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Human Resources Specialist

New York City

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Mid level - IICA-2, International Individual Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date: 2022-12-04

Background Information - PSC

Peace and Security Cluster

The UNOPS Peace and Security Cluster (PSC) is a principal service provider in the field of mine action with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), UNDP, UNICEF, Governments of mine-affected countries and other mine action partners.  It is led by the Director, who has overall authority and accountability for the performance PSC on behalf of its clients.  The Director is responsible for administering and providing oversight of the day-to-day management of the Project Field offices, both according to the client requirements and in line with UNOPS rules and regulations.

Background Information - Job-specific

The HR Specialist ensures consistent application of appropriate policies, rules, guidelines, procedures and practices in service provision in a given geography. They support the business unit in the management, implementation and oversight of HR service lines and initiatives to meet client needs, including recruitment, contract administration, interpretation and guidance, learning and personnel re-alignment exercises (in consultation with HQ).

Functional Responsibilities

Reporting to the Human Resources Team Lead, the Human Resources Specialist will carry out the following tasks:
1. Support to policy development and implementation 
  • Contribute to HR policy development and cluster-wide HR initiatives by providing data on trends, risks and opportunities and sharing local HR best practices; drive the implementation of the cluster’s HR strategy and initiatives

  • Partner with HR Advisor and senior management to develop and implement workforce planning initiatives, employing HR business processes mapping, to ensure efficient and effective services and work flows

  • Analyze dashboards and identify trends in recruitment, especially as they pertain to recruitment times, gender balance, and distribution of nationalities
2. Advisory Services
  • Provide guidance on HR policy application for personnel management, assessing and anticipating HR needs to provide value-added consultative service to HR practitioners in the field and NY-based portfolio team and senior management colleagues 

  • Under the guidance of the HR Team Lead, advise, assist and mediate, as needed, on sensitive matters including grievances, potential violations in code of conduct, harassment, abuse, workplace disputes, performance improvement plans, complex employee relations matters, etc.

  • In collaboration with management as appropriate, encourage continuous improvement and professional growth by advising on, planning, and tracking learning and development activities

  • Support institutional gender and diversity initiatives, providing education and advice on issues related to equity, compliance, inclusion, and diversity

  • Communicate HR policy changes and new HR initiatives to and personnel, especially field and portfolio team colleauges, providing guidance as needed

3. Talent Acquisition and Administration 
  • Talent Acquisition - Carry out full cycle recruitment for New York-based positions as well as senior management positions in the field offices, including outreach, shortlisting, coordination of technical assessment, coordination of interviews, reference checks, and submission to review bodies

  • Roster management - carry out full cycle roster replenishments, circulate vacancy notices through the rosters as needed

  • Review and approve written tests

  • Review and approve composition of interview panels

  • Perform comprehensive compliance reviews for recruitment of ICA contractors

  • Classify job descriptions up to the ICS-10 level, applying standards set out by the International Civil Service Commission

  • Restructuring Initiatives - In collaboration with the HR Team Lead and IPAS HR, coordinate personnel realignment exercises, including job fairs, to ensure timely competency elaboration, sourcing, selection, placement of required talent and transitions as well as due process 

  • Inter-agency Exchange - Under the guidance of the HR Team Lead, coordinate the efficient administration of contractual modalities, loans, exchanges, and secondments
4. Team Management (where applicable)
  • Facilitate the engagement and provision of high quality results and services of the team supervised through effective recruitment, work planning, performance management, coaching, and promotion of learning and development

  • Provide oversight, ensuring compliance by team members with existing policies and best practices

  • Lead the HR team in the absence of the HR Team Lead

5. Knowledge building and knowledge sharing
  • Organize, facilitate and/or deliver training and learning initiatives for personnel on HR-related topics

  • Conduct initiatives on capacity development and knowledge building for HR personnel, including network development, plans, learning plans and activities, HR practice information and best practice benchmarking

  • Oversee team’s contributions to HR knowledge networks and communities of practice, including collaborative synthesis of lessons learnt and dissemination of best practices in human resources management

  • Guide team’s collection of feedback, ideas, and internal knowledge about processes and best practices and utilize productively

  • Guide the development and maintenance of HR analytic parameters and data

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Advanced University degree (master or equivalent) with five years of relevant experience
  • First-level University degree (bachelor or equivalent) with seven years of relevant experience

  • Relevant experience is defined as experience performing HR operations in a private or public organization  (e.g., talent acquisition, organizational design and behavior, compensation, strategic workforce planning, learning and development, etc.)
  • Experience with applicant tracking systems is desirable
  • Experience with HR analytics is desirable
  • Fluency in English (reading, writing, speaking) is required
  • Fluency in French (reading, writing, speaking) is desired


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement (IICA)
Contract level: ICS-10 (P3 equivalent)

Contract duration: Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.
Fee, Benefits, and Entitlements:

Fee - Remuneration is an inclusive monthly fee and varies according to the contract level, the hired candidate’s background, duty station specification as well as eligible dependants (i.e. hardship and risk levels, cost of living, etc), among other criteria.

Learning and Development - All IICA personnel benefit from UNOPS learning opportunities, both online (self--directed) and classroom-based

Work-life Balance - IICA personnel benefit from of a variety of family-friendly, work-life, and well-being provisions at the workplace. Hardship leave is provided according to duty station classification.

Leave - Annual leave: 10 official UN holidays per year plus 2.5 additional days of accrued leave per month.

Paid sick leave - 2 days of certified sick leave per month up to a maximum balance of 24 days, plus 6 uncertified sick days per year; depending on tenure, fee protection for longer periods of certified sick leave.

Paid parental leave -  16 weeks for birth parents and 4 weeks for non-birth parents (8 for those at non-family duty stations). 8 weeks of adoption leave for ICA holders with contracts of at least 6 months.

Medical coverage - IICA holders must pay for their own schemes, the cost for which is accounted for in their fee.

Pension scheme - Optional contribution to a pension scheme (provident fund).

Relocation support - Financial mobility support is offered to international ICA holders and their dependents when relocating to a new duty station as per eligibility.

Security - All personnel regardless of contract modality are enrolled in the United Nations Security Management System for emergency relocation/evacuation.

For more information about life at UNOPS, please see this link!

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time.
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • UNOPS embraces diversity and it is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all its employees and encourages qualified candidates to apply irrespective of race, colour, national origin, ethnic or social background, genetic information, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or disability.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  
  • All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.
  • It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS – an operational arm of the United Nations – supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by successfully implementing its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian, and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development.
UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management, and human resources.

Working with us
We are proud of our people. With a wealth of knowledge and skills in various disciplines – engineering, finance, human resources, ICT, leadership, project management, procurement, and more – they help tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time. Their work around the world supports progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At UNOPS, we offer a range of short- and long-term opportunities in various environments and duty stations – from Denmark and Kenya to Mexico, Switzerland, Myanmar, Senegal, Uganda, and many more.

With over 5,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,400 personnel recruited on behalf of our partners, spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced and diverse labor force — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs. We continually strive to maintain our gender-balanced workplace. We encourage qualified underrepresented groups as per UNOPS Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy to apply for our vacancies.

Work life harmonization
UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

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.