Ship People & Culture Director

Our ship-based People and Culture* team looks after all Crew arriving and departing, living and working, extending commitments and transferring departments, with over 3,000 crew annually from over 60 different nations!


*At Mercy Ships, "People & Culture" is our title for the department historically known as "Human Resources". This title reflects our organization's commitment to nurturing a culture that supports, empowers, and celebrates each unique person that forms our community.


People & Culture


Min. 2 years

Please carefully read the role description and required certifications below to verify that you meet the requirements. The apply button can be found at the bottom of this page.

About this Role

The Ship People & Culture (P&C) Director partners with organization leaders to ensure teams are well-positioned to reach objectives and support the daily experience of crew. While managing the People & Culture and Staff Development departments onboard, the Ship People & Culture Director is responsible to monitor ship staffing levels, overall work performance, crew engagement, and provide support to ship management and crew in the areas of compliance with policies and procedures. Assist with conflict resolution, investigation of conduct concerns, career path development and crew care in an engaging and professional way.

This position may qualify for a family cabin. If you have school-age children, learn more about Mercy Ships Academy.

What You Will Contribute

In conjunction with the ship People & Culture team, ship leadership, and wider P&C team, the Ship People & Culture Director ensures P&C processes are executed in an accurate and timely manner for all Crew and Day Crew. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily:

Alignment & Communication of People & Culture practices:

  • Help implement broader P&C organizational objectives and priorities at the local level
  • Communicate Ship P&C priorities, updates, and activities to other entities (corporate office, national offices, other ships)
  • Partner with peers to ensure consistency of P&C processes and best practices across multiple locations
  • Ensure daily P&C operations are aligned with the organization’s core values, mission, and vision

Oversee the implementation of HR policies and procedures:

  • Uphold, implement, and advocate for Mercy Ships P&C policies and procedures as they relate to the ship
  • Monitor staffing levels and allocation of positions on board; facilitate and advise on adjustments as needed
  • Advise the Chief People Officer and ship leadership on the development of new HR policies, systems, and processes to increase effectiveness
  • Lead the response to disciplinary concerns on board and ensure proper procedure and documentation is complied with
  • May be required to lead investigation of concerns related to violation of any policy or procedure, including Code of Conduct

Manage the Ship HR and Staff Development Teams:

  • Maintain job descriptions in alignment with wider Mercy Ships P&C team
  • Manage the selection, development, and evaluation of Ship P&C and Staff Development team members
  • Ensure compliance with required training
  • Support development objectives for long-term crew
  • Train and assist Managers in P&C policies, systems, processes, and procedures including giving performance reviews, managing their staff workloads, scheduling PTO, and utilization of the HRIS

Member care:

  • Share responsibility for overall health of the crew community to include oversight of the crew’s activities onboard and ashore
  • Monitor conditions of crew health with other stakeholders (e.g., Ship Managing Director, Captain, Crew Physician, Senior Chaplain, Academy Principal) and initiate improvements where necessary
  • Encourage and advocate for healthy rhythms for long-term commitments, including LOA, professional development, and work-life balance
  • Work with Chaplaincy to facilitate member care processes for long term staff, including service award celebrations and farewells

Manage personnel and staffing procedures:

  • Oversee Ship P&C Team in execution of HR processes including crew housing, arrivals and departures, orientation, service extensions/transfers, PTO/LOA, health insurance, exit surveys, exit interviews, debriefings, and performance management cycles
  • Support the Ship Managing Director with internal and external application process for key leadership roles
  • Oversee work assignments for Primary Care Givers
  • Prepare and maintain management tools including monthly metrics, weekly reports, P&C budget, and other spreadsheets as needed


  • Serve as member of Tactical Management Team onboard
  • Provide spiritual leadership for department by organizing regular devotional and prayer times
  • Share in the support and furtherance of Christian community through lifestyle and exhortation
  • Supervise, encourage, and coach direct reports, providing regular feedback and spiritual leadership to ensure that they and their teams are functioning effectively and growing spiritually

For This Role, You Will Need

• Successful completion of Mercy Ships On Boarding program

• Minimum of three years experience in Human Resources Management with combined experience in employee relations, business partnership, policy management, employee engagement, and/or performance management functions

• 3-5 years management experience required

• Experience maintaining, implementing, and improving HR systems, policies, and processes 

• Experience working in a cross-cultural environment preferred

• Excellent communication skills required -fluency in English (written and verbal) is required

• French language fluency desirable

• Knowledge of HR best practices related to employee relations, employee engagement, performance management, and policy management

• Strong interpersonal skills required; must possess strong problem-solving and conflict resolution skills

• Strong computer skills required, with focus on M365 suite

• Ability to think ahead, plan ahead, forecast changes, needs, problems, etc. 

Full job description available upon request.