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Senior Secretary (Administration)


Grade: G5 

Vacancy no.: GENEVA/GS/2023/05

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


Job ID: 10522 
Department: PROGRAM 
Organization Unit: PROGRAM 
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 75384 CHF yearly.


The position is located in the Strategic Programming and Management Department (PROGRAM) within the Management and Reform Portfolio.  PROGRAM advises the Director-General and provides guidance, advice and assistance to ILO management and staff on programme planning, implementation, reporting and resource allocation. It has responsibility for preparing the ILO's Programme and Budget and related documents. This work is grounded in results-based management and budgeting to ensure organisational effectiveness and efficiency. 
The incumbent will provide a range of secretarial and administrative support services within PROGRAM in line with established rules, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines. 

The position reports to the Director of the Department through the Deputy Director.

Specific Duties

1.    Handle PROGRAM correspondence and administrative records, including relevant rosters and personal files.  
2.    Review and correct correspondence, guidance, factsheets and reports for spelling, grammar, and compliance with the ILO house style manual.  Format documents in line with ILO branding. 
3.   Prepare administrative forms such as travel authorizations and claims, purchase orders, requisitions, external collaboration and service contracts in the ILO’s Oracle-based Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and ensure follow-up with the relevant administrative services for their processing. Collaborate with the Fund Control Officer of the department on budget-related matters such as funding sources, methods of payment for consultants and other suppliers in line with ILO rules and regulations.
4.    Provide administrative support for the preparation, organization, and delivery of events such as the Outcome-Based Workplans (OBW) review sessions, as well as various types of online sessions organized by the department. This task entails coordination with ILO colleagues and partners involved in the events. 
5.    Assist in the compilation, processing and filing of reference material and Office-wide inputs required for the preparation of documents on OBWs, Decent Work Country Programmes and the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit. 
6.    Contribute to the updating/editing of the relevant webpages of the department. 
7.    Perform leave clerk duties. Maintain a list of leave and mission plans.
8.    Initiate action for competitions, recruitments, extension of staff contracts and their follow up.
9.    Act as staff performance management focal point for the department.
10.    Keep abreast of changes to administrative rules, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines and share information with staff, providing further clarifications as required.
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 enquiries 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


Completion of Secondary school education


Five years of relevant experience.  Work experience in the ILO or with other UN agencies would be considered an advantage.


Excellent command of two official languages (English, French, Spanish) of the Organization including the ability to draft administrative correspondence in both languages. One of these languages must be English. 


Technical competencies: Knowledge of 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 with word processing, spreadsheet, powerpoint presentation, web-browser, as well as other computer software packages. Knowledge of procedures for preparing administrative and HR forms in ERP systems, ideally Oracle-based. Knowledge of rules and procedures governing leave, HR issues, publications, meetings. 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.  Ability to edit and update webpages. Ability to respond to requests from delegates or other visitors.  

Behavioural competencies:     Good interpersonal skills, tact and diplomacy when dealing with others.  Discretion in dealing with confidential matters.  Ability to take initiative and responsibility. Ability to organize own work and to work independently as well as in a team. Ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines.  Attention to detail.   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.