Re-advertised - Chief, Staff Administrative Services

Location : Copenhagen, DENMARK
Application Deadline :25-Aug-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :D-1
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :Two years

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Applicants who previously applied need not re-apply

UNDP’s Office of Human Resources (UNDP/OHR/BOM) which is headquartered in New York, USA, has also established a Service Center in Copenhagen, Denmark - Staff Administrative Services (SAS) -  which provides human resources (HR) administrative services for UNDP, and also for a number of other UN system clients. UNDP uses a customized PeopleSoft ERP/ATLAS, and provides services to clients in over 160 countries worldwide.  

The HR administrative services are provided through approximately 100 professional and support staff. There are  three major clusters of SAS: 
  • Benefits and Entitlements Services (BES) for over 4,500 staff members of UNDP and UN Agencies assigned in different locations globally, including  UNDP support level personnel based in New York.  
  • JPO Service Centre (JPOSC), which administers recruitment, placement, as well as benefits and entitlements for some 300 Junior Professional Officers (young professionals sponsored by different donor governments) serving UNDP and partner UN Organizations worldwide.
  • Global Payroll Services (GPS) for payrolling around 28,000 people, including staff, UNV Volunteers and Service Contract holders, for UNDP and partner agencies. 

Under the overall supervision of the Director of the Office of Human Resources, the incumbent will be responsible for the management and will be in charge of the activities of SAS. The Chief of SAS will have demonstrated experience in managing the change management impact in UNDP, and be able to provide clear vision and roadmap to lead global Service Center. The Chief of SAS will have superior people management and communications skills, HR technical expertise and have demonstrated experience in managing partnerships with stakeholders and liaising with the partners to handle complexities to secure resolutions and joint activities.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions: 
  • Execution, accountability and leadership of the Staff Administrative Services; Strategy, policy and Advisory Services
  • Partnerships and Knowledge Management
  • People Management;
  • Management, Systems, Processes and Tools; Innovations in HR shared services
  • Sustainability of SAS operations
  • Organizational focal point on streamlining HR Administrative Services throughout UNDP

These key functions are further described in detail:

Execution, accountability and leadership of the Staff Administrative Services; Strategy, policy and Advisory Services:

  • Working under general policy guidelines, the incumbent is accountable for independently directing the delivery of efficient, timely and high-quality HR administrative services in the functional areas assigned: (currently - Benefits and Entitlements Services (BES), the JPO Service Centre (JPOSC), and Global Payroll Services (GPS);    
  • Supervises the development, implementation and day-to-day execution of standard operating policies and procedures;  
  • Ensures consistency, fairness, transparency of HR decisions, remaining current with legal requirements and compliant with the Staff Rules and Staff Regulations of the UN;
  • Supports the OHR Director in proposing corporate strategies and initiatives;  
  • Advises on the formulation and implementation, of the organization’s Human Resources strategy, policies, and programmes to position human resources as a strategic business partner;   
  • Spearheads, manages, and facilitates policies, programmes and initiatives to professionalize and develop the networked capacities and knowledge of the Human Resources Practice in UNDP; 
  • Approves exceptions within level of authority delegated by the Director OHR/BOM, and tracks same to inform need for  policy revision and development by OHR/BOM’s Policy Unit;
  • Consults with Policy Unit and seeks approval from the Director OHR/BOM of any precedent-setting interpretation of policy (and any exceptions outside delegated authority).

Partnerships and Knowledge Management:
  • Ensures that new products, planned results, and consultations within OHR, BOM, Regional Bureaux and the country office network are correctly planned, prepared and executed;
  • Ensures effective and efficient management of a multitude of partnerships with external partners, donors  and clients;
  • Carries out or ensures appropriate representation of UNDP in meetings (with donors, donor  governments, sponsoring organizations, international organizations) to discuss JPO recruitment priorities, procedures, contributions and financial accountability functions, and develops partnerships to increase the number of JPOs available to UNDP country offices and to UN Agencies relying on JPOSC for these services;
  • Provides leadership for UNDP’s active participation in relevant fora and professional groups concerned with HR administrative services;
  • Leads the capacity development of UNDP HR Practice in assigned areas through the development of knowledge tools and sharing with practice networks, training and briefings of Senior Management and colleagues;
  • Researches, assesses, and recommends to UNDP management the application of new and emerging approaches and methodologies in the assigned areas.

People Management: 

  • Leadership and management of SAS staff including their deployment, performance, learning and development;
  • Fostering effective methods of goal setting, communication and empowerment through responsibility;
  • Directly and through other managers/team leaders oversees the work of SAS’ Professional and Support level staff, reviews the work of subordinate managers and team leaders for attainment of objectives; provides support, coaching and development for the team members; builds team morale and consensus;  
  • Ensures fairness, equity and transparency in staff recruitment, performance assessment, rewards and recognition, and career development, in order to motivate and promote organizational excellence, as well as harmonious staff-management relations, staff welfare and social security;
  • Facilitates, guides and develops the advocacy, networking and knowledge dissemination capability of the SAS Team;  
  • Strives to establish and implement an exemplary Learning Plan for SAS geared to staff acquiring and developing skills and competencies that are relevant to present and future organizational needs, as well as individuals longer-term career development;
  • Supports conflict resolution and manages conflicts and disputes in SAS, as required;
  • Models ethical behavior setting a standard for professional competency and integrity.

Management, Systems, Processes and Tools; Innovations in HR administrative services. 

Spearheads the review and strategic development of SAS’ Business Model by:
  • Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of trends, innovations and best practices in HR shared services in both public and private sectors;
  • Benchmarking with other International Organizations and the private sector;
  • Identifying new and more effective ways to provide excellent service, by incorporating innovations to structures, processes and systems;
  • Identifying options for client self-service including provision of clear, user-friendly and up-to-date information on HR administrative matters;
  • Identifying ways to simplify policies, procedures and information and leverage the use of technology and tools;
  • Analyzing the range of current and future services to be offered to SAS clients;
  • Based on analyses and assessment of best practices and organizational requirements,continually develops and implements new processes and tools to enhance the quality of service provision to clients, and  makes proposals on re-engineering of business processes and realigning  SAS Business Model;
  • Accountable for leading SAS in successful implementation of change management processes as needed , including monitoring and reporting on the results, and acting on lessons learned;
  • Guides the development and implementation of updated HR systems, processes, and IT tools, with an emphasis on simplification, including related re-engineering initiatives and web-based applications to improve productivity and reliance for HR activities at HQs and in Country Offices;
  • Strengthens HR support to crisis countries.

Sustainability  of SAS Operations within Approved Financial Parameters: 

  • Provision of clear vision and design of operational plans; define the work process and implementation strategy that takes into account the existing policies, transition criteria, procedures and IT systems to ensure UNDP achieves compliance on Staff Rules and Staff Regulations of the UN;
  • Is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of UNDP financial resources
  • Continuously monitors sustainability of of SAS operations and takes managerial actions to enable optimal functioning of the team, obtaining and managing needed resources;
  • Provides strategic planning  inputs into OHR s budget preparation exercises;
  • Manages according to corporate guidelines budgetary allocations  issued to SAS and/or specific income generated by SAS;
  • Coordinates development of annual work planning process and submissions for the annual  budget,  long term plans and annual reports;
  • Identifies and quantifies risks and develop risk-mitigating strategies in a risk management plan; identify possible deviations in the implementation of annual and long-term plans and document the ways to handle them;
  • Oversees development of Business Continuity Plan for SAS operations;
  • Oversees and ensures full compliance with contract management requirements including proper conduct of procurement processes and contract implementation;
  • Serves as Senior Manager in Atlas/ERP;
  • Oversees  pricing and cost-recovery mechanisms, including in conjunction with new and revised service level agreements (SLAs);
  • Examines the viability, risks and cost-competiveness of the Centre vis a vis alternative approaches/locations including selective outsourcing and/or off-shoring, and makes proposals on same to senior management.

Organizational focal point on streamlining HR Administrative Services throughout UNDP: 

  • Based on SAS innovations and enhancements, champions simplification and optimization of HR administrative services wherever they are provided throughout UNDP - including in Headquarters locations  as well in UNDP’s global network of Country Offices;
  • Seeks to leverage Information Technology (PeopleSoft/ERP, Web functionalities, etc.) for continuous simplification and optimization of processes and services to staff and UNDP business units, including self-service options;
  • Liaises with OHR (New York) and with Operations Managers/HR Practitioners in country offices, diagnosing where HR administrative hand-offs, transactions and reporting can be enhanced or simplified for better business results, and greater efficiencies and client satisfaction (and particularly seeks ways to reduce administrative work of HR business Advisors to permit greater focus on strategic advisory services to clients);
  • Provides for up to date knowledge/content management in area of HR Administrative Services by ensuring: Prescriptive content within functional area is continuously updated and available through the Portal and websites maintained by SAS;
  • Best Practices are continuously identified, documented and made available to clients and peers through the knowledge management system;
  • Appropriate and up-to-date information and learning tools are available;
  • Advises the Director, OHR/BOM of issues arising in application of HR administrative policies, including analysis of exceptions, in order to inform possible revisions of existing policies and/or the development of new ones;
  • To champion standards of service excellence, proactively shares knowledge using HR and management practice networks, briefings of OHR and BOM Management, Senior Management of Regional Bureaus and country offices.

Other responsibilities:  

  • Forges partnerships with representatives of other agencies in the UN House in Copenhagen, in order to increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness of common premises/services operations;  
  • Undertakes ad hoc or special assignments that may be requested by the Director OHR/BOM;
  • May serve as OIC of the UNDP Representative Office - Nordic Office during absences of its Director.


Functional Competencies: 

Building Strategic Partnerships 
Building strategic alliances

  • Creates networks and promotes initiatives with partner organizations
  • Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing 
  • Participating in the development of policies and innovative approaches and promoting their application throughout the organization 
  • Actively seeks and promotes innovative methodologies and leads the development of supporting policies/tools to encourage learning and knowledge sharing 
  • Develops and/or participates in the development of policies and new approaches and participates in training of staff in their application throughout the organization 

Promotes UNDP as a learning/knowledge sharing organization

  • Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise

Expert knowledge of own discipline 

  • Possesses expert knowledge of advanced concepts in primary discipline, a broad knowledge of related disciplines, as well as an in-depth knowledge of relevant organizational policies and procedures (HR Management) 
  • Applies knowledge to support the unit/branch’s objectives and to further the mandate of UNDP
  • For managers: applies a broad knowledge of best management practices; defines objectives and work flows, positions reporting relationships in such a way as to obtain optimum effectiveness for the unit/branch 
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself personally 
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments 
  • Demonstrates expert knowledge of the current programme guidelines and project management tools and manages the use of these regularly in work assignments
  • Organizational Leadership and Direction 

Defining the vision and direction

  • Acts decisively to coordinate the translation of organizational strategies into concrete plans 
  • Actively contributes to the setting of organizational priorities in a consultative process
  • Communicates a coherent and consistent set of strategic messages to staff
  • Promoting Organizational Change and Development 

Influencing organizational change and development 

  • Identifies problems central to the organization’s success,  assesses their impact 
  • Provides change and development advice, including the design and implementation of change strategies / processes to enable staff/the organization to deal with change effectively 
  • Drives process definition, simplification, and integration efforts throughout the organization
  • Strategic Alignment of Management Practice (HQ & RSCs) 

Strategically aligning management practices 

  • Understands the strategic direction and context in terms of management requirements and ensures management policies and practices support the achievement of organizational goals 
  • Anticipates and understands internal and external issues and opportunities that may impact the organization 
  • Encourages and supports managers at all levels to assume responsibility for management of resources
  • Design and Implementation of Management Systems 

Formulating strategy for system implementation 

  • Designs management systems based on established best practice and identified needs within UNDP 
  • Manages complex design projects where different actors are involved at different stages of the project until completed 
  • Advocates through internal networks the demonstrable value of existing systems to facilitate achievement of organizational goals
  • Client Orientation 

Meeting long-term client needs 

  • Anticipates constraints in the delivery of services and identifies solutions or alternatives 
  • Proactively identifies, develops and discusses solutions for internal and external clients, and persuades management to undertake new projects or services 
  • Consults with clients and ensures their needs are represented in decision-making processes 
  • Advises and develops strategic and operational solutions with clients that add value to UNDP programmes and operations
  • Promoting Accountability and Results-Based Management 
  • Development and application of organizational standards
  • Analyses audit, evaluation and policy application review results, extracts key elements and prepares proposals to address areas of weakness in the organization’s performance 

Core Competencies:

  • Promoting ethics and integrity, creating organizational precedents
  • Building support and political acumen
  • Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation
  • Building and promoting effective teams
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication
  • Creating an emotionally intelligent organization
  • Leveraging conflict in the interests of UNDP & setting standards
  • Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning
  • Fair and transparent decision making;
  • Calculated risk-taking

Required Skills and Experience

  • An Advanced University degree in Human Resources, Management, Business or Public Administration or related discipline is required.

  • At least 15 years’ relevant experience in operations and/or management at least half of which spent advising senior management on recruitment and selection, contracting, benefits and entitlements or staffing activities.
  • Proven people management skills are required.
  • Experience in leveraging the full potential of ERP systems and in streamlining HR processes and leading HR Services, ideally in a global organization, a key advantage.
  • Experience in UNDP or UN System organization in both headquarters and country office settings, highly desirable.

Language requirements:
  • Fluency in English. Good command of French and/or Spanish is highly desirable.

FC: 11000

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