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Senior Specialist, Employers' Activities


  • Organization: ILO - International Labour Organization
  • Location: Pretoria
  • Grade: Senior level - P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: Closed


Grade: P5 

Vacancy no.: CALL/P/2024/18
Publication date: 24 May 2024
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 24 June 2024


Job ID: 11994 
Department: ACT/EMP 
Organization Unit: ACT/EMP 
Location: Pretoria   
Contract type: Fixed Term 


The ILO is issuing a call for expression of interest for the above position. The selection process is not subject to the rules and procedures defined in Annex I of the ILO Staff Regulations


The following are eligible to apply:

  • Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the Staff Regulations. 
  • External candidates


The ILO values diversity among its staff. We welcome applications from qualified women and men, including those with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to


Applications from qualified candidates from non- or under-represented member States, or from those member States which staffing forecasts indicate will become non- or under-represented in the near future, would be particularly welcome. A list of these countries can be found here: ILO Jobs: Non- and under-represented Member States


The position is located in and reports to the Bureau for Employers' Activities (ACT/EMP) but is also an integral member of the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team (DWT) that provides ILO technical support and guidance to a particular geographical area.

ACT/EMP consists of a Bureau at ILO headquarters and a network of Senior Specialists in Employers Activities in each of the DWTs in the different regions. Its principal work is to manage the relationship between the ILO and Employers, Business and Membership Organizations (EBMOs), and the wider business community so that there is mutual understanding, shared values, and a desire to work together. This is done in close cooperation with the Secretariat of the Employers' Group of the ILO. Additionally, through its programme of development cooperation, the Bureau seeks to strengthen employer and business representative organizations so that they become more strong, independent and representative, and can increase their value to their members and potential members. This work also enhances social dialogue in the countries concerned.

The position is senior level and the incumbent is expected to manage technical activities focusing on high-level technical and policy advisory services and advocacy of new strategies, policies, approaches, and programs within their area of specialization. The incumbent is expected to achieve objectives that are set by the ILO Governing Body (GB) concerning the strategic management of the programme. The incumbent will work with a high level of autonomy and take authoritative technical decisions independently whilst being accountable for the efficient management of funds.

The Senior Specialist, Employers Activities will act as an interface between the ILO, EBMOs, and the employer community in the region and develop and maintain good working relations with them. More particularly, the incumbent will help employer and business membership representative organizations meet the needs of enterprises more effectively. Finally, the Senior Specialist, Employers Activities will articulate the views of employers within the ILO so that their priorities and concerns are reflected in the design and implementation of ILO policies and programmes, and also communicate ILO policies and programmes to the wider employer and business community.

The position will report to the Director of ACT/EMP. She/he will work under the guidance of and with the support from the assigned regional Desk Officer for day-to-day activities.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

1.  Develop and maintain productive working relations with the constituents at all levels. These relations are critical to the discharging of the Specialist's duties and delivery of the ILO's objectives.
2.  Design and implement the ILO's entire programme of work with each EBMO within his or her jurisdiction, irrespective of the source of funds or other units involved. This entails following procedures laid down by ACT/EMP and the ILO as a whole within a results-based management framework that contains needs analysis, work planning, reporting, and evaluation.
3.  Provide advice, organize training courses, conduct or oversee research, produce publications, organize workshops, seminars, conferences, study missions or other related activities, to assist EBMOs in developing and promoting policy proposals for economic and social development, with the aim of achieving a better business environment for the development of sustainable enterprises.
4.  Provide technical assistance and advice to help improve the managerial capacity and operational effectiveness of EBMOs, through the use of organizational analysis, capacity assessments and development, and human resources development aiming to strengthen independence, representativeness and effectiveness of EBMOs.
5.  Support the design, creation and implementation of quality and high-impact services that EBMOs provide to their member enterprises.
6.  Seek and secure additional donor funding for projects.
7.  Draw up a work plan every two years, in dialogue with each EBMO concerned and based on a needs assessment set out in a background note, outlining the proposed cooperation with each organisation, taking account of the budget allocation available. Finalize the work plan in dialogue with an allocated regional Desk Officer at ILO headquarters and ACT/EMP management.
8.  Implement the agreed work plan and review and report on progress via a quarterly monitoring exercise. Undertake wider reporting including through assessment of the impact of the programme including information on cases where difficulties have been encountered and lessons learned from both successful as well as problematic cases.
9.   Assess performance against the agreed work plan and result targets set as indicated above.
10. Participate in the work of the DWT and field offices through meetings and missions to convey and promote employers' perspectives in the formulation of the DWT and field offices' policies and programmes and wider UN initiatives. Take part in national and regional tripartite activities on given themes and provide technical support to representatives of employer organizations.
11.  Give input to ACT/EMP on technical issues requested from ILO headquarters, and collaborate with other colleagues of the team in matters of common interest.
12.  Perform other relevant duties as assigned by ACT/EMP management.

Required qualifications


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in economics, business administration, law, social science or other relevant field.
A first-level university degree (Bachelor's or equivalent) in one of the aforementioned fields, or other relevant fields, with an additional two years of relevant experience, in addition to the experience stated below, will be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.


At least ten years of professional experience, including at the international level, with at least five years of experience in senior management positions in employers’ organizations or other business organizations, and/or comparable experience in development cooperation management functions with practical experience of working with Employers and Business Membership Organizations.


Excellent command of English. A working knowledge of French would be an advantage.


In addition to the ILO core competencies, this position requires:

Knowledge and technical/behavioural competencies

Excellent knowledge of employers' organizations, their functions and operations, including labour-related programmes, issues, practices, and policies.
Excellent knowledge of the concerns and needs of employers' organizations in relation to economic and social development in Africa, particularly in East Africa and the Indian Ocean Island states.
Excellent analytical and problem-solving abilities. Ability to synthesize assessed needs in employer organizations to develop and manage development cooperation projects.
Excellent oral and written communication skills and ability to articulate complex ideas effectively Demonstrated ability to conduct socio-economic research and analysis and to write reports or technical articles.
Ability to develop links with and attract major donors to ensure adequate resource mobilization for the implementation of plans and projects.
Ability to present and advocate policy changes in difficult circumstances.
Ability to advise senior-level officials, executive management, and constituents and to negotiate and discuss sensitive matters with tact and discretion. 
Political insight and sound judgment.


Ability to represent the Organisation at a high level in a tripartite environment, deliver speeches, and provide authoritative advice and guidance to both constituents and the Office.
Ability to take initiative, plan, and organize work following ACT/EMP guidelines.
Proven capacity of experience in financial management of cooperation programmes or projects Discretion and a high sense of responsibility and judgment.
Command of standard computer software.
Excellent interpersonal skills
The ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behavior and attitudes.


Recruitment process


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit ILO People. The system provides instructions for online application procedures.


Evaluation (which may include one or several written tests and a pre-interview competency-based assessment centre) and the interviews will tentatively take place during the 2 to 4 weeks following the application deadline. Candidates are requested to ensure their availability should they be short listed for further consideration.


Depending on the location and availability of candidates, assessors and interview panel members, the ILO may use communication technologies such as Skype, Video or teleconference, e-mail, etc for the assessment and evaluation of candidates at the different stages of the recruitment process, including assessment centres, technical tests or interviews.


Fraud warning


The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account - - should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.

This vacancy is now closed.