Call for Interest – Senior HR Specialist (Advisory) – Short term opportunity until end 2023, Italy At International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Closing date: Monday, 22 May 2023

Job Title : Call for interest – Senior HR Specialist (Advisory) – Short term opportunity until end 2023

ID : 12493

Location : Italy

Date of issue : 04/14/2023

Close Date : 05/23/2023

Organizational Unit : Human Resources Division

Full/Part Time : Full-Time

Regular/Temporary : Temporary

Assignment Duration : 8 months

Grade : P-4

Organizational Setting

This call for interest is advertised as a temporary assignment until year end.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

The Corporate Services Department (CSD), led by the Associate Vice-President, CSD, provides IFAD with the human resources, administrative services, safety and security, information technology resources and medical support services required to allow IFAD to meet its objectives of enabling rural people overcome poverty. The work of the CSD is undertaken by three divisions: (i) Administrative Services Division (ADM); (ii) Human Resources Division (HRD); and (iii) Information and Communication Technology Division (ICT) and two units: (a) Field Support Unit (FSU) and (b) Medical Services Unit (MSU).

The Human Resources Division (HRD) is fully integrated within the Corporate Services Department (CSD), providing services to colleagues at Headquarters and in the field, with the ambition of being a strategic, business-oriented and fully trusted professional partner with IFAD managers and staff. HRD’s mission is to provide best practice HR policies, advice, and solutions, all of which are designed to recruit and develop the best and most appropriate talent to carry out IFAD’s mandate.

The division is currently comprised of the Talent Management Unit, Policy and Strategic Support Unit, and Business Partner Unit. Each Unit is bound with the same team spirit and has specific responsibilities to help achieve HRD’s vision of offering management and staff comprehensive and seamless solutions.

The Senior HR Specialist works under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance and the direct supervision of the Director of the Human Resources Division (HRD). The Senior HR Specialist is responsible for the delivery of the full range of HR services. The level of senior professionalism allows the incumbent to provide technical leadership in HR specialty and commensurate expert advisory services. Within their areas of responsibility, Senior HR Specialists exercise a high degree of independence in providing reliable HR programme delivery. They perform the full complexity range of HR work independently, including the analysis and approval of complex and/or precedent setting cases with the aim to ensure consistency in the interpretation and application of regulations and rules. Senior HR Specialists plan, organizes and supervises a team of HR staff that may comprise analysts, associates and assistants.

Key Functions and Results

Key functions/results expected

  •  HUMAN RESOURCES ADVOCATE: The Senior HR Specialist projects HRD`s reputation as a value-added, technically competent and reliable service provider as part of the Division’s HR strategy. the focus is on expert knowledge of the Fund`s governing structure, mandate, long-term business strategy, organizational dynamics and culture and on their senior-level professionalism, the incumbent advocates for new or revised policies, procedures and initiatives. The incumbent reaches out to managers, supervisors and staff, listening and responding effectively and efficiently to common issues and problems and builds relationships based on respect and trust. From the perspective of a value for diversity and respect for a multi-cultural client base, Senior HR Specialist demonstrates communications skills that serve to promote the Division`s strategy and the equitable management of IFAD staff.
  •  AGENT OF CHANGE : The Senior HR Specialist understand and apply the principles of change management and proactively serve as a role model for transformation and capacity for acceptance of change. They use a solid knowledge of information technology to analyse and promote acceptance of new methods of work and effective communication skills to persuade and influence managers, supervisors and staff to adopt change. Going beyond acceptance to change in methods and technology tools the incumbents manage change through consultations with IFAD senior management, HR management and colleagues and outreach to client management, supervisors and staff to establish and maintain collaborative, open and regular communications pertaining to current and planned changes in HR strategy, policies, regulations and rules. They explain the scope and ramifications of proposed HR initiatives, promoting understanding of their purpose and functional advantages.
  •  HR PRACTICE LEADER: Senior Human Resources Specialists at this level are accountable for technical leadership in one or more HR specialty areas with responsibility for reviewing the work of other Professional and General Service staff for compliance with principles and concepts, policies, regulations and rules as well as for soundness of judgement and conclusions. They may also directly supervise an HR specialized unit and/or HR generalists with responsibility for work planning and organization, supervision of the work of the unit/section assigned and establishing and monitoring performance management indicators of success. They develop, implement and monitor the interpretation ad application of new human resources policies, practices and procedures in area of specialization to meet the evolving needs of the Organization including formulating the position of the Organization on policies in area of HR specialization and determining the appropriate application of rules and regulations to highly sensitive or contentious individual cases having implications for other HR systems and the Fund as a whole.
  •  HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT : At this level Senior HR Specialists are senior HR professionals with the capacity to develop, interpret and apply a broad range of HR policies, rules and regulations as well as standards and techniques related to the UN’s and the Fund’s HR strategy, principles, policies, regulations, rules and procedures. The Senior Specialists also identify improved approaches to the delivery of HRM services in assigned area. They may lead an HR generalist team providing support to a large, complex group of clients or serve as a senior specialist in one or more closely related HR occupations (recruitment, administration of entitlements, classification, staff development, performance management, social security, etc.) with accountability for technical leadership of on-going HR casework characterized by: (a) the planning and implementing recruitment strategies and programmes; (b) providing support to managers and supervisors in recruitment as well as monitoring the appropriate use of contractors/ consultants; (c) reviewing and approving the classification levels of unique professional and general service positions by analysing content of jobs, conducting classification surveys (desk interviews) and managing related review mechanisms; (d) identifying the need for additional generic job profiles (GJPs) and overseeing the association of GJPs to new or revised posts; (e) providing advisory services to managers on organizational and workforce planning, job design and career planning needs in light of programme and skill requirements; (f) monitoring utilization of staff resources; and evaluating and determining training needs including planning and implementing structured training programmes. In addition to leading the full range of complexity of work, including the establishment of precedent-setting determinations on entitlements, Senior HR Specialists review recommendations pertaining to highly sensitive/political cases and makes technically authoritative decisions in consultation with the HR Manager and HRD Director. They prepare special reports and participate in as well as leads ad hoc human resources projects.
  •  BUSINESS PARTNER: Senior Human Resources Specialists’ customer service focus is on strategic planning and outreach in the provision of senior technical advice and guidance on a range of HR policies, regulations, rules and procedures. They provide advice both verbally and in writing to managers, supervisors and staff on human resources policies, regulations, rules and procedures, proactively building a mutual understanding of these governing guidelines and respective (HR/Manager/ Staff) roles and accountabilities in the management of IFAD’s human resources. The Senior Specialists support HR best practices in the Fund through outreach to counterparts in other private and public sector organizations to identify potentially innovative solutions to IFAD client concerns as well as maintain open communications with counterparts in other UN and IFI organizations. They may represent the organization in inter-agency working groups and committees ensuring IFAD’s perspective and client needs are included in evolving policies.
  •  MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: Senior HR Specialists are typically team leaders with accountability for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. This includes:
  •  People Management through recruitment, performance and career management of staff as well as learning management establishing learning plans and ensuring staff supervised meet their development needs while meeting the needs of IFAD.
  •  Resource Management by providing strategic and data inputs into the divisional budget preparation exercises.
  •  Knowledge and Content Management by ensuring (1) knowledge content within functional area is continuously updated and available to colleagues and clients (2) best practices are continuously identified, documented and distributed and (3) appropriate and up-to-date information and learning

tools are available to the Fund’s managers, supervisors and staff.

  •  Information Technology Management through leveraging ERP functionality for improved business results, simplification of transaction and reporting processes and improved client services.

Position Specifics: DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF CORPORATE PROGRAMMES: The Senior HR Specialist (Advisor) to HR Director takes the lead in developing, implementing and evaluating assigned programmes/projects and direct programme/project development, implementation, monitoring and assessment The incumbent will be responsible for the design and implementation of IFAD’s diversity strategy and implementation and monitoring of IFAD Gender Action Plan, in line with other UN organizations and I FIs and in collaboration with relevant internal stakeholders. The incumbent is also in charge of any other project/programme/duty which the HR Director may assign the incumbent, as needed. Undertakes activities and initiatives to promote Diversity and Inclusion, comprising strategy and policy advice on corporate initiatives.

EMC COORDINATION: The Senior HR Specialist (Advisor) to HR Director co-ordinates attendance, visibility, preparation and document drafting of HR participation in Executive Management Committees (EMC) and other corporate level meetings on HR strategy and corporate HR matters.

HR PUBLIC INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION: The Senior HR Specialist (Advisor) to HR Director leads the preparation of the HR Director’s documentation and information, coordinating the three Units (PSSU, BPU, TMU) on HR advocacy and communication, advancing and maintaining internal and external attention on HR management issues, ensuring accuracy and timeliness of the substantive inputs. This includes but is not limited to direct review of relevant documents and reports; identifying priorities, problems and issues to be addressed and proposing corrective actions; liaising with relevant parties; identify and initiating follow-up actions. The incumbent provides substantive and analytical input in the preparation of papers and reports for presentation at high-level meetings and events (EMC, OMC, ICSC, HR Directors Network, Interact meetings, et al.); prepares various written outputs for the HR Director and/or Associate Vice President, CSD, e.g. EB papers, statements, briefing notes, Intranet posts, blogs, background papers, analysis, inputs to publications, etc.

Working Relationships

Internally Senior HR Specialists are authoritative HR technical advisers to the Fund in the development of new or modified policies and practices and in the provision of expert advice within their area of specialization. Recommendations for solutions to HR problems involve discussions with management, staff and other (Senior) HR specialists. The advice and recommendations provided are normally considered technically accurate and are provided to senior managers inside and outside the HR division. External contacts include: counterparts in other United Nations organizations in order to negotiate and reach agreement on the transfer of staff between organizations or to exchange information on approaches to similar HR problems, etc.; and inter-agency groups such as CEB and ICSC to provide information on the Fund’s HR policies and practices and negotiate the adoption of common system practices. They also may represent the Fund in consultations with staff representatives, formulating management’s position with respect to grievances and appeals, as well as in inter-agency coordination committees dealing with human resources questions.

Job Profile Requirements


  •  Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence (Level 1)
  •  Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change (Level 2)
  •  Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Challenges, innovates and contributes to a learning culture (Level 2)
  •  Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture (Level 2)
  •  Problem solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact (Level 2)
  •  Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources (Level 2)
  •  Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment (Level 2)
  •  Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills (Level 2)
  •  Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally (Level 2)
  •  Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively (Level 1)

Minimum Recruitment Qualifications

  •  Education: Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in Human Resources Management, Public Administration, Business Management or other job related field.
  •  Experience: At least eight (8) years of progressively responsible professional experience in human resources management of which three (3) years preferably in the United Nations or an international financial institution, or another multi-cultural organization or institution or a national organization providing support on a global scope.
  •  Language requirements: Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of another official language (Arabic, French, or Spanish) is desirable.

Other Information

IFAD is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic, social or political background, colour, nationality, religion, age, gender, disability, marital status, family size or sexual orientation.

Please be aware of fraudulent job offers. IFAD does not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process. Official communication from IFAD will always come from e-mails ending in

This call is advertised as a short-term assignment with a duration of approx. 8 months until year end and expected to start shortly after selection. Should an external candidate (including consultants and staff members not meeting IFAD HR Implementing Procedures’ definition of ‘internal’) be selected, the contract type would be that of a short-term professional (TPO). In the event an IFAD staff member, holding a FT/continuing contract be selected, the movement would be implemented as a Temporary Assignment through the applicable provisions. The temporary assignment is expected to start shortly after selection.” And applicants should verify and obtain their supervisors’ support to be released in the event they are selected, noting that the temporary assignment with a duration of initially three months is expected to start shortly after selection.


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