Advert. no. 2024_0035
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 ESO is a busy and dynamic team located both in Chile and Germany, delivering a comprehensive end to end service to its colleagues, covering HR operations and business partnering, as well as welfare, learning and development and change initiatives. There is plenty of scope to contribute and made a difference in this exciting environment.


Within the HR Business Partnering group in the Human Resources Department located at its Headquarter in Garching, near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of:

HR Policy Officer


Vacancy closed on 16/07/2024

Deadline 16/07/2024

In this demanding and varied role, you will contribute within the HR Department to the execution and implementation of activities related to Human Resources projects, policies and employee relations matters.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Policy development and implementation:

  • Support the HR Advisor for Policy and Employee Relations in the end-to-end creation of people policies, guidelines and procedures, as well as in the continuous revision of Staff Rules and Regulations and existing policies and guidelines;
  • Contribute to, co-lead and lead the review and implementation of identified HR projects, people policies and procedures to ensure they remain fit for purpose and are in line with the organisational needs as well as the ESO Rules and Regulations;
  • Write proposals and reports for submission to the ESO 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;
  • Develop and/or conduct 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, taking into account organisational data, stakeholder concerns and practitioner expertise.

Peer review boards and employee relations:

  • Take responsibility for the appointment, preparation and coordination and timely delivery of internal peer review boards and panels and follow-up on the outcomes;
  • Contribute and actively support as secretariat to internal peer review boards and panels;
  • Proactively develop and maintain positive relationships with a range of internal stakeholders such as ESO middle and senior management, HR colleagues and staff representatives.

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 Policy Officer is expected.

Reports to:

HR Advisor for Policy and Employee Relations

Key Competences and Experience:

You will need to have extensive HR generalist knowledge with proven practical experience in the area of HR policy.

Essential experience / skills:

  • Proven experience in drafting HR policies and HR responses compliant with ESO's legal framework, and HR communications in English;
  • Knowledge and understanding of the impact of labour law on policy making;
  • Demonstrated ability to handle requests from multiple sources and to work effectively across teams;
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a high and complex workload and prioritise personal deadlines;
  • Strong attention to detail and analytical and data management skills;
  • Ability to deliver presentations to different audiences;
  • Good knowledge of Microsoft 365.

Essential Competences:

  • Positive approach and proactive self-starter;
  • Capable of working independently as well as collaboratively in diverse teams;
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal), including the ability to propose logical well-reasoned arguments;
  • Excellent organisational skills (including time-management, planning and coordination skills);
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and confidence to interact at all levels with an empathetic and sensitive approach to employee relations;
  • A commitment to continuous professional development and to keep abreast of new developments in the field of human resources;

Desirable experience / skills and competences you should bring into the job:

  • Experience of working or studying in an international and diverse working environment;
  • Knowledge of ERP systems.


Bachelor degree or higher-level education qualification, preferably in a relevant subject such as Human Resources management or business administration, with some legal studies included. Full secondary education plus equivalent professional experience also considered positively. A project management certification is an asset.

Language Skills:

An excellent command of written and spoken English is essential. A working knowledge of Spanish would be an advantage but is not a necessity.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary , comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and support to place your child/children in daycare.

Our Salary Structure:

ESO's salary structure is based upon a range of career paths which reflect the nature and level of our jobs. Each career path is made up of two or three grades which are used to further reflect experience.

Please follow this attached link for more details

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 may be 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 ESO's conditions of employment * 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: IV


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

Please 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.

The deadline for applications is 16 July 2024.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

ESO Values

An important element in any successful employment relationship is harmony in values between an organisation and its people.

The ESO Values are:

ESO strives for excellence through innovation.

ESO provides outstanding services to its communities.

ESO fosters diversity & inclusion.

ESO believes in the key role of sustainability for its future.

Achieving the above are recognized as only possible on the basis of personal values and attitudes that we expect from our employees: respect, integrity, accountability, commitment, collaboration, and clear & open communication.

Applicants to any ESO role are asked to reflect on their affinity with these values and advised they may be asked about them if called for interview.


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, equitable and inclusive workforce. Please visit for further details.


No nationality is in principle excluded from employment at ESO, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of our Member States, host states and strategic partners: 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, ethnicity or religion.

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