YPP/NCRE – Life after placement on the UN employment roster
No doubt, the majority of those placed on the UN roster for employment after the YPP/NCRE exams in 2010 are beginning to understand why my advice has always been to be patient. Some have been lucky and were recruited sooner then others but many remain either frustrated with the pace of things or otherwise simply baffled.
I have had my share of frustrations but my recruitment was an exception rather then the rule. I was placed on the roster in February of 2009 then recruited in June of 2010. Others have had quicker recruitments but to be perfectly honest, this is a rarity.
I offered to help some of my readers by writing this post entirely dedicated to life after a candidates placement on the UN roster.
Firstly, after successful candidates have been identified and placed on the roster they are notified by email and in most instances a formal letter is also sent to the candidates advising them of their successful placement on the roster. It is very important to note that the UN places a disclaimer on these letters saying that your placement on the UN roster is not a guarantee for employment with the organization.
I normally advise people to focus on building their current career because it will help to achieve two purposes. The first is simply that in the event you are not employed by the UN, you would have already been successfully climbing up the ladder in either the private or public sectors in your chosen career. Secondly, it allows you to accumulate experience that will be beneficial to you when you are eventually made an offer to work with the organization.
Secondly, the OHRM (Human Resources) will request that a Personal History Profile (PHP) is prepared and your most current CV is sent to the organization. Two points to note here. Make your PHP and CV as appealing as possible. Use keywords or what I call the ‘UN language’. A great source of this is to look at UN vacancy announcements either interest or suit you and then tailor your PHP and experiences to reflect the requirements in these announcements. I personally spent a lot of time poring over these vacancy announcements to see trends, words, competencies, both technical and managerial, to guage the expectations of the organization. Continually update your PHP. A fellow colleague advised that when you are invited for an interview, it does not hurt to send your most recent PHP and CV directly to the hiring manager as it may bolster your chances if he or she did not have an opportunity to acquire your most recent PHP or CV.
Once this phase is complete, you basically wait in the hope that a hiring manager will be impressed by your PHP/CV and invite you to an interview.
This is the phase that requires a lot of patience. The primary reasons are that the number of P2 positions are more or less fixed and so it must be available before candidates are identified for an interview.
But once a vacant position at the P2 level is available within the Secretariat, hiring managers in liasion with OHRM will look in the roster for suitable candidates. OHRM can also send the PHP’s to the hiring manager based on the requirements he or she has specified for the position.
The hiring manager reviews these PHP’s and then shortlists those candidates that he or she feels is suitable for the position. Once shortlisted candidates are identified, an interview panel must be assembled.
The interview panel will normally consist of 3 people. Out of these 3 people, one must be female and they must preferably be from different regions of the world. Normally, they are required to complete a mandatory competency based interview training.
One of the delays in organizing interviews has always been the difficulty in harmonizing the availability of the panel with the candidates.
The interview is mostly competency based. The hiring manager will also prepare some questions that are geared towards testing your technical ability to fulfill this role. Candidates are given scores by each panelist, these scores are tallied then the panelists will review and decide on one candidate. In some instances an alternate candidate can also be idenitified. In the case of the OHCHR, where I work, the final approval of the hiring is done by the High Commissioner. Of course, the process is different in other organizations within the Secretariat.
Due to the recent reforms in Human Resources, there are now only 3 basic category of contracts that are offered. The temporary, the fixed term and the continuing contract. NCE candidates are normally offered a 2 year fixed term contract which is also the probationary period. Upon the successful completion of this term, an NCE candidate can be offered a continuing contract which like the permanent contract is open ended. The process to convert from a fixed term to continuing is often not simple nor guaranteed.
Hope these information will help candidates still waiting for an interview.