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12. November 2021
02. December 2021


My name is Peter Bisgaard, Head of HR for Svitzer Europe, and I’m looking for a new HR Business Partner to join our Svitzer Europe HR team. In this role, you get a unique opportunity to take on responsibility for and lead the full HR agenda within your area.

Svitzer is a global towage company, providing towage support for example for large container vessels to get in and out of ports to deliver containers with goods. The large container vessels are not able to (or allowed to) sail in and out of port on their own and need the support of one or more tugboats – such as the ones Svitzer owns. A tug is manned by 3-5 colleagues who take good care of the tug to keep it in mint condition, and our crew teams service our customers 24/7/365. We have approximately 150 seafaring colleagues in Denmark, and approximately 70 in Sweden. Some of our Danish seafarers operate in Germany, where our Germany Operations team is based.

We offer

You will be joining Svitzer Europe as HR Business Partner in a dual role. The primary part of the role supports Svitzer Scandinavia, headquartered in Gothenburg, with operations in Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Secondly, you will be supporting Europe Headquarter leadership teams based in Copenhagen, Denmark. This includes functions such as Finance, Operations and Commercial.

You will report to me as the Regional Head of HR for Svitzer Europe. You will find that I am passionate both about our team and the business and that my style of communication is open and succinct. I appreciate that you are upright, structured and collaborative in your way of engaging with our team across functions in Svitzer Europe. You join a regional HR team with colleagues in the UK, Sweden and Netherlands while your dotted line reporting is to the Cluster Managing Director for Svitzer Scandinavia, who is your most important business stakeholder. You will be working closely together with him, as well as the rest of the Scandinavia management team, addressing both short term operational issues related to HR while also taking on more long-term organisational challenges to be resolved, to ensure a robust organisation to support the day-to-day business.

Key responsibilities

Your primary focus will be to keep the organisation running smoothly together with leaders, by delivering professional HR advice to leaders, building and maintaining strong relationships of trust and respect across the business, taking an active role in solving organisational challenges and driving annual HR wheel together with leaders, and taking ownership of HR operations tasks locally.
You will be:
  • Acting as the trusted advisor to the Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Germany) and Europe Headquarter (Denmark) leadership teams and frontline leaders, on all matters related to HR
  • Driving global HR processes from Svitzer HQ towards Europe region (e.g. employee engagement, discretionary bonus process and other global or regional processes) in close collaboration with your UK-based HR Business Partner colleagues and the HR Operations team.
  • Developing and maintaining local HR policies in line with legislation and overall direction from Svitzer
  • Driving the recruitment process of shore staff in close collaboration with the hiring manager, developing job descriptions, placing adverts, screening and interviewing candidates, and providing sound advice on candidate fit to the business and team.
  • Responsible for local HR operations tasks pertaining specifically to the jurisdictions Denmark, Sweden, Faroe Islands and Germany e.g. payroll processes for Denmark, Sweden and Germany with support from colleagues in Sweden, Faroe Islands and Netherlands, maintaining local country-specific handbooks and policies, drafting contracts and addendums, managing the drug and alcohol testing process together with the vendor, etc.
  • Supporting the business with any acquisitions, restructuring and redundancies, managing the process from a HR perspective.
  • Supporting leaders with CBA and local agreements negotiation processes in Denmark and Sweden, and managing other union related issues, in close collaboration with DK and SE port managers and Crewing, as well as liaise with the onshore union for staff in Sweden when required.
  • Supporting leaders in the salary review process, providing expert advice on internal equity, and linking compensation to performance and impact.
  • Taking on HR projects as and when required.
  • Working closely together with the HR and Office Administrator in Gothenburg to support the Scandinavia headquarter team in Sweden and take formal manager responsibility of the HR Student Assistant in Europe HQ who supports on HR operations tasks and projects as needed.

We are looking for

  • 2+ years of experience as HR Business Partner or HR Manager having worked across all general HR processes (recruitment, salary review/compensation and benefits, talent management, performance management, employee engagement, individual employee cases, leadership advisory) and as a demonstrated trusted advisor to the business
  • Good knowledge of Danish and/or Swedish employment law
  • Ability to build strong relationships across the organisation and advise leaders on appropriate course of action
  • Ability to step in and support the team in resolving organisational challenges, while ensuring leaders are the ones leading their teams, not HR
  • A proactive problem solver, keen to understand the frontline business and support the organisation in taking fit-for-purpose organisational decisions

Preferred Experience:
  • University degree in HR, psychology, business/economics or similar
  • Working in the maritime industry
  • Working and negotiating with unions, specifically maritime unions, and unionized environment in Sweden


The role is based in Denmark and supports the Svitzer Scandinavia headquarter based in Gothenburg, and you will therefore be expected to travel to Gothenburg frequently to engage with the team, while also traveling to meet colleagues on the tugs based around Denmark, Germany and Sweden. Occasional travel to the UK may also be required.

We work under a very flexible scheme of empowering our colleagues to take ownership of their deliverables and planning their work and travel accordingly. Hence, you will have the freedom to decide on your workday and travel schedule, so long as it supports the business.

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