Syrian Arab Republic: Head Field Human Resources Office (re-advertised)

Organization: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
Country: Syrian Arab Republic
Closing date: 07 Jun 2016




UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions. For its international team, UNRWA is seeking to employ a qualified:

Head Field Human Resources Office (re-advertised)

Note: Applicants to vacancy announcement number 16-FO-SA-17 need not re-apply.

Vacancy Announcement Number




Deadline for Applications

7 June 2016

Duty Station

Damascus, Syria

Under the direct supervision of the Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs (DUA) at the Syria Field Office (SFO), the Head Field Human Resources Office will be responsible for managing and monitoring the Agency’s most valuable assets, its people. More specifically, the incumbent’s responsibilities involve attracting and retaining talented individuals, building trust, motivating staff, ensuring that staff possesses the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to perform their responsibilities, and preparing employees for future challenges. The incumbent is the principal Adviser to the Director of Field Affairs and his/her Deputies on all human resources matters. Technical guidance and advice are received from the Director of Human Resources. In accordance with the established Agency policy and procedures, the incumbent will:

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

· Provide strategic advice and support to the Field Director and his/her deputy, managers and staff on human resources related matters including but not limited to recruitment, appointment, transfer and assignment of Area staff in the Field and International staff to professional level P3, temporary staffing arrangements, management of reassignments and disciplinary issues; provide reports on all HR related activities; prepare special reports and participate and/or lead special human resources projects; keep abreast of developments in various areas of human resources; design and implement comprehensive communication plan whereby the staff and community are kept abreast of issues related to HR matters;

· Manage, supervise and monitor the work of the Field Human Resources Department team in carrying out all human resources transactions including preparation of personnel actions, maintenance of staffing tables and processing of contracts; ensure timely response of the team to all requests on human resources related matters; responsible for setting the Human Resources strategic plan/vision; provide coaching, mentoring and training to the Field Human Resources staff members;

· Ensure the application of Staff Regulations, Rules, Personnel Directives and Instructions, and other statements of policy governing the duties, obligations, privileges, benefits and entitlements of Agency staff; provide guidance and assistance to the Office of the Field Director and Field Departments on related matters and act as principal point of liaison between the Director and the Area Staff Unions; provide advice and/or mediate in work-related conflict situations;

· Plan, develop and implement recruitment strategies for the efficient and timely hiring and placement of staff including management of applicable on-line recruitment system, preparation and circulation of vacancy announcements, developing of assessment tools, evaluation of applications, conducting local recruitment campaigns; provide guidance to hiring managers on job reviews and development of post descriptions; arrange for/or chairs Area staff and non-regular staff Interview Panels and make consequent decisions or recommendations to the Field Office Director or his /her deputy; prepares job offers for successful candidates; review and recommend level of remuneration for consultants; coordinate the placement of interns and volunteers, and administer their related issues; manage and improve the use of area staff rosters utilized in the field; design, coordinate and provide relevant statistical information and data on field recruitment activities, effectiveness of media, gender analysis etc., collaborate with gender experts and provide information to interested groups regarding employment opportunities;

· Review and provide advice on exceptions to policies, regulations and rules; administer and provide advice on salary and related benefits, travel, and social security entitlements; determine and recommend benefits and entitlements for staff on the basis of contractual status; support salary and entitlement surveys; inform and explain to staff in respect of rights, responsibilities, code of conduct, sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), harassment/prohibited conduct policies and difficulties associated with work and entitlements;

· Have overall responsibility for the assessment, implementation and evaluation of the Field’s Performance Management System; assist and advise the Field Director and his/her Deputy and Heads of programmes in determining appropriate staff development plans; maintain confidential central records of the Field Human Resource processes including grievances and complaints and coordinate their resolution, and where appropriate liaise with Field Legal Officer/consultant to resolve cases and prepare responses to requests for Decision Reviews; ensure transparent, fair and consistent application of disciplinary measures, and review and provide advice on policies that would prevent recurring conflicting situations;

· Provide advice to the Field Director and/or his/her deputy regarding HR planning; participate in the preparation and development of a yearly HR plan and oversee its implementation; evaluate the outcomes of the plan and take necessary actions, as required;

· Oversee the preparation and delivery of training and development programmes and of staff mobility programmes to build the capacity of the field staff; evaluate effectiveness and impact of staff development and career support programmes and recommend ways to enhance effectiveness and impact.

Professional Knowledge and Experience

· Advanced university degree from an accredited educational institution, in human resources management, business administration, social sciences or related discipline;

· Eight years of progressively responsible experience in human resources management including staff administration, recruitment, training and development, with at least three years of experience as head of an HR Division or team leader in an HR department, in a large governmental, international or commercial organization, including experience in developing countries; including two years of international experience outside one’s home country;

· Excellent command of written and spoken English.


· Demonstrated in-depth technical knowledge of all aspects of human resources management with proven analytical skills; commitment to implementing the goals of gender equality as set out by the Agency;

· Ability to develop clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies and capability to monitor and adjust plans and actions as necessary;

· Ability to reach objective and reasoned positions and to articulate these clearly;

· Proven ability in working independently in addition to leading and working as part of a team, managing their output; and providing advice, coaching and mentoring as required;

· Established skills in building productive internal and external work relationships at all levels;

· Ability to negotiate persuasively a range of problems, to take and defend collaborative decisions that include sensitive, complex and contentious issues; and to advise managers and staff on different options to meet client needs;

· High level of motivation, initiative and creative thinking; good judgment;

· Ability to work to tight deadlines on multiple tasks, often under pressure;

· High degree of tact, diplomacy and discretion.

Desirable Qualifications

· Advanced computer literacy and knowledge of HR database;

· Membership, or eligibility for membership, of a registered HRD professional body;

· Working knowledge of Arabic and/or any other UN language;

· Knowledge of UN Rules and Regulations;

· Knowledge of Middle Eastern cultures and employment practices.

Additional information

The incumbent will be required to reside in Damascus, Syria and to travel in the Agency’s area of operations in the Middle East, as and when required.


When the minimum requirements are not fully met, the Human Resources Department may substitute part of the unmet requirements under UNRWA’s equivalency determination guidelines with a combination of relevant academic qualification, additional professional training and/or progressive relevant work experience. Note: Work experience alone or formal qualifications with no relevant work experience are not considered sufficient for an equivalency determination.

Conditions of Service

UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at $74,130** net tax free with dependants or $69,032 single, plus post adjustment of 37.9% (subject to change without notice). Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include education grant, dependency allowance, home leave, pension fund, health insurance and 6 weeks annual leave. Syria is currently a non-family duty station. Staff members based in Syria are entitled to additional benefits, subject to eligibility, including Additional Hardship Allowance, danger pay and R&R leave, currently every 4 weeks (according to the UN classification of the duty station) but subject to change without notice. Initial contract is for two years, with the possibility of further extensions subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory performance and the continuing need for the post.

How to Apply

To start the application process, applicants are required to register at by creating a personal profile and completing UNRWA Personal History Form. Please note that UNRWA only accepts degrees from accredited educational institutions. Only applications received through will be considered. Due to the large number of applications received for UNRWA vacancies, only applicants short-listed for interview will be contacted.

The United Nations does not charge fees at any stage of the recruitment process (application, testing, interviewing, etc). The United Nations does not concern itself with information related to bank accounts.

General Information

UNRWA encourages applications from qualified women.

UNRWA welcomes applications from qualified candidates with disabilities.

UNRWA is a United Nations organization whose staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity, neutrality and impartiality. This includes respect for and commitment to human rights, diversity, and non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. UNRWA staff are expected to uphold these values at all times, both at work and outside. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for UNRWA jobs. UNRWA is a non-smoking work environment.

The statutory retirement age for staff entering or re-entering service in the UN Common System after 1 January 1990 is 62 and 65 after 1 January 2014. For external applicants, only those who are expected to complete a term of appointment will normally be considered.

The Agency reserves the right not to make an appointment, to make an appointment at a lower grade, or to make an appointment with a modified job description.

On appointment, all individuals will be asked to sign a self attestation, confirming that they have not committed, been convicted of, or prosecuted for, any criminal offence and that they have not been involved, by act or omission, in the commission of any violation of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.

How to apply:

How to Apply

To start the application process, applicants are required to register at by creating a personal profile and completing UNRWA Personal History Form. Please note that UNRWA only accepts degrees from accredited educational institutions. Only applications received through will be considered. Due to the large number of applications received for UNRWA vacancies, only applicants short-listed for interview will be contacted.

The United Nations does not charge fees at any stage of the recruitment process (application, testing, interviewing, etc). The United Nations does not concern itself with information related to bank accounts.