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HR Associate (Asylum System), LICA-6. San Jose

San Jose (Costa Rica)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: San Jose (Costa Rica)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Administrative support
    • Refugee rights and well-being
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Migration
    • Human Resources
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-27

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Candidates must be legally present in Costa Rica at the time of application, recruitment, and hiring. Only candidates who have a permanent residence in Costa Rica will be considered eligible. Monitoring and Progress Controls
The staff member will submit at monthly reports, and others to be determined as requested by the Senior Protection Officer.

Qualifications and Experience

a. Education (Level and area of required and/or preferred education)
¿ Human Resources Management, Personnel Administration, Administration, Psychology, Business Management, Development Economics, Social Sciences or related fields.

b. Work Experience

¿ At least 3 years of relevant human resources work experience (with high school diploma); or 2 years of relevant human resources work experience (with a Bachelor¿s degree equivalent or higher).

¿ Prior work experiences with Government institutions.
¿ Previous experience (work, volunteer, other) with vulnerable populations, including asylum seekers and refugees.

Functional Skills

IT-ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Functional Knowledge;
UN-UN/UNHCR Administrative Rules, Regulations and Procedures;
UN-UN/UNHCR Human Resources Rules, Regulations, Policies and Procedures;
HR-Administer/manage a large number of staff, preferably within the UN
Experience with Government entities

Language Requirements

The candidate should be fluent in Spanish and at least proficient in English.

Core Competencies:
- Accountability
- Communication
- Organizational Awareness
- Teamwork & Collaboration
- Commitment to Continuous Learning
- Client & Result Orientation

Managerial Competencies:
- Managing Resources

Cross-Functional Competencies:
- Analytical Thinking
- Planning and Organizing
- Technological Awareness Purpose and Scope of Assignment
- Ensure adherence to rules & regulations and standard operational procedures as per established policies.
- Advise UNOPS personnel on their eligibility for benefits and entitlements within their respective conditions of employment.
- Maintain effective and cordial working relationship with UNOPS staff members and other counterparts within the Organization as well as outside in order to ensure expedition of required action(s) observing discretion, due confidentiality and courtesy in all his/her dealings with staff members and the counterparts.
- Control and manage personnel records and monitor personnel.
- Stay abreast of policy developments and application of administrative procedures on Personnel/Human Resources issues so that appropriate responses can be given to various queries by the staff members and managers.
- Liaise with UNOPS on updated staffing tables.
- Meet with contracted staff, carry out a diagnostic on motivation and other factors, and recommend steps to achieve greater satisfaction and output.
- Work with Government entities, as well as UNHCR Protection, Registration and QAI staff to create relevant output indicators and monitoring systems to measure ongoing output of staff.
- Collaborate with relevant Government and UNHCR counterparts, as relevant, to carry out trainings such as code of contact, prevention and response to workplace harassment or sexual exploitation and abuse, anti-fraud measures, and others.
- Perform other related duties as required.
See below for this postion's Operational Context
======================================================================================================== Title: Human Resources Associate (Asylum System)
Project: Quality Assurance Initiative (QAI)
Duty station: San José
Section/Unit: Protection Unit (Asylum Institutions ¿ DGME, CVRR, TAM, and MFA)
ICA Level: ICA Level 6

General Background:
UNHCR has been operating in Costa Rica for 38 years and collaborates with the authorities and other partners to meet the needs of people seeking refugee status, refugees, and people at risk of statelessness or statelessness in the country. Within the framework of the actions carried out by the Government of Costa Rica with the collaboration of UNHCR, the Quality Asylum Program (QAI) has had positive results in the stages of the eligibility process: reception, case analysis and resolution. Through this program, it has been possible to strengthen the eligibility process and improve access to protection. The Government of Costa Rica, with the collaboration of UNHCR, has undertaken a series of initiatives that have been instrumental in reaching more expeditious and just resolutions. These include support with additional human resources, technical support through the provision of information on the country of origin of asylum seekers, and regular capacity-building activities aimed at eligibility authorities on various topics, among others. 

Since 2018, Costa Rica has experienced a significant increase in asylum applications, mainly from applicants from Nicaragua, but also from other countries such as Venezuela, El Salvador and Honduras. It closed in 2018 with a total of 27,993 new applications. In 2019, a total of 59,203 applications were received, presenting the highest increase in refugee applications ever reached. By mid-2020, the number of new applications was 10,972. This figure responds to changes due to COVID, but is expected to increase in future months.

Thus, UNHCR plans to continue cooperating with the Government of Costa Rica by providing personnel to support the various asylum institutions ¿ the Refugee Unit (DGME), Commission on Restricted Visas and Refugees (composed of representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Security, and Labor, respectively), the TAM; as well as additional personnel working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on the stateless determination procedure.

The Human Resources Associate (Asylum System) is a special position created to allow UNHCR to provide holistic support and oversight to the personnel contracted to the various Government institutions by UNHCR, to build capacity within the Government apparatus, and to support the creation of systems and procedures to allow for greater sustainability. In 2021, UNHCR will hire a person working within various Government institutions, on contracts outsourced by UNOPS or as independent contractors.

The Human Resources Associate will work under supervision of the Sr. Protection Officer, but with close support and guidance of the Administration Officer and Human Resources colleagues. However, as the position is intended to strengthen and harmonize policies and support improvements in output and motivation of personnel while supporting sustainable capacity development of the institutions, it is foreseen that the HR Associate will spend approximately 75% of their time working at and with personnel of the various Government institutions, including the Refugee Unit (DGME), the CVRR, the TAM and the MFA among others. HOW TO APPLY

Internal candidates:
- Your application must be submitted by: MSRP - Self-Service - Recruiting - Careers - Costa Rica -NAME OF THE POSITION

External candidates:
- Candidates who do NOT have access to the system must submit their application through UNHCR's official application site:
- click on Vacancies
- Look for Costa Rica
- Click on position you are interested  and follow the instructions

- (In case of technical problems, please login with a different browser).

For any technical problems encountered during the online application, please contact the Global Service Desk ( prior to the deadline to allow sufficient time to resolve the issues. For any questions regarding the selection process, please contact Human Resources (


We are committed to maintaining diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity and culture.  Persons belonging to minority groups, persons with special abilities, men and women, are encouraged to apply for vacancies. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

We do not confirm receipt of applications or report on the status of the process. Only qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview and possibly a written test.

Closing Date
Closing date for submissions or applications is 27 de Enero, 2021, (midnight Geneva time) 17:00 hours (Costa Rica time).
No late applications will be accepted. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Shortlisted candidates may be required to sit for a written test and/or oral interview. UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing or any other fees).
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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