Back ​Recruitment and Selection Procedures in the UN and UNDP

All recruitment and selection of staff members in UNDP must follow a rigorous, transparent and fair process. As the Organization applies a rank-in-post policy, each and every staff recruitment and selection must adhere and be fully accountable to the corporate standards described below and the procedures described in the relevant policies. Moreover, all staff responsible for performing recruitment and selection actions are accountable to perform these functions according to the relevant UNDP recruitment and selection policies.

Each recruitment and selection must include three basic elements unless a competitive selection is considered not practicable as per Section 9 below:

  • Vacancy announcement (VA) of a budgeted and classified post;
  • Competitive, job-specific objective assessment of skills and competencies as well as a competitive assessment of corporate values and ethics; and
  • A thorough verification of relevant qualifications and credentials, including thorough reference checks.
  • Recruitment and Selection Strategies and Techniques

    In cases of Crisis and Surge deployments, Fast Track procedures may be activated impacting Recruitment procedures. Please review the Fast Track policies and procedures for further information.

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    Depending on the type of post and post requirements, the strategies, methodologies and techniques used to recruit and select the most suitable candidates for the position may vary. Hiring managers may consult OHR or the local HR Unit, as appropriate, when deciding on the most effective approach for filling the post.

    Prior to commencement of the recruitment and selection process, the hiring manager, in consultation with the HR professional and taking into account corporate diversity requirements, shall document the strategies, methodologies or techniques to be used for assessing candidates, based on the requirements of the post.

    In all recruitment and selection processes, one or more assessment methods must be used, these can include, among others, panel interviews, desk reviews, technical assessments, roster-review, writing tests, work samples, or language proficiency tests. A thorough review of the candidate’s performance history is mandatory. The Hiring Manager must determine the best assessment method(s) that will help determine the most suitable candidate(s) for the job. The Hiring Manager must document the assessment approach and rating methodology to be pursued before commencing the recruitment process. Selection decisions are based on considerations resulting from the different assessment methods, corporate considerations such as gender and diversity as well as the needed mix of skills within the hiring unit. In CRB and CRP submissions, hiring units must provide all relevant information pertaining to the strategies, methodologies or techniques to be used for assessing candidates.

    Assessment documentation and reports are confidential documents and are not to be shared with the candidates.

    Candidates who are assessed but not selected may request feedback from the hiring unit as to why they were not selected.

    Vacant Posts

    No selection process shall commence without an approved, budgeted, classified and available post [Please see Annex I]. The post must be supported by an up-to-date post description, which describes the functions, competencies, impact and requirements of the post, including academic qualifications, relevant work experience and language fluencies.

    The selection process shall not commence unless the position to be filled is a vacant post. A “vacant post” is defined as a post or position approved for six months or longer that is without an incumbent or whose incumbent is expected to move in the current or following year, and for which no right of return (i.e. specific lien) has been granted to the staff member.

    Vacancy Announcement

    The Vacancy Announcement (VA) for the post must state all the competencies and other corporate requirements for the position, in conformity with the job description and corporate standards. It may also indicate qualifications that are desirable for the post. Only those qualifications (required or desirable) that are indicated in the job description may be specified in the VA for the post.

    FTA post vacancies will normally be posted for a minimum of one week.

    Applications for the Post

    All persons who apply for a vacant post, in addition to submitting an online application and uploaded resume, must complete a profile on UNDP’s recruitment website.

    Only those qualifications specified in the VA may be considered in the review of candidates for the position.

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    Minimum Academic Requirements, the specific level of education that must be met by candidates for the post must be specified in the VA. If the post allows for a lower degree with additional years of relevant experience, this must be specified in the VA.

    Only candidates who fully meet the required qualifications for the position, as specified in the vacancy announcement, may be short-listed for the post. However, candidates who are within six months of the minimum relevant experience requirement may be considered in situations where a business case is made. The business reason must be documented and on record for the file.

    To ensure competitiveness, the shortlist must be comprised of at least two candidates. At least one woman should be included on the short-list. If no female candidate is included on the short-list, the Hiring Unit must document the efforts that have been made to identify qualified female candidates including re-advertisement. Hiring units must ensure that every application to a position is afforded due consideration, that internal candidates are given priority consideration, and that there is objective reason provided for including, or not including, candidates on long-lists and short-lists. Such supporting documentation will be reviewed by the relevant CRB/CRPs, as required, Failure to provide objective reasons for not including long-listed candidates on a short-list is cause for a CRP/CRB submission to be returned to the hiring unit.

    Please see our additional articles on this topic.

    Nationality and Residency Requirements for UN and UNDP staff