Head of Human Capital Unit

EFSA - European Food Safety Authority

Parma, Italy


We are looking for an experienced HR professional, an inspirational and collaborative leader who walks the talk and is comfortable with strategic leadership, change management and partnership to the organisation.

As Head of the Human Capital Unit you will guide a team recently transformed with the ultimate goal of serving the organisation as trusted strategic business partner. The unit is composed by 25 staff, organised into 4 teams including Talent Attraction and Selection, Talent Development and Learning, HR Business Partners and People Services.

You will drive the execution of EFSA’s strategy towards 2020 and beyond, leveraging on the identification, development and retention of the key capabilities required for EFSA’s future, in close partnership with the management.

You will serve as a role model, driving change and improvements and shaping EFSA’s culture.

Key responsibilities

  • Trusted business adviser – Advise EFSA’s Management to help defining talent management priorities in line with EFSA’s overall strategy to support the delivery of scientific excellence;
  • Strategic navigator – Provide strategic management, vision and leadership to achieve EFSA’s goals and HR Unit’s transformation;
  • Partnership enabler – Fuel cooperation and foster a partnering approach within the organisation as well as with a wide range of external stakeholders;
  • Talent manager – Lead on strategy to attract and recruit internal and external workforce (experts) supporting high performance and engagement while ensuring HR operational excellence and process improvement;
  • People developer – Lead and coach the Unit staff and partner with EFSA’s managerial community, providing professional advice and support.


You must satisfy the following requirements on the closing date for submission of your application:

Eligibility criteria

General requirements

  • Be a national of a Member State of the European Union, Iceland or Norway;
  • Enjoy full rights as a citizen;
  • Have fulfilled any obligations imposed by laws concerning military service;
  • Be physically fit to perform the duties linked to the post;
  • Have a thorough knowledge of one of the EU official languages and a satisfactory knowledge of another EU language;
  • Meet the character requirements for the duties involved.


  • A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least four (4) years attested by a diploma;


  • A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma and appropriate professional experience of at least one (1) year when the normal period of university education is at least three (3) years.


At least twelve (12) years of proven professional experience acquired after having obtained the qualifications mentioned in point 2 in positions corresponding to the nature of duties of the vacant post. Out of these twelve (12) years, at least two (2) years must have been gained in management functions (Head of Unit, Head of Sector, Team Leader or equivalent).

Selection criteria

Experience and knowledge

  • Successful experience in a people management role (Head of Unit, Head of Sector, Team Leader or equivalent), preferably gained in an international/multicultural environment;
  • Proven experience in designing, managing and coordinating organisational and/or talent management strategies, policies and activities;
  • Experience in high level planning, budget management and HR activities. Experience in managing a wide range of contract types and a network of external experts is considered as an asset;
  • Experience in change management and business transformation, including digital transformation and process re-engineering components;
  • Experience of knowledge management strategies or in knowledge-based organisations is considered a plus.


  • Excellent knowledge of both written and spoken English;
  • Ability to turn strategy into delivery;
  • Ability to manage and promote change as a creative, value-adding and innovative leader;
  • Ability to get the best out of team members, inspire and motivate them;
  • Ability to apply strong communication, influencing and negotiation skills within a complex organisation jointly with advanced partnering and networking skills.
  • Ability to maintain a high level of professional ethics and integrity.

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