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Department Secretary


Grade: G6 

Vacancy no.: GENEVA/GS/2023/04

Publication date: 3 March 2023
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 3 April 2023


Job ID: 10521 
Department: STATISTICS 
Organization Unit: STATISTICS 
Location: Geneva   
Contract type: Fixed Term 


The recruitment process for General Service positions is subject to local recruitment regulations and Article 4.3 of the ILO Staff Regulations. The ILO may only offer a contract to persons who have a valid residency status in Switzerland or who currently reside in neighbouring France.


The following are eligible to apply:

  • ILO Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the Staff Regulations.
  • Other staff members with at least five years of continuous service with the Office are also eligible. They are encouraged to apply and will be given special consideration at the screening and evaluation stage. 
  • External candidates *


The ILO values diversity among its staff. We welcome applications from qualified women and men, including those with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to


Applicants may be tested to assess skills in Microsoft Word, Excel and/or PowerPoint, or other skills. In addition to any interview or testing that may be requested of candidates, successful completion of the Assessment Centre is required for 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. The entry level salary for this position is 82401 CHF yearly.


The position is located in the Management and Support Unit (MSU) of the Department of Statistics (STATISTICS). STATISTICS is responsible for the collection, production and dissemination of labour statistics published on ILOSTAT, the ILO’s central statistical database. It supports the development of international statistical standards in the field of decent work through the International Conference of Labour Statisticians, the UN Statistical Commission of the UN Statistical Division and other international fora. It provides ILO constituents with technical assistance to improve their ability to produce primary data in accordance with agreed standards, classifications and concepts, particularly in developing household and other type of surveys, using adequately international statistical standards. It is also responsible for building capacities of ILO constituents, for collecting harmonised data, and for reporting on the global indicators under ILO’s custodianship to monitor Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The administrative and secretarial functions for the entire department are centralized at the MSU level. The position serves as secretary to the Department Director, providing senior level office management support, and acts as department focal point for administrative issues to support departmental initiatives. In addition, the position provides administrative and secretarial support to staff members of the department. 

The incumbent will work under the supervision of the Head, Department Management and Support Unit of STATISTICS. 

Specific Duties

1.    Perform secretarial and administrative duties required by the Director of STATISTICS: plan and maintain the Director's agenda according to urgency and priority; organize and coordinate the Director’s meetings with delegates during the International Labour Conference and the Governing Body sessions; organize the Director's participation in meetings (internal and external); organize missions undertaken by the Director, preparing meeting schedules, briefing folders and all related administrative tasks. Filter calls to the Director and direct calls to the appropriate official within the department.
2.    Liaise with departments and the field offices for the organization of in-person and online meetings. Organize departmental meetings together with the other members of the Global Technical Team and the Unit team meetings as and when required. Provide logistical support to the organization of official meetings, workshops and other events in booking rooms, interpretation arrangements and any other preparations. Correspond with the constituents about their participation in meetings, make internal arrangements for their participation and answer their queries in this regard. Lead secretariat support services and oversee administrative arrangements for meetings, including the International Conference of Labour Statisticians.  
3.    Handle complex information requests and inquiries independently; respond, or draft responses, to a range of correspondence and other communications.
4.    Act as the focal point for performance appraisals. Monitor and follow up on deadlines to ensure that performance appraisals are completed in a timely manner in accordance with the established performance management cycle Attend focal point meetings and information sessions and keep department staff informed of developments. Provide assistance to colleagues on performance appraisal issues and liaise with HRD in this regard.
5.    Track all types of contracts, including various consultancies and follow up with the concerned staff on the renewal, expiry and payment of their contracts in coordination with HRD and other concerned units. Maintain up to date staffing and budget tables for these contracts.
6.    Approve all types of leave in IRIS as per the official rules and keep staff aware of the procedures and answer their queries in this regard.
7.    Keep abreast of changes to administrative rules, regulations, policies, procedures, guidelines and other developments and provide guidance to staff with the view to building their knowledge. 
8.    Keep track of missions and mission reports for the whole department and follow up to ensure timely delivery.
9.    Act as IRIS preparer and process requisitions, purchase orders including external collaborator and service contracts and ensure follow up with the relevant administrative services for their processing.
10.    Review the efficiency of the Department’s filing and reference systems and make recommendations for improvement with a view to ensuring they are efficiently maintained and accessible. Ensure the update of websites, databases and other information management systems. Prepare, summarize and annotate special briefing files and meeting planning files.
11.    Perform other relevant duties as assigned.



These specific duties are aligned with the relevant ILO generic job description, which includes the following generic duties:

optional section (only if needed)

Generic Duties

1.    Analyse, assign, monitor, receive and distribute mail, correspondence and documents for a large and diverse work unit, identify complex or sensitive correspondence for special treatment by supervisor or others.  Propose and monitor deadlines assigned to a series of coordinated or sequenced inputs required to prepare a final product within approved overall deadlines.  
2.    Establish work priorities, ensure equitable workloads for other general service staff members especially in peak work periods, establish deadlines and review the completed work before signature of supervisor. 
3.    Draft general and administrative correspondence in two languages, requiring analysis of the substance of the issue.  Correct correspondence, reports and documents prepared by other staff for format, spelling and grammar and adherence to appropriate administrative rules.  Provide informal translation of correspondence into one language.  Compile and carry out the pre-editing of official documents according to approved format and editorial practices.  
4.    Screen and schedule requests for access to the supervisor.  Coordinate and expedite office-wide response to sensitive telephone and written enquiries received by own work unit (on behalf of the supervisor).  Inform other staff of the background and expectations regarding the current work in progress directly related to their work area.  Monitor the progress of work and administrative/financial cases of priority and concern to the supervisor.  Attend meetings, take notes and draft minutes of proceedings.
5.    Study administrative and personnel problems of staff members and provide information to resolve these as well as provide pertinent information to the supervisor and staff specialists responsible for taking appropriate action.  Identify and prepare background to justify the need for new or adjusted administrative procedures to ensure adequate control of communications, correspondence and secretariat support for conferences and meetings.  
6.    Word process correspondence and other documents using a variety of software.  Search databases to obtain, compile and determine relevance of up-to-date management information of particular interest to the supervisor.  
7.    Evaluate and improve the operation of filing systems, both manual and automated, to ensure effective staff access to information.  Prepare, summarize and annotate special briefing files and meeting planning files.  
8.    Participate in the preparation and control of the department’s budget by maintaining accounts of the status of expenses for travel, contractual payments, future planned commitments, etc.  This includes the review and use of personnel and financial systems, as well as clearing a number of administrative documents before going to the supervisor for exercise of delegated authority.
9.    Coordinate and lead secretariat support services for high level conferences and meetings held in or outside Geneva, coordinate and monitor the progress of document reproduction for meetings and liaise with delegates to coordinate particular services for administrative/financial support and document preparation and distribution.

Required qualifications


Completion of secondary school education. Training in a relevant field.


Six years of general administration and office support work experience.


Excellent command of two working languages (English, French, Spanish) of the Organization, including ability to draft well in both languages.  


In addition to the ILO core competencies, this position requires:

Ability to use word processing software and e-mail. Knowledge of house rules for the preparation of documents and of the use of filing systems. Ability to reply in an appropriate manner to telephone and in-person enquiries.  Ability to work well with colleagues. Ability to organise own work. Ability to search internet.  Ability to use other software packages required by the work unit. Knowledge of software necessary for updating websites may be required. Knowledge of procedures for creating and maintaining the file system.  Knowledge of procedures for preparing administrative forms.  Ability to obtain services for completion of tasks from other work units inside or outside the office.  Ability to evaluate correspondence and enquiries for best course of action.  Ability to search and retrieve information from databases and compile reports.  Knowledge of procedures governing missions and other official travel.  Knowledge of rules and procedures governing leave. Ability to respond to requests from delegates or other visitors.  Ability to determine relevant background and reference material for others to screen requests for urgency and priorities and to keep confidentiality.  Discretion in dealing with confidential matters.  Flexibility. Knowledge of rules and regulations governing area of specialisation (finance, relations, publications, meetings).  Good knowledge of the work programme of the assigned work unit.  Ability to deal with high-level visitors and respond to requests requiring input from various sources.  Ability to identify problems and propose solutions.  Supervisory skills.  Discernment.  Excellent time management skills.  Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.


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.


Evaluation (which may include one or several written tests and a pre-interview competency-based assessment centre) and the interviews will tentatively take place during the 1 to 3 months following the application deadline. Candidates are requested to ensure their availability should they be short listed for further consideration.


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.