When considering a career with the United Nations, it is important that you practice patience. The application process takes a lot of time and effort, but the end results are worth it. The recruitment is a long and painstaking ordeal, but because there are so many agencies at the UN, the process of recruitment is not identical. This means that the items listed below may vary a bit in different departments. Below is the basic recruitment process.
#1 Advertisement period
To ensure everyone gets a chance to apply, there is a long and wide circulation of vacancies that makes themselves known and comes with a closing period that depends on the agency that is recruiting. This period can last from 2 weeks to several months and will be announced with the job listing.
#2 Long listing
The UN then sorts through the candidates who are not meeting their requirements. When formal requirements, such as educational and work experience are checked, it can take a while to process as thousands of applications often flood in. Sometimes these checks are done by a balanced panel to ensure equal opportunity. This can take anywhere from several days to several weeks depending on the amount of applicants.
#3 Short listing
After the long listing process, the short listing makes sure that only the most suitable applicants get invited for the written exam. The list is examined in greater detail and compares one candidate against other candidates to see who has more experience and qualifications. This is also often done by a panel and can take from one week to several weeks to complete.
#4 Written exam
After the candidates are selected, it is on to the written test. The process of creating, administering, scoring and correcting tests can take several weeks depending on the location of the applicants and complexity of the job.
With the written test having been passed, candidates move on to panel interviews. Depending on the type of job being applied for, many rounds of interviews may be necessary. This can take from one day up to several weeks.
#6 Post interview
During this time, UN internal steps need to be taken. This includes a decision for recommending the candidates based on interview and test results, completing necessary documentation and independent reviews to ensure the process was fair. Finally, a job offer is created and signed, and all of this can take from one week to several months.
#7 Contacting the candidate
After the job offer is drafted, the candidate is offered their job to see if they are still available for work after the long process has been completed. If they are not, the job listing becomes re-advertised. This can also happen if none of the applicants faired well during this process.
These recruitment steps are often what happen in standard recruitments, but the process can vary greatly in terms of programs such as the Junior Professional Program or the Young Professional Program. For higher level jobs, expect it to be much different. Be sure that you understand the process of your specific hiring path when you apply by checking with the organization that is posting your job advertisement.