Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Senior Human Resources Officer supports the UNHCR¿s People Strategy and contributes to the implementation of the 2018 independent Human Resources review, which resulted in the establishment of HR strategic priorities and the reconfiguration and transformation of the Division of Human Resources (DHR) from a largely transactional model into a strategic business partner for field operations and senior management. Having the right people in the right place at the right time is at the core of enabling UNHCR to protect and respond to persons of concern. By attracting, retaining and developing a talented, diverse and agile workforce while nurturing a culture of excellence, respect and wellbeing for all, UNHCR¿s Human Resources acts as a strategic partner to the organization enabling a people-centric culture.
The Senior Human Resources Officer contributes to the development of a HR customer service-oriented culture that values proactivity, continuous improvement, innovation and high performance. By translating operational needs into workforce action and individual development needs, the Senior Human Resources Officer plays a critical role in partnering with management and the workforce. The main areas of work of the Senior Human Resources Officer include the implementation of HR policies, staff administration, workforce planning, recruitment, and talent development with inclusion, diversity and gender as a cross-cutting issue. S/he will also support the implementation of the staff health and counselling plans and in fostering an inclusive and respectful working environment. The incumbent maintains employee confidence and protects the organization and its workforce by keeping human resource information confidential.
The Senior Human Resources Officer is usually supervised by the Representative, Deputy or Assistant Representative responsible for HR in a Country Operation, or the most senior HR staff in a Regional Bureau. She/he supervises HR Professional and General Service staff.
The incumbent maintains a direct working relationship with a number of functions across the Division of Human Resources (DHR). For positions in Bureaux or Country Operations, the incumbent also works closely with the Senior HR Partner, the Senior Medical Officer and Senior Staff counsellor for his/her region.
He/she also maintains contact and close cooperation with other UN agencies in the region or country and represent UNHCR in the working groups/task forces within country/regional UN inter-agency mechanisms.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
Strategic workforce advice and operational support:
– Engage with management to understand priorities, and provide advice and solutions on all aspects of HR in line with delegated HR authorities.
– Sponsor HR initiatives that support organizational culture change such as good people management practices, and promoting gender, inclusion and diversity.
– Lead HR operational activities to ensure timely provision of HR solutions, prioritizing according to the needs and risks.
Assignments and Talent Acquisition:
– Oversee the process of recruitment, assignment and reassignment of locally-recruited staff and affiliate workforce, ensuring compliance with UNHCR rules and procedures, and providing advice to managers where required.
– Set up and run (Regional) Assignments Committee.
– Take a proactive approach to risk management in the areas of recruitment, ensuring the issues are identified, addressed and reported and, where appropriate, escalated.
Advice to managers and staff, and contribution to an inclusive work environment:
– Build dialog and outreach with staff to provide support with their queries; and also promote dialog between staff and management to help find solutions to HR-related issues.
– Be proactive in identifying issues, themes and patterns affecting the workforce¿s health and welfare, including sexual harassment and abuse of authority.
– Ensure that on-boarding, induction, re-integration into the workplace and off-boarding support, is provided to colleagues; Induction programmes should include information on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) and Sexual Harassment, Code of Conduct as well as workforce¿s rights and obligations.
HR policies and inter-agency:
– Ensure compliance with UNHCR¿s Human Resources policies and procedures and the UN staff rules, regulations and UNHCR administrative instructions.
– Participate in a network among HR staff members in the region in order to harmonize implementation of HR policies and initiatives, collect field insights to inform the development of DHR policies and activities; identify and share HR best practices, also through contacts with other UN agencies.
Duty of Care:
– Contribute to establishing and maintaining a medical evacuation plan with senior management, Field safety and the Senior Medical Officer.
– Support the development and implementation of a Duty of Care strategy. Identify and assess issues related to duty of care including physical, mental health and safety of UNHCR¿s workforce. Promote work/life balance and flexible working arrangements with managers and staff.
For positions in Regional Bureaux only:
– In the absence of a Senior Talent Development Officer in the Bureau:
– Implement a talent sourcing and development strategy for UNHCR workforce in the region, in line with UNHCR¿s needs and staff members¿ career planning.
– Equip HR teams and Managers in the region with skills on people management and tools related to talent development, career guidance and performance management.
– Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P4/NOD – 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Human Resources Management; Human Resource Development;
Personnel Administration; Business Administration; or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
Relevant Job Experience
Experience working in Human Resources. UNHCR HR certification is a plus. Sound knowledge of general HR policies, processes and systems. Managerial experience.
Proven ability to identify and implement successful business related HR interventions. Experience in some of the following areas: workforce planning, organizational design, recruitment, HR policy or talent development. Experience in HR information technology systems and tools. Experience in field humanitarian operations and/or emergency settings. Experience working with the United Nations. Experience working in a multi-cultural setting.
HR-Local mass recruitment
HR-Coordination and Oversight of Workforce Mobility
HR-Inclusion, Diversity and Gender strategy design and implementation
HR-HR data and people analytics
HR-HR Business Partnering
HR-Employee Relationship Management
HR-Talent Development and Nurturing
SO-Critical Thinking and problem solving
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.
As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.
This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.
Desired Candidate Profile
• The incumbent is expected to have a solid experience and knowledge of all newly revised HR Policies and Administrative Instructions, compensation & benefit, personnel administration, assignment and recruitment, as well as proven knowledge of workday, COMPASS, and other related systems.
• UNHCR HR certification is a plus.
• Managerial experience.
• Experience in HR in emergency context and HRDS is a plus.
• Proven ability to identify and implement successful business related HR interventions. Experience in some of the following areas: workforce planning, organizational design, recruitment, HR policy or talent development. Experience in HR information technology systems and tools. Experience in field humanitarian operations and/or emergency settings. Experience working with the United Nations. Experience working in a multi-cultural setting.
• Audit and verifications exposure and management are a key asset.
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Nature of Position:
In an operation that evolved into an emergency situation with a staffing budget of some US$ 32 million and over 400 staff distributed among 11 offices in the country (Country Office, Sub Offices, field Office, and field Units) to ensure an active and effective response to a very fluid situation operation with high-risk duty stations. The Senior Human Resources Officer ensures appropriate responses to the operational requirements are timely, accurate, and effective. Efficient human resources services are to be provided in a client-oriented manner (while ensuring consistent and harmonized conditions of service among the existing workforce. This entails, among others, continuous efforts to ensure an optimum resource allocation. The Senior Human Resources Officer is a key member of a greater Administration team and part of the Senior Management of the Section. The Incumbent implements the UNHCR’s People Strategy at the country level, and serves as a strategic business partner for Senior Management. S/he ensures integrity, transparency, fairness and professionalism in all HR matters and processes throughout the country. Senior HR Officer provides advice and guidance to the managers and staff at large on complex HR matters, liaises and consults with relevant Bureau and HQ Departments on matters requiring policy-level discussions, clarifications, and confirmations. The Senior HR Officer is expected to take a leading role in the induction and delivery of training to the existing workforce as well as to the field, as well as leadership on staffing reviews and structural revision and advice on the country-wide office operational design. Aside from building staff capacity, the HR Officer will be expected to close coordination and communication with different managers including but not limited to Head of Offices, Head of Units, and other senior managers, to provide the needed advice and guidance on policy issues as oversight continues to be the responsibility of the country Office. The Senior Human Resources Officer is closely involved in addressing the issues of staff relations and grievances, conflict management, counseling, providing advice on support and complaint mechanisms, as well as ensuring that the staff welfare is attended at all levels within the operation. S/he also directs the managers and staff to the appropriate section/unit/colleagues in the country and at HQs for assistance and queries, and guides them through the interpretation of the HR rules and policies, maintaining highest level of confidentiality and compliance with the prevailing rules and regulations at all times. The incumbent will be reporting to the Assistant Representative (Admin) and is expected to manage a team of international and local staff. People management has been a key aspect of UNHCR’s transformation journey, which began in 2017, and is central to the Division of Human Resource’s own transformation, the organization moving forward in the implementation of new strategies accommodated with new policies and systems, the incumbent is expected to have a solid experience and knowledge of all newly revised HR Policies and Administrative Instructions entered into force in October 2022, as well as proven knowledge of workday, COMPASS, and other related systems. A seasoned HR professional with excellent knowledge of HR rules and regulations, coupled with excellent communication, drafting, interpersonal, and leadership skills is thus required.
Living and Working Conditions:
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been present in Ukraine since 1994 but has increased its presence by a substantially larger scale up in the operation’s structure, staffing and response after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The geographical presence within Ukraine has significatively expanded to deliver the emergency response. The functions in the country office are currently divided between Kyiv and L’viv, and new operational offices have been established in the central and western regions. UNHCR now has direct operational presence in Chernivtsi, Dnipro, Kyiv, L’viv, Odesa, Poltava, Uzhhorod and Vinnytsia as well as in Donetsk and Luhansk, which are currently not under the control of the Government of Ukraine. The current structure is the foundation for the 2023 structure, however it will be continuously reviewed and adjusted in response to the evolving operational environment.
The war in Ukraine has caused death and suffering on a dramatic scale and left at least 17.6 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection. At the end of October 2022, over 6.5 million people are estimated to be internally displaced, while 7.8 million refugees from Ukraine have been recorded across Europe, most of them women and children.
The massive destruction of civilian infrastructure, with the energy sector being particularly targeted in the fall of 2022, has made life unbearable for millions of people who have lost their homes and livelihoods, and has severely disrupted access to electricity, water, heating as well as critical services, including healthcare, education and social protection services. Humanitarian access continues to be hampered, particularly in areas in the East under the temporary military control of the Russian Federation.
Civilians remain exposed to serious risks to their physical security and integrity, particularly in eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. The risk of GBV, including sexual violence, is high particularly in areas of active hostilities. The separation of families is one of the problems most reported by protection actors, particularly following displacement. Populations displaced or affected by the war live in situations of deprivation, following the loss or damage of their housing, loss of incomes, and the lack of access to essential services, such as health care or education.
The Government of Ukraine maintains a strong lead role in responding to the needs of its population and UNHCR supports the Government and its central and local institutions to provide protection, shelter/housing, cash and in-kind assistance to people impacted by the war. Under the leadership of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, UNHCR operates as part of the inter-agency humanitarian response, working in close coordination with local authorities and humanitarian partners. UNHCR is leading three clusters – Protection, Shelter and NFIs, and CCCM and is part of the Durable Solutions Steering Committee
The strategic orientation of UNHCR’s response is to reach people with specific vulnerabilities who remain in frontline and heavily-affected areas with immediate relief while supporting displaced people and those who have remained in their homes, or returned, with protection advice, shelter support and cash assistance to enable their attainment of durable solutions.
The war in Ukraine continues to evolve and areas of Donetska, Luhanska, Khersonska and Zaporizka oblasts in the east and south of Ukraine are currently under the temporary military control of the Russian Federation. The most intense fighting is now concentrated in the east (Donbas) and south of the country. At the same time, long-range cruise missiles and UAVs have been hitting vital infrastructure across the country, including airports at the start of the invasion. The airspace is therefore closed for commercial traffic, leaving cars and trains the only means of transportation across and in and out of the country. Large scale attacks on critical energy and transportation infrastructure have also taken place since October 2022. This has led to frequent power outages, internet, and connectivity problems; coupled with the harsh winter conditions, these developments present an additional challenge to the operational and security environment and affect staff safety and wellbeing.
The UN has not been targeted and retains its impartiality and neutrality when delivering its mandate. However, the danger cannot be fully ruled out, and risks to personnel and dependents, assets, and programmatic activities remain extant.
Security threats and risk levels are being identified and reviewed through comprehensive Security Risk Management SRM processes. The highest residual risks, assessed at this moment in time, emanate from the international armed conflict threat factors and vary from high in non-contested areas, to very high and even extreme, for areas where open armed hostilities are ongoing. In this context, the humanitarian space has shrunk, making access to beneficiaries in contested areas difficult.
To determine if a risk is acceptable, the UNHCR Representative, Heads of Offices and Programme Managers, security staff, and personnel apply the concept, principles, and applicability of the SRM process as defined by the UNSMS. However, the minimal projected risk level in Ukraine is still assessed as “high” which should be strongly considered, and staff applying for positions in Ukraine should be ready to live and work in a very dynamic security environment in which unexpected events could be a daily occurrence. Air raids are common, and staff can be obliged to work from bunkers or underground carparks for several hours. Power and water outages are to be expected in places of residence and shops, restaurants and other services can be disrupted. Curfews are in place country wide. Mission travel must be authorized by the Representative or designated managers and security clearance is mandatory. When necessary, the security unit works closely with UNDSS to make sure that programme activities can go ahead using the SRM processes and procedures that have already been set up and approved by the Designated Official or the ASC. Considering the changing operational and security environment in the country, UNHCR is flexible to relocate its offices to locations that would better serve the delivery of its mandate to help people in need of protection and assistance.
CL-Multi-stakeholder Communications with Partners, Government & Community, CO-Drafting and Documentation, CO-Reporting skills, HR-Advisory on HR standards and processes within the UN Common System, HR-Development of employee induction/onboarding programmes, HR-Employee Relationship Management, HR-Vacancy Management
BA: Administration (Required), BA: Human Resources Management (Required), BA: Law (Required)
Annual Budget OL in Operation/Office, Number of Persons of Concern Served, Number of Workforce in Operation/Work Setting, Workforce to Supervise
Accountability, Analytical thinking, Change capability & adaptability, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration
UNHCR Salary Calculator
Add.2 to Bi-annual Compendium 2022 – Part B
This position requires Functional Clearance
How to apply
For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to visit https://bit.ly/40pNxJq
The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).
Closing date of receipt of applications: 16 February 2023 (midnight Geneva time)