Senior Operations Officer


Grade: NOB 

Publication date: 13 May 2024
Application deadline (midnight Colombo time): 12 June 2024

Vacancy no.: RB/COLOMBO/NO/2024/01


Job ID: 11930 
Department: RO-Asia and the Pacific 
Organization Unit: CO-Colombo 
Location: Colombo   
Contract type: Fixed Term 


The recruitment process for National Officer positions is subject to specific local recruitment and eligibility criteria.


The following are eligible to apply:

  • ILO Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the Staff Regulations.
  • External candidates


*Conditions of employment for external candidates: In conformity with existing ILO practice, the appointment of an external candidate will normally be made at the first step of this grade. 

Organizational Setting

This position is located in the  ILO Country Office (CO) for Sri Lanka.  The ILO CO for Sri Lanka and the Maldives supports ILO constituents to realise decent work for inclusive growth and sustainable development. The CO works in close collaboration with the government of Sri Lanka, employers' and workers' organizations, and other stakeholders, through the current Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) 2018-2022.

Main Purpose

As a team member, the incumbent provides comprehensive and professional services in the design and delivery of operational services that facilitate implementation of the Office’s programme of work. The incumbent oversees finance, human resources (HR) and administration areas and may also be required to oversee other operational areas such as procurement, facilities and asset management, security, communications, information management and information technology (IT). Services are delivered in an efficient, effective and client-oriented manner and include the use of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The incumbent contributes to the development and enhancement of work methods and procedures. Work is governed by established rules, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines.


The position works under the supervision of the Country Office Director. The incumbent has a high degree of independence in completing work assignments. Supervision received is focused on the overall delivery of results impacting the Office.

Working Relationships

Internal contacts are with staff and managers in field offices, project locations and headquarters to build and maintain effective working relationships, exchange information and gain agreement on operational issues for the improvement of services.
External contacts are primarily with banks, service providers, United Nations (UN) agencies, and working groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other international organizations to maintain effective working relationships, clarify requirements and resolve issues, and to discuss best practices and latest developments in the concerned operational area.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Provide substantial professional services in the design and delivery of operational services encompassing finance, HR and administration areas.  Oversee procurement, facilities and asset management, security, communications, information management, information technology (IT), transport, registry and messenger services, as required. Assess and anticipate operational and staffing requirements and contribute to the development of the Office’s workplan and preparation of the Programme and Budget proposals.
  2. Oversee the work of and provide guidance to staff in concerned operational areas. Supervise staff as applicable. Conduct training in relevant operational areas and provide briefings and induction to new staff.
  3. Manage the financial operations and accounting services of the Office covering accounts payable and receivable, approval of payments, accounts reconciliation, forecasting and year-end closing of accounts. Act as Certifying Officer for the Office. Prepare financial reports for management.
  4. Oversee and provide professional support for the delivery of a range of HR services including contract administration, recruitment, benefits and entitlements and advisory services to staff and managers. Promote the use of the Talent Management System and other HR tools to ensure compliance in the Office.
  5. Assist the Country Security Focal Point (CSFP) in ensuring the safety, security and well-being of officials and the security of premises and assets in accordance with United Nations security policies and procedures. Act as Local Security Assistant as required.
  6. Prepare annual plans identifying the Office’s major procurement requirements. Oversee the drafting of procurement requests and submit for clearance as appropriate. Prepare or oversee the preparation of standard solicitation documents. Conduct bidding processes ensuring compliance with applicable standards and participate in the analysis and evaluation of received proposals. Prepare for approval purchase orders within delegated authority. Provide guidance to concerned parties on contractual rights and obligations and recommend amendments to and extensions of contracts.
  7. Keep abreast of changes to applicable standards and best practices. Share knowledge and provide guidance to staff.
  8. Monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of work methods and processes and make recommendations for improvements. Liaise closely with staff and managers to ensure effective and smooth service design and delivery, recommending improvements on interrelated processes.
  9. Conduct research and analyse data and information on a variety of operational related subjects. Prepare analytical reports to contribute to programme/project monitoring and provide inputs to reports and other communications.
  10. Participate in UN interagency meetings, working groups and joint initiatives on common system activities in the concerned operational areas. Prepare information notes on key issues and developments and follow up as required.
  11. Follow up on internal and external audit recommendations and draft responses to audit inquiries and observations for consideration of supervisor
  12. Perform other relevant duties as assigned.


University degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in a field relevant to the job.




Minimum of three years of professional work experience in administrative or operational areas, including in finance. Experience in working with multiple modules of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Substantial experience as a member of a planned change management programme would be an added advantage.


Excellent command of the official working language (English) of the Organization.  Working knowledge of another official language of the Organization or an official national language of the duty station.

Knowledge and Competencies (technical/behavioural)

Good knowledge of financial principles and concepts.
Good knowledge of HR management principles and concepts.
Good knowledge of PC software (including word processor and spreadsheet and presentation software) such as Microsoft Office.
Knowledge of project management and the (business) project cycle.
Knowledge of UN Common System policies in the area of administration and operations.
Knowledge of the substantive nature of Organization’s work programmes and activities.
Knowledge of methods and techniques for designing and assessing quality and efficiency of process execution.


In addition to the ILO core competencies [Integrity and transparency, Sensitivity to diversity, Orientation to learning and knowledge sharing, Client orientation, Communication, Orientation to change, Takes responsibility for performance, Quality orientation, Collaboration], this position requires:


Ability to interpret and work within applicable rules, regulations, policies and procedures.
Ability to adapt quickly to new software and systems.
Analytical skills with ability to make sound judgments and decisions on operational issues.
Good drafting skills and ability to prepare analytical reports on a range of operational areas.
Ability to oversee the work of and provide guidance to staff.
A high degree of discretion with sense of responsibility in dealing with confidential matters.
Interpersonal skills, tact and diplomacy when dealing with others.
Ability to manage competing priorities.
Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.


Substitution of experience for university degree


Equivalent work experience may be considered in lieu of a University degree in accordance with the table below.


Education required

Equivalency for applicants who do not possess a university degree or post-secondary diploma

Equivalency for applicants who do not possess a university degree but who possess a post-secondary diploma

University degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in a field relevant to the job


Completion of secondary school


Six years of relevant work experience (in addition to the number of years of experience required in the job description)


Completion of secondary school


Diploma/certificate from post-secondary education


Four years of relevant work experience (in addition to the number of years of experience required in the job description)



Recruitment process


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit the ILO Jobs website. The system provides instructions for online application procedures.


Fraud warning


The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account - - should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.