HR Manager (Employee Relations), P4, Fixed Term, PERCS, DHR, Istanbul, Turkiye #102988

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UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

At UNICEF, we are committed, passionate, and proud of what we do. Promoting the rights of every child is not just a job – it is a calling.

UNICEF is a place where careers are built: we offer our staff diverse opportunities for personal and professional development that will help them develop a fulfilling career while delivering on a rewarding mission. We pride ourselves on a culture that helps staff thrive, coupled with an attractive compensation and benefits package.

Visit our website to learn more about what we do at UNICEF.

For every child, an Advocate!

To measurably improve UNICEF’s ability to deliver better results for children, and to implement the ambitious ‘People and Culture’ goals of the Strategic Plan, the Division of Human Resources (DHR) is embarking on a transformational strategy with a new global HR delivery model. The new model supports people-centered and agile HR practices that encourage innovation, foster positive employee experiences, and empowers the OneHR community to proactively partner with UNICEF business units to deliver results for every child.

Our central function is to support the successful implementation of UNICEF’s organizational objectives by managing a flexible, highly skilled, fully competent, and motivated workforce. Human Resources has been identified time and time again as a critical factor for organizational success. The Division of Human Resources (DHR) is a strategic partner to all areas of the organization’s work.

How can you make a difference? 

The Employee Relations team handles a wide range of complex and escalated workplace conflicts that cannot be resolved at the local or regional level; and/or require additional expertise.

Drawing from the UNICEF people-centric commitment and from our core values, we are strong believers that doing right by our staff makes UNICEF an exciting and motivating place to work. The team provides hands-on case management and strategic support to bring creative and practical solutions for escalated and complex workplace situations.

The team’s approach is to engage with all relevant parties to include multiple perspectives to create solutions that are nuanced and transformative.

In addition, the team coordinates UNICEF activities for Preventing and Responding to Sexual Harassment.

This is a global function and in 2023 the team engaged with over 70 UNICEF Offices worldwide. Under the supervision and guidance of the Head of Employee Relations, you will work across multiple business groups and teams to prevent and address complex workplace situations and to help staff and managers to resolve escalated conflicts.

You will engage directly with staff, line managers and with senior management at all levels from G2 to D2 to help them make an informed decision.

Apply if:

You truly believe that doing right by people is the only way to make the Organization better and you are able to demonstrate that you care.

You are seasoned, proactive HR professional with strong leadership skills and a determination to find workable solutions.

You are full of energy, enthusiasm and commitment to find solutions. You will act as a trusted advisor to guide and equip UNICEF colleagues in timely and consistent resolution of workplace issues. Using your HR knowledge and experience, you will create and recommend sound actions and opportunities for improvement on complex behavioral issues. A demonstrated experience dealing with formal and informal justice mechanisms to resolve workplace challenges, UN staff regulations and rules, concepts and standard methodologies, ability to establish trust, credibility, good judgment, and cultural proficiency is essential for success in this exciting role. You will receive relevant support but you also have proven experience in building resilience strategies which worked to help you protect yourself and others you work with closely.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities for high profile and very sensitive complex workplace situations:

  • Advises on the resolution of human resources issues, ensuring equitable and transparent solutions that protect both the staff and UNICEF’s interests in accordance with UN/UNICEF policies, regulations, and procedures.
  • Triage employee relations casework identifies potential solutions to appropriately address different case types and actions using guidelines.
  • Participate in and lead projects as an integral member of the extended HR community and influence others within the organization.
  • Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best and cutting-edge practices in People Management and conflict resolution and contribute to developing global policies and procedures.
  • Promotes equity, transparency, and consistency in the interpretation, implementation, and administration of HR policy, procedures, and guidelines on all HR-related matters applicable to staff.
  • Serve as DHR focal point for Ombudsman and Mediation Services by responding to queries, working towards informal resolution of cases, and contributing to training activities and reports on systemic issues.
  • Builds and applies knowledge of governing structures, mandate, strategy, organizational dynamics, and culture.
  • Provide rigorous data analysis and reporting solutions based on business needs, highlighting key trends in employee relations to drive proactive solutions to minimize reactive work.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

The following minimum requirements:

  • Education: An advanced university degree (master’s or higher) in Human resources, Management, Public administration, Psychology, Social sciences, Law or a relevant field.
  • A first university degree (bachelor’s) in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • Work Experience: At least 8 (eight) years of relevant work experience in Employee Relations, Conflict Coaching, Counselling  and/or HR Business Partner roles.
  • At least three years of proven experience bringing creative and practical ideas and solutions to highly sensitive and complex workplace situations related to mental health; workplace conflict; abandonment of duties; performance management; substance abuse; work arrangements; settlements etc is a significant asset.
  • Previous experience using data to identify insights that drive action is required.
  • Experience in  global and/or matrixed organizations is required.
  • Experience in dealing with confidential issues and/or complex/sensitive cases relating to people management is required.
  • Demonstrates solid judgment and experience assessing risk relative to the business.
  • Effective communication and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to work with ambiguity and coordinate across diverse and global teams.
  • Strong people skills; focused on solutions; communicates effectively to varied audiences.
  • Consistently achieves high-level results, managing and delivering projects on time and on budget; sets high standards for quality of work.
  • Ability to lead with integrity, respect, high personal standards, and build personal credibility.
  • Demonstrated experience learning and thriving in a constantly changing environment and cultivating relationships across teams.
  • Language Requirements: Fluency in English is required.

The following desirables:

  • Consulting, coaching, and facilitation skills is highly desirable.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency. 
  • Knowledge of a second UN language (i.e. Spanish) is a distinct advantage.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (2)
  • Drive to Achieve Results for Impact (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
  • Manages Ambiguity and Complexity (2)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with Others (2)

Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, time off for breastfeeding purposes, and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF does not hire candidates who are married to children (persons under 18). UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination. UNICEF is committed to promoting the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station is required for IP positions and will be facilitated by UNICEF. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be canceled.


As per Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity.

Government employees who are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government positions before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason. 

UNICEF does not charge a processing fee at any stage of its recruitment, selection, and hiring processes (i.e., application stage, interview stage, validation stage, or appointment and training). UNICEF will not ask for applicants’ bank account information.

All UNICEF positions are advertised, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. An internal candidate performing at the level of the post in the relevant functional area, or an internal/external candidate in the corresponding Talent Group, may be selected, if suitable for the post, without assessment of other candidates.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Priority will be given to all the eligible candidates participating in UNICEF’s 2023 Mobility Exercise and Staff on Abolished post.

Additional information about working for UNICEF can be found here.

Advertised: 20 May 2024 GTB Daylight Time
Applications close: 10 Jun 2024 GTB Daylight Time

Apply now
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