The UN Country Team in Mozambique launches the first-ever shared talent roster

The concept of a shared talent roster between UN organizations goes all back to the former Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s days and his vision of a ONE UN. 

Only now, 14 years after he left the office, the first shared UN talent roster is up and running.

The purpose of the shared roster is to speed up local recruitment for all UN-organizations in Mozambique. All organizations will have one roster where they will be able to search for and contact qualified candidates that have gone through a recruitment process. The prerequisite for a candidate to be invited to the roster is that he/she/ze has been assessed, recommended, and endorsed by a review body (or designated authority), it can be for a consultancy assignment or a staff contract.

Many international organizations (IO) conduct hundreds of interviews per month, but it is rare that their talent sourcing goes beyond the selected candidate. Even though a recruitment process might include many qualified and suitable candidates, the majority of these candidates are left behind, which is a great loss for both the organizations and the candidates, who have invested time and interest in the process. Several organizations are having a theoretical idea of what to do, but the idea often stays theoretical and if executed, a roster means names listed in simple excel sheets. Very few organizations combine a structured roster plan with a digital platform. They seem however to agree that keeping track of and engaging qualified and recommended talents for future recruitments saves both time and money. A lot of time and money, given the number of recruitments they are doing.

Now, The Mozambique office is the first-ever UN office to build a roster filled with qualified talents and with shared access, where recruiters from all different organizations can log in to the roster and search for suitable, assessed, and recommended candidates. 

When IOM recruits a local contractor (i.e SB4, Monitoring and Evaluation), the IOM recruiter can log in and search the roster for other similar recruitments. And if Unicef recently concluded a similar process, IOM can either directly go ahead with the contracting or invite the person to their process.

Why has not this happened earlier?

”I think there are many reasons, not least political”, says Henrik Ryden, COO, and Co-founder of Impactpool. He continues, “I built a roster for UNDP in Afghanistan back in 2011, which was a great failure. That experience taught me a lot about how to build rosters successfully in the Impact sector.” IO’s definition of talent rosters per se creates problems. In fact, the IO definition is not even close to the definition of SAP, PeopleSoft, Taleo, etc. But when IO's select roster providers, they tend to go with one of these established private sector vendors. The outcome is high unexpected costs for customizations and a roster platform that doesn’t meet their needs.

The below matrix is an overview of some of the main differences between a roster in the private sector and a roster in an IO. 

The UN Inspira team’s ambition of using Oracle’s roster platform could serve as an excellent example of when development costs sky-rocketed, but the roster solution is still not close to what the UN management requested, what the UN team needs, nor what they have had in mind. The heavily customized Inspira roster is built on an Oracle PeopleSoft platform, and is today quite sophisticated, feature- and searchable-wise. However, the roster's accessibility (item 7 above) is very basic, far from what they need. No one outside the UN secretariat can access an Inspira roster, although there is a push from senior management to run shared UN rosters in Inspira. This gets even more complicated when one understands that the open-access needs of the UN are completely different from the narrow access philosophy of Oracle. Hence, it is hard to believe that the Inspira team ever (as long as they use Oracle) will be able to deliver something even close to the UN roster in Mozambique.

The roster in Mozambique

“To make the roster in Mozambique a success still requires hard structured work and a mutual agreement on how the roster should be used,” says Henrik. “One thing that made my roster in Afghanistan fail was that hiring managers didn’t release all their alternate assessed and recommended candidates to the roster. They had assessed and recommended talents hidden in their office desks. When this became known to others the trust for the roster quickly disappeared, and when other hiring managers started to do the same, the roster quickly became bypassed.” The roster in Mozambique is designed by Impactpool and built exclusively for IOs. The roster access is easy and flexible. The assigned super-user can easily decide who should have access both inside the same organization and to recruiters of any other organizations.

The screenshot below gives you a quick feel of the access granting screen for recruiters. Only an email, name, and functional role are needed to include a new hiring manager or recruiter.

Impactpool Candidate Search Console

The Impactpool Candidate Search Console is tailored for this sector. Impactpool is the most advanced provider of talent rosters tailored for an international recruitment context operated by IOs. For an IO, it is critical to be able to search for candidates’ language skills, nationalities, years of experience, academic degree, what job he/she/ze has been assessed for, where he/she/ze has served in the past and if the candidate is available.

To check availability and ensure an updated profile, rostered candidates will be notified by the Impactpool system every 6 months to confirm their availability and update their profile. The Mozambique filtering functionalities are the most advanced in the market. You can get some inspiration below.

Would you like to learn more about the roster used in Mozambique or about rosters in general, please don’t hesitate to set up a meeting or a demo. Use the contact form below.