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Chief of Section (HR Strategic Support)

Paris (France)

  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris (France)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-08-22

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Post Number : HRM-012

Grade : P-5

Parent Sector : Bureau of Human Resources Management (HRM)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Human Resources

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 22-AUG-2021 


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism




The HR Strategic Support Section is one of the three Sections of the Bureau of Human Resources Management (HRM). The Section is responsible for tasks related to HR policy coordination, administrative reviews, organizational development, and performance management.


The Chief of Section reports directly to the Director, HRM. S/he provides strategic and operational leadership of the HR Strategic Support Team in the execution of the Section's workplans and activities, leading on strategic transformation initiatives and change management projects falling under the Section's purview. 


As a senior member of the HRM management team, the Chief of Section contributes to the elaboration of the Bureau's biennial workplans and expected results, and participates in other HR related activities aimed at enhancing staff well-being, organizational capacity and effectiveness. 


Specific responsibilities include:

Long Description
  • Lead the development and/or update of human resources strategies, policies and procedures, in close collaboration with the other work units of the Bureau; ensure consistency with staff regulations and staff rules and harmonization with other policies and procedures of the UN common system; monitor effectiveness and update/adjust as required, in line with organizational objectives and evolving priorities;
  • Conduct and/or oversee administrative reviews in response to requests from staff members contesting administrative decisions; advise the Director and Senior Management on preventative measures and actions to mitigate risks and/or the settlement of claims and disputes in the interest of the Organization and in a manner consistent with legal precedents;
  • Review and provide authoritative advice and recommendations to Director, HRM and Senior Management on HR policy issues, contentious and complex cases, interpretation and application of staff regulations and rules, disciplinary matters, performance management rebuttals;
  • Prepare position papers, documents and reports for submission to UNESCO’s governing bodies and various joint staff-management consultative committees and judicial bodies falling under the purview of the Section’s mandate;
  • Lead and oversee the strategic and operational deployment of UNESCO’s performance management policy and tools; collaborate with managers and staff in promoting linkages between individual performance, learning and career development; advise and guide managers on non- and under-performance and ensure effective delivery of the rebuttal process;
  • Represent the Director in internal management meetings, working groups, inter-agency committees and networks (e.g. UN CEB HR Network and the International Civil Service Commission) in the review of HR policies and initiatives including HLCM’s Future of Work of the UN System workforce;  
  • Work collaboratively with other members of HRM management team to ensure a ‘One HRM’ approach to the work of the Bureau, streamlining processes and minimizing gaps in service. 
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Communication (C) Accountability (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) Professionalism (C) Leading and empowering others (M) Making quality decisions (M) Managing performance (M) Driving and managing change (M) Building partnerships (M) Strategic thinking (M) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of human resources management, public or business administration, law or a related area such as social or behavioural sciences. 


Work Experience

  • Minimum 10 years of progressively responsible and relevant professional experience in the area of human resources management and/or law, including a minimum of 5 years at a senior supervisory level, preferably in the UN system or an international organization. 
  • Experience in the development and implementation of human resources strategies, regulatory frameworks, policies and procedures. 
  • Experience in the application and interpretation of staff rules and regulations, and dealing with complex legal and administrative HR issues.
  • Experience in leading and motivating staff in a multicultural environment.


Long Description

Skills and Competencies

  • Capacity to provide intellectual leadership to guide staff, as well as ability to build trust among, manage, lead and motivate a large number of staff in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Strong conceptual, intellectual and analytical capacities, with a high sense of objectivity and professional integrity, diplomacy, tact and political astuteness.
  • Strong management and organizational skills with ability to establish plans and priorities and effectively implement them.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent sense of judgement for informed decision-making. 
  • Good interpersonal and representational skills and demonstrated ability to advocate, and negotiate with staff and a wide range of stakeholders/partners at all levels within and outside the Organization.
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of innovative human resources policies, practices and procedures. 
  • Ability to identify key strategic issues, objectives, opportunities and risks.




  • Excellent knowledge (spoken and written) of English or French and good knowledge of the other.



  • Diplomas, certificates and training in the area of human resources management. 


Work Experience

  • Experience in administrative and labour law.
  • Experience in mediation and conflict resolution.
  • Experience with grievances processes and/or other adjudicative bodies, tribunals designed for conflict resolution. 




  • Knowledge of other UNESCO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish).



UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.


For more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult ICSC website.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

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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