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Senior Secretary (Administration)


Grade: G5  

Vacancy no.: GENEVA/GS/2020/09

Publication date: 2 September 2020
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 5 October 2020



Job ID: 4265 
Department: INFOTEC 
Organization Unit: PGMS 
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 position is located in the Project Governance and Management Services (PGMS) Unit within the Information and Technology Management Department (INFOTEC). INFOTEC provides modern, secure, and reliable IT infrastructure, technologies, applications and services to enable the ILO to effectively use technology to perform its mission.


PGMS provides a wide range of support such as centralized project coordination function to systematically evaluate the business case behind project initiatives, looking at strengths, risks, costs, benefits and the total cost of ownership; provision of management capacity for various IT projects with departmental and/or global impact; Management Support Unit (MSU) functions such as planning and budgeting of departmental resources, execution of all business events that have financial and programmatic impact, their monitoring and reporting; and centralised purchasing, billing and reconciliation for IT hardware, software and maintenance contracts Office-wide, and managing projections and spending of recurring fixed costs.


The position provides a full range of advanced secretarial and administrative support services to the department.


The position will report to the Senior Project Management Specialist in the PGMS Unit.

Specific Duties

1. Initiate personnel actions, purchase requisitions, purchase orders for goods and services, external collaboration contracts and travel authorizations and process receipts in accordance with rules and procedures using the Integrated Resource Information System (IRIS) and follow-up with the relevant administrative services for their processing.
2. Perform "leave clerk" duties for the department, including home leave administration and other HR-related matters.
3. Collect supplier information and liaise with FINANCE for their entry. Enter external collaborator supplier records in IRIS.
4. Administer INFOTEC secretariat mailbox and phone queries, relay necessary information and broadcasts to management and staff for action and follow-up.
5. Act as focal point for administration of INFOTEC knowledge-sharing platform and Electronic Records Management System, in the current tools and after transition to the new technologies.
6. Act as internship focal point for the department, including processing related documentation and actions in IRIS and liaising with HRD.
7. Provide input to the administrative standard operating procedures (SOPs) for INFOTEC.
8. Make logistical arrangements and organize IT access for staff, external collaborators, consultants and interns in collaboration with the Service Desk. Monitor and manage the allocation of office space. Manage stationery supplies.
9. Provide administrative support to professionals and general service staff within the department when needed in accordance with the SOPs. Escalate issues as necessary.
10. Arrange for orders for centralised purchase of IT equipment between departments and the ILO’s supplier, including receiving orders, and contacting outside providers.
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:

Generic Duties
  1. Analyse, record, assign or monitor the distribution of mail, correspondence (often confidential), and documents to staff of the work unit. Recommend deadlines and follow-up dates, and coordinate responses.  Follow up on the status of work in progress involving the preparation of correspondence and reports.  
  2. Draft administrative correspondence in two languages. Review and correct correspondence, reports, documents prepared by other staff for format, spelling and grammar, especially for the signature of the supervisor. Provide informal translation of correspondence into one language.  
  3. Create and maintain the work unit’s filing and reference systems, whether manual or automated. Create background files on assigned subjects in consultation with professional staff, determine the nature of the supervisor’s needs and compile appropriate reference material.  
  4. Provide administrative support for meetings and conferences held in or outside Geneva.  Attend meetings and take notes and draft minutes as required.  Maintain the travel plan of the work unit, make travel arrangements, monitor travel planned and undertaken and prepare related updates to track use of funds. Provide orientation and guidance on procedures to other general service staff.  Monitor staff movements, leave and entitlements. Establish work priorities and ensure equitable workloads for other general services staff members.  
  5. Screen requests for appointments with supervisor according to the nature of the requests and their urgency, make tentative commitments, confirm mutually convenient schedules and rearrange schedules disrupted by unexpected events. Identify alternative means for referring and handling outside inquiries by the incumbent’s or other work units.  
  6. Word process statements, reports, studies including statistical tables, etc. from manuscripts and other sources using a variety of software. Searches databases in order to trace status and progress of cases of particular interest to the supervisor and to request updated standard management reports and statistics.  May be required to update websites.


Required qualifications

Secondary school or commercial school.


Five to six years’ secretarial experience, of which at least three years within the Organization.


Excellent knowledge of English and French including the ability to draft administrative correspondence 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 search the 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 filing system. Knowledge of procedures and hands-on expertise in preparing administrative transactions in an Oracle-based ERP system. Ability to obtain services for completion of tasks from other work units inside or outside the Office. Ability to evaluate correspondence and inquiries 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.  May need supervisory skills. Flexibility.

Strong teamwork and interpersonal skills. Excellent client orientation, reliability and follow up to completion. Ability to reply in an appropriate manner to telephone and in-person inquiries.  Motivated self-starter who is willing to learn new processes and tools. Ability to organize own work.  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 ILO People. 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.