By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Head, Official Documents French Translation Unit

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: ILO - International Labour Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Translations and Languages
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2020-12-04

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.


Grade: P5  

Vacancy no.: RAPS/3/2020/RELMEETINGS/01
Publication date: 03 November 2020
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 04 December 2020


Job ID: 4402 
Department: RELMEETINGS 
Organization Unit: OFFDOC/F 
Location: Geneva   
Contract type: Fixed Term 


The following are eligible to apply:

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


Staff members with at least five years of continuous service with the Office are encouraged to apply.


Applications from officials who have reached their age of retirement as defined in Article 11.3 of the Staff Regulations on or before 31 December 2017, or who have already separated from ILO service upon retirement or early retirement, will not be considered.


The ILO values diversity among its staff and welcomes applications from qualified female candidates. We also encourage applicants with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to


The ILO welcomes applicants with experience in working within ILO constituents (governments, employers’ and business membership organizations, and workers’ organizations).


Applicants 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:


In addition to the interviews and tests that any candidate may be required to take, successful completion of the ILO Assessment Centre is required for all external candidates and any internal candidate applying to a higher category.


The position is located in the Official Documents French Translation Unit (OFFDOC/F) in the Department of Official Meetings, Documentation and Relations (RELMEETINGS). There are seven language Units in RELMEETINGS that provide language services in the ILO official languages (English, French and Spanish) and the working languages (German, Russian, Arabic and Chinese).

The OFFDOC/F Unit is responsible for the editing, translation and revision and text processing of all official ILO documents, including those submitted to the International Labour Conference, the Governing Body, Regional Meetings and Experts and Technical Meetings as well as documents produced by the Office of the Director-General.

The position is responsible for the management of a team, financial resources and work planning to implement the objectives of the Unit, ensuring high quality and timely delivery of texts translated into French.

The position will report to the Deputy Director of RELMEETINGS.

Specific Duties

1. Lead and plan translation, revision, editing, terminological, reference and word processing work, determining priorities and allocating staff resources for the timely, quality and cost-effective delivery of outputs.
2. Prepare the long-term planning on the basis of the established tools. Manage the day-to-day work in the light of workload projections and within the available budgetary resources. Efficiently plan the use of in-house and short-term staff as well as external collaborators. Submit proposals for temporary staff recruitment to the management of the Department for approval.
3. Work closely with author units in the preparation of official documents. Provide authoritative advice with respect to the provision of language services and terminology.
4. Plan and coordinate the work of a team of editors, revisers and translators during official ILO meetings.
5. As appropriate, participate on behalf of the OFFDOC/F Unit in working groups set up at the department or Office level to draw up or update the rules, house style and standards for ILO publications and official documents.
6. Actively prospect for, identify, test and select suitable candidates to replenish the roster of French freelance-translators, revisers and editors. Approve the entry of these translators, revisers and editors in the ILO database of external collaborators. Organize internships for junior translators.
7. Establish and maintain contact with major translation schools in order to identify potential candidates. Liaise and organize exchanges of experience with the language services of other international organizations.
8. Organize and supervise French terminology work, including glossaries, technical vocabularies and direct terminological research within the Unit.
9. In collaboration with other language Unit Heads, participate in the enhanced design, development promotion and use of terminology databases and computer-assisted-translation and terminology (CATT) tools.
10. Keep abreast of language industry trends in particular technological changes useful to the work of the Unit.

11. 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.    Plan, organize, supervise and monitor the translation and revision work, as well as related terminology and reference work, of a unit providing these services in a single language for the organization. Allocate work to staff, assign staff to particular translation or revision duties, determine and communicate priorities, and control the quality and quantity of output and compliance with established rules, house style and standards. 

2.    Supervise and evaluate the work performed by the staff of the unit (including short-term staff) and by external collaborators. Provide new staff with guidance and training. Organize the testing of candidates for employment, including prospective contractual translators, and make recommendations regarding the selection of staff. 

3.    Revise translations of highly sensitive texts and approve finished translations of exceptionally difficult or complex character in the target language. Translate texts that cannot be assigned to other staff due to urgency, confidentiality or importance. 

4.    Formulate instructions and guidelines governing the work of the unit. 

5.    Make authoritative linguistic determinations in the target language, and direct the conduct of terminological research within the unit. 

6.    Recommend action on personnel, budgetary and procedural matters relating to the efficient operations of the unit. 

Required qualifications

Advanced university degree in languages or some other relevant field (or the equivalent in experience), and sustained experience in the translation field.


At least ten years of professional translation and revision experience and at least five years at the international level in a senior level position. Experience in the organization of translation and revision work during meetings and conferences.


Excellent command of French and English. A working knowledge of Spanish or one of the ILO working languages (Russian, German, Chinese, Arabic).


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


Technical competencies

In addition to the ILO core competencies, this position requires:
Good knowledge of the wide range of subject areas and knowledge of administrative policies and practices of the Organization. Ability to make authoritative judgements on linguistic matters. Advanced translation and revision skills, and thorough knowledge of specialised concepts and terminology. Good managerial skills and familiarity with planning tools as well as extensive knowledge of work practices, methods and processes in the language field. Familiarity with the Organization's policies, programmes and procedures. Ability to provide leadership and to motivate and train staff. Judgement, initiative and analytical skills to assume managerial, administrative and supervisory responsibilities. Knowledge and skills in utilising CATT tools. Knowledge of and experience utilising computers including word processing and database software, and ability to use computer based terminological and information tools. Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Behavioural Competencies

Excellent interpersonal skills. Ability to maintain a harmonious working environment and good relations with author units. Conflict resolution skills. Keen sense of responsibility. Sound problem-solving and decision-making skills. Flexibility. Capacity to handle a large volume of individual contacts with tact, discretion and diplomacy. Active interest in new developments in the linguistic profession and willingness to initiate and promote change. Excellent networking skills. The ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.



Conditions of employment

  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to ILO Staff Regulations and other relevant internal rules. Any offer of employment with the ILO is conditional upon certification by the ILO Medical Adviser that the person concerned is medically fit to perform the specific inherent requirements of the position offered. In order to confirm an offer from the ILO the successful candidate will be required to undergo a medical examination.
  • The first contract will be issued for a twenty-four month period.
  • A successful external candidate will be on probation for the first two years of assignment.
  • Any extension of contract beyond the probation period is subject to satisfactory conduct and performance.

For more information on conditions of employment, please visit:


Important Information

Any officials of the General Service category interested in applying to this position are hereby informed that, if selected, they will be offered the salary and allowances applicable to the grade of the position applied for, which may result in substantial changes in their take-home remuneration. In accordance with Article 3.4 of the Staff Regulations, the salary of an official, upon promotion, shall in no case be greater than the maximum salary of the grade to which he or she was promoted. For any questions or clarifications, please contact your HR partner at


Recruitment process

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit the ILO Jobs website at 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 3 to 4 months 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.

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.

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.