Chief of Section, Human Resources

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)



Org. Setting and Reporting

The Department of Operational Support (DOS) was established to provide end-to-end operational support, advisory services and other solutions to operating entities across the Secretariat, including departments, offices away from headquarters, peace operations, and regional commissions.

The Human Resources Services Division (HRSD) provides dedicated services in support of human resources requirements of client entities, from process development through service delivery. The Division establishes and manages rosters across all job families, organizes testing and examinations, provides operational support and other advisory service for clients for the full spectrum of their delegated authorities, and supports managers and business partners in the use of non-staff personnel.

The Staffing Service (SS) offers expertise in the areas of talent acquisition and innovation, testing and examinations, operational workforce planning and organizational design across UN Secretariat entities.

The Special Assessments Section (SAS) is responsible for the development and administration of various competitive examinations and tests used for talent selection. It is responsible for the United Nations Secretariat flagship assessment, the Young Professionals Exam.

This position is located in the Special Assessments Section (SAS), Staffing Service (SS), Human Resources Services Division (HRSD), Department of Operational Support (DOS). The Senior Human Resources Officer /Chief of Section reports to the Chief of Staffing Services of HRSD.


Within delegated authority, the Senior Human Resources Officer/Chief of Section will be responsible for the following duties:

General Management
• Plans, organizes, manages and supervises the work of the Section assigned.
• Oversees recruitment activities within the assigned Section, including by identifying required skillsets, creating job openings, reviewing candidate applications, creating short lists, participating in and chairing interview panels, and making recommendations for selection.
• Reports and coordinates on specific issues through the production of business intelligence and analytical reports and talking points and briefing notes for the attention of senior managers regarding the status of the performance of human resources functions, both internally within the Section and for supported entities
• Promotes staff development and career support programmes within the supervised office.
• Establishes collaborative relationships with all relevant internal and external partners.
• Contributes to organizational initiatives to improve the recruitment process.
• Reviews and addresses queries from legislative and oversight bodies.

Specialized Assessments
• Plans and oversees the management of activities undertaken by the Specialized Assessment Section.
• Ensures that substantive work programmes and programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion.
• Coordinates diverse projects in SAS and HRSS, and, in liaison with other organizations of the United Nations System, donors and agencies as appropriate.
• Manages and provides guidance to staff at different levels in the section in carrying out their activities, and facilitates their training and development.
• Identifies issues and opportunities for change and develop a new assessment approach and methodology.
• Manages the review of the current process and mechanisms for assessment for regular recruitment.
• Develops and implements change management strategies and plans on the new assessment approach and methodology.
• Manages continuing process improvement and methodologies for all supported areas and advocates for associated policy changes.
• Supports the HRSD Director in exercising delegated authority on placement of YPP candidates with an emphasis on increasing the placement of candidates from un/underrepresented member states.
• Oversees implementation of the annual Managed Reassignment Program (MRP) for YPP staff.
• Provides substantive input in the preparation of position papers and reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, Committee for Programme Coordination, the General Assembly and other policymaking organs, as appropriate.
• Reviews and addresses queries from oversight bodies
• Recruits staff for the Section taking due account geographical and gender balance and other institutional values.
• Liaises with Member States on examinations and other talent pools.
• Monitors deliverables and ensures timely completion of assigned projects within HRSS.
• Performs other duties as required.

Business Process Improvement
• Advocates for the simplification and development of new human resources policies and leads process improvement initiatives to streamline practices and procedures to meet the evolving needs of the Organization.
• Identifies requirements for continuous process improvements and adaptation to policies and processes based on operational requirements and trends and ensures that testing and assessments keep up with current industry practices
• Reviews pain points in business processes with a view to eliminating them while advocating for changes in policies, processes and systems and while proactively looking to fill gaps in processes.
• Reviews trends in technologies in the area of testing and assessments.
• Consult with clients and proponent offices to identify innovation and process improvement priorities and potential solutions.
• Leads team members efforts to collect and analyze data and provides insight to identify trends or patterns for data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation and reporting. Ensures that everyone can discover, access, integrate and share the data they need.


Professionalism: Knowledge of human resources management and the implementation of its substantive work programmes. Ability to generate and communicate broad and compelling organizational directions; ability to communicate clear links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; ability to provide innovative leadership by performing and overseeing the planning, development and management of work units. Shows pride in work and in achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing. Ability to analyze and interpret data in support of decision-making and convey resulting information to management.

Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.

Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Managing performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.


An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in human resources management, business or public administration, social sciences, education or related area is required. A first-level university degree in combination with additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Job – Specific Qualification

Completion of training programmes in data analytics, business analytics or data science is desirable.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in human resources management, administrative services or related area is required.

Experience with talent management information systems or tools, and assessment platforms is required.

Experience in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices in the recruitment process is desired.

Experience advocating for the simplification and initiating and implementing change initiatives to improve processes and services in the areas of human resources is required.

Experience in data analytics or related areas is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

The appointment or assignment and renewal thereof are subject to the availability of the post or funds, budgetary approval or extension of the mandate.

Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover letter.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.


United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee



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