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Senior Secretary (Administration)

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: ILO - International Labour Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: GS-5, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Administrative support
  • Closing Date: 2019-11-04

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Grade: G5  

Vacancy no.: GENEVA/GS/2019/12

Publication date: 3 October 2019
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 4 November 2019

Job ID: 1895 
Department: JUR 
Organization Unit: JUR 
Location: Geneva   
Contract type: Fixed Term 

The recruitment process for General Service positions is subject to local recruitment regulations and Article 4.3 of the ILO Staff Regulations. The ILO may only offer a contract to persons who have a valid residency status in Switzerland or who currently reside in neighbouring France.

The following are eligible to apply:

  • ILO Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the Staff Regulations.
  • Other staff members with at least five years of continuous service with the Office are also eligible. They are encouraged to apply and will be given special consideration at the screening and evaluation stage. 
  • 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

Applicants may be tested to assess skills in Microsoft Word, Excel and/or PowerPoint, or other skills. In addition to any interview or testing that may be requested of candidates, successful completion of the Assessment Centre is required for external candidates.

*Conditions of employment for external candidates: In conformity with existing ILO practice, the appointment of an external candidate will normally be made at the first step of this grade. The entry level salary for this position is 75084 CHF yearly.


The position is located in the Office of the Legal Adviser (JUR). JUR provides a wide range of legal services to the Organization and its organs (i.e. the Office, the International Labour Conference and the Governing Body), reporting directly to the Director-General. The work is carried out by a small, dedicated team at ILO headquarters.

The position will be required to provide a full range of advanced secretarial and administrative support services in the work unit.

The position will report to the Legal Adviser.

Specific Duties

1. Responsible for uploading documents on the unit websites; Prepare reports, presentations and charts extracted from databases and the web.

2. Retrieve and organize relevant background material, monitor deadlines and prepare standard replies with supporting documentation for the unit's servicing the Administrative Tribunal, the International Labour Conference, the Governing Body, Regional Meetings, Sectoral meetings, meetings of Experts and other ILO meetings, and in relation to the ratification and registration of international labour Conventions.

3. Perform  "leave clerk" duties for JUR. Follow up on performance evaluation reports and other HR-related matters. Make logistical arrangements for the allocation of office space and for office facilities in connection with staff movements. Act as focal point for interns. Brief staff on rules applicable to travel and entitlements.

4. Carry out operations required for authorizing and effectuating expenditures in IRIS. Prepare purchase requisitions, purchase orders, travel authorizations and other administrative forms in the Integrated Resource Information System (IRIS) and ensure follow up with the relevant administrative services for their processing. 

5. Verify and enter information into the Credentials database of the International Labour Conference (ILC) and of Regional Meetings.  Participate in the registration process of ILC and Regional Meetings delegates and provide administrative support to the Credentials Committee Secretariat of the ILC and Regional Meetings.

6. Verify notes verbales and draft attestations issued by JUR in compliance with office procedures.

7. Maintain stationery supplies for JUR and monitor the budgetary allocation for this purpose.

8. Perform other relevant duties as assigned.

These specific duties are aligned with the relevant ILO generic job description, which includes the following generic duties:

Generic Duties
  1. Analyse, record, assign or monitor the distribution of mail, correspondence (often confidential), and documents to staff of the work unit.Recommend deadlines and follow-up dates, and coordinate responses.Follow up on the status of work in progress involving the preparation of correspondence and reports.
  2. Draft administrative correspondence in two languages. Review and correct correspondence, reports, documents prepared by other staff for format, spelling and grammar, especially for the signature of the supervisor.Provide informal translation of correspondence into one language.
  3. Create and maintain the work unit’s filing and reference systems, whether manual or automated.Create background files on assigned subjects in consultation with professional staff, determine the nature of the supervisor’s needs and compile appropriate reference material.
  4. Provide administrative support for meetings and conferences held in or outside Geneva.Attend meetings and take notes and draft minutes as required.Maintain the travel plan of the work unit, make travel arrangements, monitor travel planned and undertaken and prepare related updates to track use of funds.Provide orientation and guidance on procedures to other general service staff.Monitor staff movements, leave and entitlements.Establish work priorities and ensure equitable workloads for other general services staff members.
  5. Screen requests for appointments with supervisor according to the nature of the requests and their urgency, make tentative commitments, confirm mutually convenient schedules and rearrange schedules disrupted by unexpected events.Identify alternative means for referring and handling outside enquiries by the incumbent’s or other work units.
  6. Word process statements, reports, studies including statistical tables, etc. from manuscripts and other sources using a variety of software. Searches databases in order to trace status and progress of cases of particular interest to the supervisor and to request updated standard management reports and statistics.May be required to update websites.
Required qualifications

Secondary school or commercial school. A certificate in secretarial studies and web-related skills would be an advantage.


Five to six years' secretarial experience, of which at least three years within the Organization or of which at least three years within an international organization or legal office.


Excellent command of two official languages (English, French, Spanish) of the Organization including the ability to draft administrative correspondence in both languages. Knowledge of a third official language would be an advantage.


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


Ability to use word processing software and e-mail. Knowledge of house rules for the preparation of documents and of the use of filing systems. Ability to reply in an appropriate manner to telephone and in-person inquiries. Ability to work well with colleagues. Ability to organise own work. Ability to search internet. Ability to use other software packages required by the work unit. Knowledge of software necessary for updating websites. Knowledge of procedures for creating and maintaining the file system. Knowledge of procedures for preparing administrative forms. Ability to obtain services for completion of tasks from other work units inside or outside the office. Ability to evaluate correspondence and inquiries for best course of action. Ability to search and retrieve information from databases and compile reports. Knowledge of procedures governing missions and other official travel. Knowledge of rules and procedures governing leave.

Ability to respond to requests from delegates or other visitors. Ability to determine relevant background and reference material for others to screen requests for urgency and priorities and to keep confidentiality. Flexibility.  Ability to prioritize when handling multiple tasks.  Absolute discretion in dealing with confidential matters. The ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.

Recruitment process

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit the ILO Jobs website. 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 1 to 3 months following the application deadline. Candidates are requested to ensure their availability should they be short listed for further consideration.

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.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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