as transversally
  • Proposition of a standard/reference functions grid including grading system for delegations and/or HQ
  • Definition and access criteria of the status of the collaborators e.g. mobile/resident and HQ/regional/local
  • Specifications and choice of a functional sharing platform enabling field HR actors to work autonomously in the defined frameworks
  • If relevant after evaluation, selection of a system available on the market (external provider)
  • A realistic planning of implementation in HQ and Delegations, considering priorities and budget constraints.

Situation as of January 1st, 2022:

Since 1960, Terre des hommes has grown to its current operational volume without global HR strategy. All Tdh entities (including HQ) have developed independently their HR procedures and systems, mainly covering HR administration. Until 2017, the HR department’s perimeter covered only Swiss-law contracts in activities limited to recruitment, onboarding and administration.

The organization went through a financial crisis in 2019 and the last two years have been poor in terms of investment. In 2022, as part of the new strategic plan, the “Global Compensation and Benefits” project has been relaunched with the aim of providing the Delegations with standard tools for classifying functions and defining remuneration parameters.

As of today, there is no concrete alignment for HQ and Delegations (in 32 countries) in terms of:

  • Reward principles
  • Pay positioning/compensation policy
  • Competency framework (under construction in 2022)
  • Roles’ definition and job descriptions
  • Classification of functions and job grading system
  • Process in case of evolution of roles
  • Recognition of expertise and/or seniority
  • Cost of living indexation

Despite a few opportunistic alignments between Delegations on certain topics, one can assume that we face 33 different local HR environments, including the HQ in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In a nutshell, Tdh is implementing 3 types of programs in the field: HealthMigration and Access to Justice. To do so, three main job families are mobilized at all levels of the organization, from the HQ to the field projects:

  • Expertise: in charge of programs design and global programmatic coherence
  • Operational: in charge of programs implementation
  • Resources management: Finances, Logistics, IT, Human resources, Communication, Fundraising etc.

All activities follow guidelines and best practices as recommended by the concerned departments as well as departmental strategies and updated theories of change, which leads to consider that it could be possible to propose a standard functions grid for the field entities. The HQ, because of its strategic management role, shall be offered a specific function grid, but based on similar guiding principles.

In terms of wage positioning, there are as many different practices as there are delegations, notably because of their diversity in terms of size, location or types of programs involved. The overall observation is that our local compensation and benefits offers are very diverse and not attractive enough. The lack of clear frameworks also makes internal mobility difficult (from one country to another, for example).

Finally, a reflection on the organizational structure of Terre des hommes is currently underway. This process aims to clarify the roles, responsibilities and interactions of the entire operational chain and support activities. The department of operations completed its part at the end of 2021 and the support departments will start the exercise in the first quarter of 2022. The new system will have to consider these evolutions.

Objectives and deliverables

The consultancy has two interdependent objectives:

Firstly, to support Terre des hommes management team in building the new Compensation & Benefits policy for the whole organization, in line with its new global strategy 2021-2024. The work has already started with the definition of our Employer Value Proposition at the beginning of 2022.

Secondly, to build a global reference system of job classification and related mechanisms, for headquarters and for the field.

The consultant will act as a Project Manager, supporting part time resource for the organization, developing an action plan and implementing it together with the reference persons in HQ and in the field.


Creation of a new global Compensation and Benefits Policy

By the end of 2022 a new policy, its implementation plan and a dedicated budget for the period of the strategic plan must be validated by the governance of the Foundation (Directorate and Board). The consultant acts as a direct support to the HR Director in charge and the HR Management Team. Thanks to his.her extended experience, the consultant participates actively to the design of the policy and feeds the reflection with analyzed elements and findings gathered in the mapping phase of Tdh HQ and field reward practices.

The global Compensation and Benefits policy should include:

  • Reward philosophy and principles according to values and the mandate of the organization.
  • Definition of internal employee’s administrative status: mobile, resident, intern, volunteer etc.
  • Guaranteed pay definition including allowances, differentials and premiums per status.
  • Possibly a variable pay granted on performance or results achieved.
  • Benefits: paid time off, work flexibility, teleworking, medical insurance, pension, personal development etc.
  • All other innovative practices (e.g. flexible benefits or promotion of environmental protection measures)

Practical guidelines will have to be developed consecutively: administrative status, wage positioning and benchmark methodology, inflation indexation rules and all necessary related guidance. The development of these various tools may be subject of sub-tenders or the purchase of external services.

Finally, the consultant will provide active support for internal communication at every step of the process.

Creation of a global reference system for job classification

By the end of 2022, the organization has a proposal of a standard reference functions grid and its related functional tools, which allows for its implementation over the next two years of the strategic plan. The HR professionals in the delegations can operate it with a maximum degree of autonomy and a minimum of centralized maintenance. HQ and field may have different grids but based on the same ruling principles.

The expected deliverables are:

Reference functions grid

  • Definition of scope and principles
  • Extended mapping of existing grids and functions (HQ and Delegations)
  • Analysis and proposition of a scoring methodology (possibly from external providers)
  • Definition of the frame of the reference job description
  • Definition of the structure of the reference grid (job categories or groups, number of levels)
  • Final proposition of a reference functions grid
  • Final proposition of corresponding reference job descriptions

Implementation tools and guidelines

  • Creation of practical guidelines and tools: job grading system, job description, upgrade of a function etc.

Change management process

  • Extended internal communication
  • Integration in the internal knowledge sharing platform
  • Creation of information and training modules
  • Planning of implementation for 2023, 2024 and onward (HQ and field)

Estimated time

Time estimated for completing the task: 9 to 12 months, starting ASAP.

Ideally, a presentation and cost estimation for implementation shall be conducted during the 2023 budgetary exercise.

Requirements for applying

Please note that applicants should be fully registered as consultant / independent worker.

Profile :

  • Expert in implementing HR projects in international multi-levels organizations, preferably NGO.
  • Able to adapt to Tdh organizational culture and constraints.
  • Fluency in English. Fluency, or very good command of French.

Can be remote based. Possibility to organize in-person workshops/work sessions in HQ (Lausanne, Switzerland).

Tdh Global Code of Conduct:

Tdh consultants are required to comply with Tdh’s Global Code of Conduct and Safeguarding policies.

How to apply

Please send your proposal including budget and availability to Franck Eloi: before March, 13th 2022.

More information available on request: