Human Resources Specialist at UNOPS

Background Information – IPAS

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the UNOPS Integrated Practice Advice and Support (IPAS) serves all the regions and headquarters, primarily with advice and solutions to everyday implementation challenges. IPAS consists of a diverse team of subject matter experts in the six practice areas of HR, Administration, Legal, Finance, Procurement, Project Management and Infrastructure. IPAS has three main roles:

Support to operations in the field offices: IPAS provides timely advice and supports actively finding of solutions to everyday implementation challenges, based on policy and best practices. It also provides operational support in specific areas.

Business efficiency: IPASrecommends changes to policies, processes and operating standards based on the feedback and experience of the field offices. IPAS also ensures transparent and efficient project implementation, in line with policy and business needs.

Body of knowledge: IPAS contributes to research and coordination within the policy groups and project practitioners. It provides structured knowledge and subject matter expertise which is used across practice areas to provide coherent and tailored advice to the requesting offices.

Background Information – Job-specific

The IPAS HR Specialist reports to the IPAS HR Team Lead and is responsible for delivering on the three areas of supporting operations, business efficiency and knowledge management. For IPAS HR this translates into daily interactions with country offices and regional offices to provide sound and accurate advice and support on HR matters.

Solution orientation and client focus is key in the interaction with our field offices. This requires establishing trusted relationships with the colleagues in the field, as well as good coordination and collaboration with other IPAS teams, partnering with policy groups in HQ and developing a good understanding of the UNOPS business model.

The incumbent will be expected to travel from time to time.

Functional Responsibilities

  1. Support to policy development and implementation
  2. Advisory Services on HR policies and processes
  3. Talent Acquisition and Administration
  4. Team Management
  5. Knowledge Building and Knowledge Sharing

1. Support to policy development and implementation

  • Actively contribute with practical knowledge and innovative suggestions to HR policy enhancements and development, corporate HR initiatives, product designs and implementation
  • Recommend solutions and process efficiency initiatives
  • Manage innovation projects in support of the HR initiatives for attainment of business objectives in line with the corporate HR strategy.
  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of corporate systems and tools
  • Maintain client feedback/suggestions, as well as a log on recurrent challenges and make suggestions for long-term solutions through policy/process change
  • Contribute with quality advice to the cross-functional initiatives and projects of IPAS towards more coherent and efficient policies, processes and systems
  • Design and lead projects in support of HR initiatives for attainment of business objectives in line with the corporate HR strategy.
  • Communicate HR policy changes and new HR initiatives to clients and HQ support team, providing guidance as needed.

2. Advisory support on HR policies and processes

  • Provide guidance to HQ and field offices on HR related systems and processes, including but not limited to, Recruitment, Contracts, Benefits and Entitlements to ensure consistency with UNOPS rules and procedures.
  • Review requests for exceptions from HQ and field offices, provide sound and elaborate recommendations to policy owners, convey constructive feedback to field offices to ensure capacity development
  • Develop a business partnering approach to ensure the highest possible level of service and client satisfaction, assessing and anticipating HR needs to provide value-added consultative service to management on human resource-related issues and maintaining an effective level of business literacy about business units’ objectives and plans
  • Support institutional gender and diversity initiatives, providing education and advice on issues related to equity, compliance, inclusion, and diversity.

3. Talent Acquisition and Outreach

  • Oversee the application and implementation of talent acquisition and outreach for HQ business units
  • Identify key talent areas and provide coherent, well-developed plans for obtaining, developing, and managing critical talent. Develop, utilize recruitment plans, tools and contribute to policy guidance to efficiently and effectively recruit and retain a diverse workforce to meet the needs of the business objectives.

4. Team Management

  • Manages the team of HR Associates supporting Headquarters (embedded into IPAS HR), facilitating the engagement and provision of high quality results through effective work planning, coaching, and promotion of learning and development.
  • Provide oversight, ensuring compliance by team members with existing policies and best practices.
  • Manages the Human Resources Intern, coordinating tasks distributed to him/her and ensuring s/he is offered opportunities to learn and develop his/her professional skills and assigned interesting innovation projects that are completed on time and with the highest possible quality

5. Knowledge building and knowledge sharing

  • 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, trends and data.
  • Organize, facilitate and/or deliver training and learning initiatives for personnel on HR-related topics.
  • Act as focal point within IPAS HR for contributions to the Human Resources Community of Practice


Advanced University degree preferably in Human Resources management, Business Administration, Communication, Social or Behavioral sciences.

A First University degree in related fields with 2 additional years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced degree.


A minimum of 5 years of professional-level human resources experience in an international, public or corporate organization.

Within these 5 years, a minimum of 1 year of experience in recruitment and outreach is required as well as experience providing HR advisory services.

International experience in a multicultural setting is required.

Proficiency in the usage of computers and office software packages as well as web-based management systems.

Experience working in a developing country will be a strong asset


Fluency in English is required, fluency in either French or Spanish is strongly preferred.

Contract type, level and duration

  1. Contract type: ICA
  2. Contract level: I-ICA 2
  3. Contract duration : Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

N.B.: this is a re-advertisement – candidates who have previously applied to VA/2022/B0005/23384 – Human Resources Specialist (closing date March 3rd) do not need to apply again

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.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • 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.

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.


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.

Background Information – UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

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

How to apply

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June 2024