HR Business Partner – DACH & CEE

People Team
20 Dec 2019
Director – People
Competitive for a Not-for-Profit Organisation
As soon as possible
Berlin or Warsaw


Business Background

EIT Climate-KIC is a knowledge and innovation community established in 2010 and funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. Our purpose is to tackle climate change through innovation.
We are Europe’s largest public-private partnership with this purpose. At the heart of our endeavour is a pan-European community of innovators and changemakers eager to work on tough challenges, willing to engage in ambitious and unorthodox experiments, and committed to collective learning.

We bring together large and small companies, scientific institutions and universities, city authorities and other public bodies, start-ups, and students. With over 380 formal organisational partners from across 26 countries, we work together on innovation to mitigate climate change and to adapt to its unavoidable impacts. We are united by a commitment to direct the power of creativity and human ingenuity at climate change.

Our mission is to catalyse systemic change for climate action through innovation in areas of human activity that have a critical impact on greenhouse gas emissions – cities, lands, materials and finance – and to create climate-resilient communities. Our Theory of Change is focused on empowering people to change systems – through exploration, experimentation and demonstration – to enable viable alternatives at scale.

At the heart of our approach is ‘systems innovation as a service’ whereby we create a space for a portfolio of strategic innovation options and experiments, oriented around structural levers of change, designed with and for problem owners.
We act as a multi-sided platform, working across boundaries and across sectors, fostering innovation as a catalyst for transformation. We work together with problem owners, like city and regional governments, industry owners and directors, community organisations and policy makers, to orchestrate a portfolio approach to innovation interventions. We facilitate the creation of innovation consortia. We challenge and seek to enrich business model design. We offer tailored support for experimentation, implementation and scaling. We provide funding. We incubate very early stage ideation and pre-seed innovation with a view of contributing to systemic change. We place an emphasis on education as a driver of behavioural change through new skills and capabilities and on policy innovation. We run programmes for students, start-ups and innovators across Europe via centres in major cities and regions, convening a community of excellence in people and organisations.


Purpose of the role

Climate-KIC’s People function works to deliver the skilled, flexible and motivated workforce our organisation needs in order to realise its mission. We strive to enhance capability and capacity across the business, and to drive and champion positive, value-adding change. We support company operations in 12 European nations, and the scope of our function has broadened following a period of significant growth.  

As HR Business Partner you will hold responsibility for the provision of effective and professional people services across Climate-KIC’s offices in the DACH (Germany, Austria & Switzerland) and CEE (Poland and Hungary) regions and maybe others. You will work across the full spectrum of HR activities, providing strategic and operational support to senior stakeholders across the employee life cycle – with a particular focus on management and talent development – while driving forward the broader People team agenda and ensuring best practice across all areas.

Working closely with the Director – People, you will also play an instrumental role in supporting key organisational development projects including the implementation of a new organisation design in 2019. Such company-level projects are expected to make up 30-40% of the role, with 60-70% of your time being spent on business partnering activities and the delivery of people services.

This role is a unique opportunity for an experienced and talented HR professional to make an impact in a dynamic, pan-European organisation addressing one of the most important and pressing problems of our time. You will connect with a wide range of fascinating, talented and driven professionals in a multi-disciplinary, action-oriented environment. This is an exciting, promising and crucial time to be part of the fight against climate change.


  • Deliver a fast and effective HR advice and support service to stakeholders in Climate-KIC’s DACH, CEE and potentially other regions, serving as first point of contact for HR matters and ensuring operational excellence across all aspects of your work
  • Build trusted relationships with senior stakeholders and leaders in each region
  • Quickly develop a contextual understanding of gaps, challenges, opportunities and people priorities in each office/team and deliver impactful HR solutions
  • Coach, guide and support managers with the management of their talent, developing strong leadership competencies and high-performing, flexible teams
  • Provide proactive support for the organisational redesign, supporting senior management with consultation and change management planning and communications (with the support of the Internal Communications and Engagement Manager)
  • Deliver strategic support throughout recruitment processes, ensuring strong talent attraction, an excellent candidate experience and sound hiring decisions. Operational aspects may include shortlisting applications, facilitating interviews, benchmarking salaries, making and concluding offers
  • In collaboration with the Learning & Development team and with the support of our community of Office Managers, work to ensure a first-class people onboarding process across Climate-KIC
  • Advise colleagues and managers on relevant company policies and practices and assist with the development and implementation of new polices
  • Lead / support the People team with a range of discrete projects and initiatives, acting as a positive change agent and securing across-the-board buy-in from stakeholders
  • Prepare people data and strategic recommendations for the attention of the Director – People as and when required
  • Any other reasonable tasks as requested

Key Working Relationships

  • Director – People
  • Climate-KIC Executive Team (including CEO)
  • Regional Innovation, Education and Entrepreneurship Leads
  • People team colleagues
  • Regional Office and Finance Managers
  • Central Finance team
  • Central IT team
  • Legal team

Profile required

  • Relevant and extensive previous experience (5-10 years as an indicator) in strategic HR roles
  • Demonstrable ability to deliver results in fast-paced international organisations (with experience of working in matrix environments)
  • An HR generalist with experience spanning across resourcing, talent management, learning and development, reward and employee relations
  • Strategic thinker with ability to work closely with senior leaders to deliver and implement new programmes and initiatives
  • Influential communicator and coach with an ability to build leadership capacity and shape behaviours
  • Knowledge of European employment law and practice (exposure to DACH and CEE environments is desirable)
  • Ability to prioritise a busy workload effectively and deliver work to deadlines
  • Perceptive and innovative – able to identify and exploit value-adding opportunities
  • Personable and approachable
  • Proactive, adaptable and resilient
  • Culturally aware and positive about diversity
  • Enthusiastic about people and committed to own professional development

Additional information

Please note that candidates must have the right to work in the EU prior to applying for the position. The successful candidate will normally be based at the nearest EIT Climate-KIC office to where they are currently living.

Our application and recruitment process

Climate-KIC values diversity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background.

Your application should be written in English and consist of:

  • a full curriculum vitae
  • a covering letter describing briefly how your profile, skills and experience meet the criteria outlined in the person specification, and outlining your interest in and vision for the role.
  • your current salary
  • where you saw this role advertised.

Please send your full application using the “apply now” button above. You should state your full name, followed by the role for which you are applying for in the subject line of the email. The deadline for receipt of applications is 23.59 GMT on the date published on the job advert.

Receipt of your application will be acknowledged by email.

Your application will be reviewed on or around the closing date for the vacancy for which you have applied. If your application is shortlisted for interview, you will be contacted directly by Climate-KIC.

Candidates invited to a first interview, will be notified of the outcome and informed about next stages if they are successful.

NB/ This advertisement will be taken down from the website after the closing date so it is a good idea to copy and keep the text for reference to use should you be invited to interview.

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