HR Specialist – IFAD

Job Description

HR Specialist (Policy) (1 position)

Vacancy announcement number: 1239
Date of issue: 02/26/2014
Deadline for applications: 03/16/2014
Organizational unit: Human Resources Division
Level: P-3
Duty Station: Rome
Duration of Assignment:  2 year fixed-term


Organizational Context

IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries. IFAD provides low-interest loans and grants to developing countries to finance innovative agricultural and rural development programmes and projects. IFAD is present in more than 90 countries. It is among the top multilateral institutions working in agriculture in Africa. IFAD has its headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Divisional Context

The Human Resources Division (HRD) is part of the Corporate Services Department of IFAD.  It is a strategic partner, a responsive service provider and a credible, trusted adviser to the IFAD workforce, its representatives and leadership.

HRD is structured into three units, (i) the Business Partner Unit, (ii) the Staff Development Unit, and (iii) the Social Services, Budget and HR Data Unit. This position is located in the Front Office of the Human Resources Division, which oversees the work of the three units. It also leads HR policy drafting and interpretation, coordinates division-wide initiatives, and liaises with IFAD departments and senior management.

Purpose of Position

The HR Specialist (Policy) leads reviews, drafts, interprets and communicates HR policy at IFAD. He/she reports to the HR Management Adviser, under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance of the Director of the Human Resources Division.

The incumbent exercises a high degree of independence in his/her area of expertise. The supervisor provides guidance in the analysis of complex and/or precedent setting cases to ensure consistency in the interpretation and application of regulations and rules and to document such decisions.

The incumbent works in close collaboration with all HRD units and thus supports divisional objectives.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Human Resources Specialist (Policy) is a seasoned professional with an in-depth understanding of HR policy in the context of a multilateral organization’s mandate and work programme.

Main duties and responsibilities are:

  • Review and re-draft chapters of the HR Implementing Procedures, Presidential Bulletins, Information Circulars and Information Notes, in compliance with IFAD’s HR Policy and Staff Rules.
  • Draft new policies in response to evolving organizational needs and changes in provisions of the United Nations common system.
  • Conduct background research, including but not limited to studies of pertinent academic research papers, private and public section best practice, other UN organizations’ strategies, General Assembly/ICSC decisions, and historic publications.
  • Draft reports, position papers and presentations on HR policy matters for presentation at inter-organizational fora, inter-agency meetings, working groups and task forces, and represent IFAD where appropriate at such fora, with a view to ensuring policy outcomes that support effective delivery of IFAD’s mandate.
  • Co-ordinate interagency queries on HR policies and procedures.
  • Provide policy advice to HR business partners on individual cases, to ensure consistency of HR policy interpretation in the “business partner” model and to minimize legal risk to the organization through appeals. Maintain a knowledge database of policy decisions and jurisprudence.
  • Co-ordinate on-going change initiatives, business process and other strategic projects within HRD, between HRD and other IFAD departments/divisions, as well as with external stakeholders, including other UN agencies and IFIs.
  • Draft and edit documents, briefing notes, reports etc. on HR-related matters.

The work requires collaboration with colleagues within IFAD; other UN agencies including IFAD’s sister Rome-based agencies FAO and WFP; multi- and bilateral institutions; consultants; and private sector organizations.

Qualifications and Skills Required

Education: Advanced university degree from an accredited institution in Human Resources Management, Public Administration, Business Management or other job related field. The Advanced Degree may be substituted by a first university degree (Bachelor or equivalent) from an accredited institution in Human Resources Management, Public Administration, Business Management or other job related field plus at least two additional years of relevant professional experience.

Experience: At least five (5) years of progressively responsible professional experience in human resources management. Experience in drafting HR Policy and experience in working in an international environment are desirable

Languages: Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of another official language (Arabic, French, or Spanish) is desirable.

Technical/Functional Competencies


  • Planner & Organizer
  • Decision-maker
  • Team Worker/Builder
  • Innovator
  • Model of Integrity, Trustworthy and Confident


  • In-depth knowledge of the principles and concepts of human resources management.
  • Capacity to design and adapt policies, approaches and models to meet emerging needs and to enhance the continuing relevance of the HR capacity/programme to IFAD’s business and mandate.
  • Ability to identify and analyse systemic issues, formulate opinions and make conclusions and recommendations to resolve same.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in a diverse organization tailoring language, tone, style and format to match audience; ability to present sometimes negative results in a considered and tactful manner to promote acceptance.
  • Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equitable consideration of women and men in all assigned HR activities.
  • Excellent knowledge of information technology systems and tools.
  • Ability to empathize with client managers, supervisors and staff while advocating for consistent and equitable applications of promulgated HR regulations and rules.

Other Information

This position is being re-advertised externally. Internal candidates who have previously applied to an earlier placement need not re-apply.

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD, and they may be assigned by him/her to any of the activities of IFAD, including field assignments and/or rotation within IFAD.

IFAD reserves the right to appoint a candidate at the appropriate grade commensurate with experience and knowledge.

Interested candidates are requested to apply by completing IFAD’s Personal History Form (PHF) in English. A separate CV may be attached if you so desire, only as a supplement and NOT a substitute to the PHF. The application should be made through the online system only. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY the instructions in ‘How to Apply’ before you start.

In the interest of making most cost effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful.

Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.


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