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Senior Administrative Secretary


  • Organization: ILO - International Labour Organization
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Administrative support - GS-6, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Administrative support
  • Closing Date: 2022-11-28


Grade: G6 

Vacancy no.: GENEVA/GS/2022/07

Publication date: 26 October 2022
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 28 November 2022


Job ID: 10165 
Department: INTSERV 
Organization Unit: INTSERV 
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.


Please note that in the context of the new ILO organigram, the naming of the departments may be subject to change.


*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 82401 CHF yearly.


The position is located in the Department of Internal Services and Administration (INTSERV). INTSERV is comprised of four units: Security management (SECURITY), Facilities Management (FACILITIES), Publications Production Management (PRODOC), Support and Mail Services (SUPPORT/MAIL), and the Departmental Support Team (DST).


INTSERV is responsible for a wide range of services regarding facilities management, environmental sustainability, security and safety, logistics and services, including printing, publishing and distribution, mail processing, diplomatic privileges.


The position will coordinate with the Department's units and perform a variety of management support functions to assist the Department Director in carrying out her/his management role, including setting work priorities and ensuring efficient workflow within the Department and providing excellent client services. He/she will work closely with the Head of the Departmental Support Team and the Financial Certification Officer at departmental level.


The incumbent reports directly to the Director of INTSERV.

Specific Duties

1.    Perform all administrative and secretarial duties required by the Director of INTSERV. This includes planning and maintaining the Director's agenda, using judgement to schedule appointments and determine priorities; preparing briefing folders, meeting schedules and all related administrative tasks; organizing the Director's participation in meetings (internal and external), drafting official letters for the Director's signature. 
2.    Keep abreast of departmental activities and assignments, take notes in weekly departmental and other coordination meetings, and effectively plan secretarial and administrative support. Keep the Director informed of related matters. 
3.    Keep track of and communicate issues of a confidential and/or sensitive nature to the Director. Liaise with the Director on any human resources-related issues. Provide support to the Director for the timely submission of performance appraisals and assist to organize selection processes to fill temporary positions. Maintain electronic files and databases on human resources-related matters.  In collaboration with DST, prepare administrative actions within the enterprise resourcing planning system (Integrated Resource Information System IRIS) for departmental staff and temporary staff.
4.    Assist the Director in dealings with the Swiss mission and Swiss local authorities on facility and property management, mobility, security and safety and general office functioning by organizing and coordinating remote or in-person meetings with their representatives. Coordinate involvement, actions and input from the concerned INTSERV unit heads and from other departments such as JUR and BRP. Plan and coordinate meetings and briefings with field directors and regional directors on the wide range of activities and responsibilities of the department and ensure follow-up of the action items.  Analyse requests, event information and security related communication received from the Swiss Mission and UNOG, take appropriate actions including the drafting of staff broadcasts. 
5.    Liaise with the Head of DST and the Financial Certification Officer to keep abreast of programme, human resources and budgetary matters, brief the Director on urgent matters and provide background information on topics for decision.  Keep abreast of changes to administrative rules, regulations, policies, procedures, guidelines and other developments and provide guidance to staff within the Department, when necessary. 
6.    Follow up with the departmental units on requests from internal/external auditors and the Joint Inspection Unit and/or any other information requests. Coordinate responses in order to provide support to the Director and ensure timely responses.
7.    Administer requests for official receptions/events within the building from internal or external parties. Interact with PROTOCOL and other organizers of high-level events, analyse the requests against established policies, dispatch to relevant units and services for action, provide the Director with advice on compliance prior to approval.    
8.    Act as leave clerk for INTSERV staff: DST, SUPPORT/MAIL and SECURITY. Coordinate and support the work of the other leave clerks in the department, providing back-up when necessary. 

9.    Draft correspondence (broadcasts and communications related to the various departmental activities) and other documents using a variety of software. Administer the department's annual/quarterly and monthly invoices (parking space rental, rents etc.). Update the intranet pages, in coordination with the unit focal points. 
10.    Evaluate the functioning of filing systems, both manual and automated, to ensure effective access to staff information. Maintain up-to-date contact and address lists and confidential files.

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.    Analyse, assign, monitor, receive and distribute mail, correspondence and documents for a large and diverse work unit, identify complex or sensitive correspondence for special treatment by supervisor or others.  Propose and monitor deadlines assigned to a series of coordinated or sequenced inputs required to prepare a final product within approved overall deadlines.  

2.    Establish work priorities, ensure equitable workloads for other general service staff members especially in peak work periods, establish deadlines and review the completed work before signature of supervisor. 

3.    Draft general and administrative correspondence in two languages, requiring analysis of the substance of the issue.  Correct correspondence, reports and documents prepared by other staff for format, spelling and grammar and adherence to appropriate administrative rules.  Provide informal translation of correspondence into one language.  Compile and carry out the pre-editing of official documents according to approved format and editorial practices.  

4.    Screen and schedule requests for access to the supervisor.  Coordinate and expedite office-wide response to sensitive telephone and written enquiries received by own work unit (on behalf of the supervisor).  Inform other staff of the background and expectations regarding the current work in progress directly related to their work area.  Monitor the progress of work and administrative/financial cases of priority and concern to the supervisor.  Attend meetings, take notes and draft minutes of proceedings.

5.    Study administrative and personnel problems of staff members and provide information to resolve these as well as provide pertinent information to the supervisor and staff specialists responsible for taking appropriate action.  Identify and prepare background to justify the need for new or adjusted administrative procedures to ensure adequate control of communications, correspondence and secretariat support for conferences and meetings.  

6.    Word process correspondence and other documents using a variety of software.  Search databases to obtain, compile and determine relevance of up to date management information of particular interest to the supervisor.  

7.    Evaluate and improve the operation of filing systems, both manual and automated, to ensure effective staff access to information.  Prepare, summarize and annotate special briefing files and meeting planning files.  

8.    Participate in the preparation and control of the department’s budget by maintaining accounts of the status of expenses for travel, contractual payments, future planned commitments, etc.  This includes the review and use of personnel and financial systems, as well as clearing a number of administrative documents before going to the supervisor for exercise of delegated authority.

9.    Coordinate and lead secretariat support services for high level conferences and meetings held in or outside Geneva, coordinate and monitor the progress of document reproduction for meetings and liaise with delegates to coordinate particular services for administrative/financial support and document preparation and distribution.

Required qualifications


Secondary school or commercial school.


Formal secretarial training, plus at least eight to ten years’ secretarial experience, of which at least five to eight years within the Organization.


Excellent command of two official languages (English, French, Spanish), including ability to draft well in both languages.  A third language would be an advantage.


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


Technical Competencies:

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 search internet.  Ability to use other software packages required by the work unit. Knowledge of software necessary for updating websites may be required. 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 enquiries 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 determine relevant background and reference material for others to screen requests for urgency and priorities and to keep confidentiality.  Knowledge of rules and regulations governing area of specialisation (finance, relations, publications, meetings).  Good knowledge of the work programme of the assigned work unit.    

Behavioural competencies:  

Strong organizational skills and time management skills. Good analytical skills with high attention to details and accuracy.  Ability to reply in an appropriate manner to telephone and in-person enquiries.  Ability to deal with high-level visitors and respond to requests requiring input from various sources.  Ability to respond to requests from delegates or other visitors. Ability to work well with colleagues. Discretion in dealing with confidential matters.  Ability to anticipate needs, to take initiative and to pro-actively problem-solve and work independently and in a team. Possess a strong sense of precision and pay close attention to details. Strongly customer-service oriented. Ability and interest to learn new software tools. Flexibility. Supervisory skills.  Discernment.  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.