Advert. No. 2020_0063
Working at ESO

Are you interested in working in areas of frontline technology and in a stimulating international environment? Do you feel your profile matches our requirements? Learn more about our current vacancies and apply online. Read more..

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries.


ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor (home to ALMA and APEX), and the ESO Headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany.


At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, and will host and operate the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, the world's largest and most sensitive high energy gamma-ray observatory. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.


The Human Resources Department at its Headquarter in Garching, near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising a new position of a:

HR Policy and Employee Relations Coordinator


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Deadline 31/01/2021

In this busy role, you will support the HR Department in the execution and implementation of activities related to Human Resources projects, policies and employee relations matters.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The successful candidate will

  • Work with the HR Department in the execution, delivery and implementation of varied HR projects related to topics such as performance management, work/life balance, contract management, talent management, engagement, compensation, and entitlements and benefits. You will also take responsibility for identified projects that contribute to the organisational objectives of the HR Department;
  • Support the responsible person for HR Policy and Employee Relations in the end-to-end creation and implementation of HR policies, guidelines and procedures, as well as in the continuous revision of Staff Rules and Regulations and existing policies and guidelines;
  • Help to ensure HR projects and policies are delivered in compliance with ESO Rules and Regulations;
  • Prepare proposals and reports for submission to the Directors' Team and various formal committees of the Organisation;
  • Contribute to the development of communication strategies for new HR policies guidelines and procedures;
  • Prepare written reports, data analysis and presentations as necessary;
  • Develop and/or provide briefing sessions for staff and managers on new/revised policies;
  • Benchmark employment conditions with other intergovernmental organisations;
  • Conduct research on HR best practices and trends to be used in the development and implementation of policies and procedures;
  • Take responsibility for the appointment, preparation and coordination and timely delivery of internal peer review boards and panels;
  • Follow-up on the outcome of internal peer review boards and panels;
  • Contribute and actively support various engagement activities.

The above responsibilities are not exhaustive and a flexible approach and willingness to adapt to unexpected needs and perform further tasks within the working area of a HR Policies and Employee Relations coordinator is expected.

Reports to:

HR Policy and Employee Relations Manager.

Key Competences and Experience:

The successful candidate will have good HR generalist skills with some years of proven practical experience.

Essential Competences and Experience you should bring into the job:

  • Positive approach and proactive self-starter;
  • Capable of working independently as well as collaboratively in diverse teams;
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal) and ability to interact at all levels;
  • Resilient with very good organisational and time-management skills;
  • Ability to manage a high and complex workload;
  • Contribute actively to the creation of a respectful and inclusive working environment;
  • Good knowledge of MS Office;
  • Strong analytical and data management skills.

Desirable Competences and Experience you should bring into the job:

  • Experience in working or studying in an international and diverse working environment;
  • Strong presentation skills;
  • Good problem-solving and creative skills;
  • Knowledge of ERP systems;
  • Knowledge / study of legal concepts.


Degree or higher-level education, preferably in a relevant subject such as HR or business administration. A project management certification and experience and understanding in the application of labour law are an asset.

Language Skills:

An excellent command of written and spoken English is essential. A working knowledge of German and / or Spanish would be an advantage.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and the possibility to place your child/children in daycare. We offer flexible working conditions including the possibility of flexible working hours and mobile working arrangements.

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance ( between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (, creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through flexible working arrangements and financial support for families.

The contract is for a fixed-term duration of three years and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There is a possibility of extension(s) subject to individual performance and organisational requirements, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For any further information, please visit Please note that the contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are currently under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to this position.

Duty Station: Garching near Munich, Germany

Career Path: III


If you are interested in working in a stimulating international intergovernmental environment, please visit ( for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. Within your CV, please provide the names and contact details of three persons familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter upon request. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.

Deadline for applications is 31st January.

The selection process is expected to start soon after this date.

ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce.

No nationality is in principle excluded, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Chile irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.

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