Wateraid Latest Available Employment Opportunity

Posted on :

12 Feb, 2020

Category :

Vacancies South Africa

Want to use your skills in people management to play a vital role in making clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone everywhere? Join WaterAid as Southern Africa Regional People Lead to change normal for millions of people so they can unlock their potential, break free from poverty and change their lives for good.

WaterAid is a Great Place to Work® award-winning organisation and your role will be to build on our strong employer brand and high levels of staff engagement to enable us to attract and retain the very best talent to achieve our mission.


Job Title: Southern Africa Regional People Lead
Location: Pretoria, South Afric
Contract type: Permanent, full time
Reports to: Head of International People Management (London based)
Key relationships in the region: Regional Director, Regional Team, Country Directors, Senior Management Team Members, Heads of People in the 4 larger Country Programmes.
Travel: Predominately within the Southern Africa region and to London
Restrictions: Ability to work and live in South Africa – either a national or a permanent resident


Leading our people management strategies in Southern Africa, you will be a trusted advisor to the Southern Africa Leadership Team. You will identify and implement a regional people strategy and priorities and contribute to the wider global people function in the delivery of the people aims. Resourceful and innovative, you will have experience of leading and motivating others. You will be able to influence managers at all levels and be a credible source of advice and strategic thinking.

As a member of WaterAid’s people team community, you will contribute to the development of our global people strategies.

More about the People Function in WaterAid UK

The People and Organisational Development Team (The People Team) of WaterAid UK, plays a critical role in helping WaterAid realise its goals. We lead on the development of strategies that ensure that our people are engaged, committed to our vision and have the skills and opportunities to maximise the impact they can make. We work with managers across the organisation to facilitate great people management and create a safe and secure high performing environment.  We support leadership teams to grow their collective impact and empowering ways of working.

Key to our success is our ability to maximise on the talents of a diverse global workforce. We employ almost 1100 people globally.  In Southern Africa we employ approximately 130 staff in five country programmes (Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar, Eswatini) and a regional office in South Africa.

Achieving our aims depends on courageous, empowering, accountable leadership and our ability to recruit, grow and retain talented people with the expertise we need. As the leading WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) agency we need to foster an organisational culture that facilitates high performance, connects people to our vision and maximises growth and across the WaterAid community. These aims are reflected in our Global People Strategy which gives us an ambitious framework for our delivery.

As the Southern Africa Regional People Lead you will provide strategic advice and expertise to senior managers and people team colleagues throughout our country programmes in Southern Africa and across WaterAid. You will support regional and country programme leadership to achieve organisational performance through excellent people management and organisational development. In addition, you will be a key member of the wider People team and contribute to the achievement of the people aims within the Global Strategy.

Job purpose

As the Regional People Lead, you will be the trusted advisor to the Southern Africa leadership team and provide support and guidance on strategic people management, engagement and organisational development. You will proactively support country programme leaders and People teams to implement a regional people strategy which enables the achievement of country and regional strategies and our overall mission.

You’ll also take a key role in:

  • Developing and supporting the implementation of a regional people plan to maximise the region’s effectiveness in line with the WaterAid Global Strategy.
  • Coaching leaders across the region.
  • Supporting country programme people teams and senior leadership teams to develop local people plans required to deliver the Country Programme Strategy.
  • Recruitment and induction for people team roles in country programmes.
  • Leading on specific people projects or initiatives as required


1. As a full member of the Regional Leadership Team (RLT), develop and support the implementation of a regional people plan which maximises the region’s ability to fulfil their contribution to the WaterAid Global Strategy.
2. Use data, insight, trends and needs analysis to inform organisational development diagnosis and relevant people plans in region.
3. In partnership with the Leadership & Engagement team, design and deliver leadership interventions to continuously develop high performing teamwork and empowering ways of working.
4. Coach leaders across the region.
5. Support country programme People Teams and members of the Senior Leadership Team to develop the local people plans required to deliver the country programme strategy:

  • Ensure effective people resourcing approaches in place which attract, retain and develop the key skills and capabilities needed across the region. Directly support resourcing activity for senior and hard to fill roles.
  • Embed effective performance management and talent management approaches which deliver our people promise, provide career development and grow those with potential.
  • In partnership with the Global Reward Manager deliver salary and benefit approaches that are country context relevant and facilitate attraction and retention.
  • Effectively support and or lead complex employee relations (safeguarding, under-performance, disciplinary, grievance) to enable actions and solutions that are in line with our code of conduct and values.
  • Lead change programmes in the country programme, ensuring a clear business case for change and effective project management to deliver the outcomes.
  • Build learning and development plans which equip the region and countries with the core skills and capabilities required of a leading WASH agency.  Link with learning initiatives from the People Team.
  • Be the champion of staff engagement, including action planning from the global employee survey.
  • Implement effective safety and security management across all countries and regularly review.

6. Support recruitment and induction for People team roles in country programmes. Develop teamwork across the regional people network. sharing knowledge and resources.
7. Coach and guide the team to grow their individual and collective capability.
8. Ensure the People Team is kept updated on Southern Africa regional priorities and commission services required from the People Team (e.g. leadership development support). 9. Lead on specific people projects or initiatives as required across all regions.
10.Role model living the WaterAid values, leadership behaviours and bringing equity and inclusion alive in all that we do.

Person Specification


  • Track record of effectively leading a team in a matrix structure and working collaboratively
  • Experience of effectively delivering change programmes and OD initiatives (talent, reward, safeguarding, learning, resourcing) in a complex organisation.
  • Professional HR qualifications at degree and/or post graduate level
  • Able to travel internationally between 8-12 weeks per year (predominately within the region and to London).
  • Experience of working in multi-cultural environments with proven ability to build relationships with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures through an appreciation of how different cultural, legal and labour markets influence people management practices.
  • Extensive strategic HR generalist experience across multiple countries in the Africa region, combined with experience of leading effective operational delivery.
  • Proven ability to influence, challenge and negotiate at senior levels as a trusted People Business Partner.
  • Able to manage competing priorities and deliver to deadlines.
  • An interest in and/or knowledge of development issues and the work of INGOs
  • Excellent communication skills in English (verbal and written), with the ability to provide clear and effective advice on a range of people issues.
  • Excellent coaching, facilitation and mentoring skills and an approach that builds capacity rather than dependency, particularly with senior managers
  • Commitment to WaterAid’s values and a working style that reflects these


Fluency in French, Portuguese or one of the Southern African.

To apply 

If this sounds like you, please go to www.wateraid.org or copy and paste this link in your browser.
https://jobs.wateraid.org/en-GB/job/southern-africa-regional-people-lead/ for the full recruitment pack and details of how to apply.


Application Deadline: Sunday, 23 February, 2020

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