HR Update: New staff selection and managed mobility system

08 Mar 2016

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to provide you with an update on the new staff selection and managed mobility system which came into effect as of January this year.

You may recall that the 'mobility population' includes staff members in the Professional and higher categories up to and including the D-2 level and in the Field Service category. Furthermore, the new system went live this year for the Political, Peace and Humanitarian Network (POLNET) which is one of nine (9) job networks in the UN Secretariat, and it comprises seven job families requiring similar or overlapping knowledge areas, skills and abilities.

Although the first network to go live with the new system is POLNET, the entire mobility population is encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new staffing system through the many resources accessible via the following link ->

Managed mobility (POLNET – first semi-annual exercise)

·        A total number of 133 staff/positions have been confirmed and included in the compendium.
·        The compendium was issued on Friday 12 February (12:01am NY time). The timing of some other activities in the cycle has been adjusted to accommodate this change (adjusted timelines are attached).  The compendium will be open for 30 days for staff who opted in to express their interest in the available positions.
·        Participating staff members will be offered a virtual Q&A session (webinar) on 25 and 26 February to clarify questions on the “expression of interest” phase.
·        Programme managers will be offered a virtual Q&A session (webinar) in mid-March to better understand the managed mobility process from their side including any requirements and submissions via Inspira.

Off-cycle staffing activities

Following is an update on the measures envisaged to meet urgent staffing needs occurring between semi-annual exercises:

·        Reminder: Departments and offices will be able to undertake lateral reassignments under the authority of the head of department/office during periods of surge, start-up and humanitarian emergency, in instances of the abolition of posts and the reduction of staff or to implement a restructuring approved by the General Assembly. The filling of vacancies arising from surge, start-up and humanitarian emergency situations can also take place at any time.
·        Standard operating procedures (SOPs) applicable to off-cycle activities are to be developed jointly by OHRM and POLNET stakeholders. A working level meeting of all affected stakeholders is to take place in the coming weeks.
·        Special measures in the field: Questions have been received regarding measures to expedite recruitment for key positions in the front offices of heads of missions (Code Cable of 24 June 2014). Please be reminded that these special measures were issued with respect to ST/AI/2010/3 and thus do not automatically apply in the context of ST/AI/2016/1. Lateral reassignment authority may be exercised in accordance with section 24 of ST/AI/2016/1 and the specific modalities will be discussed in the context of SOPs applicable to off-cycle activities (see above).
·        Interim procedures: In the interim and until the SOPs are developed and issued, heads of departments may request exceptions with the appropriate justification through a memorandum to the ASG/OHRM.
·        Temporary Job Openings (TJOs) can be issued to cover gaps until the next semi-annual vacancy exercise. Departments are strongly encouraged to use this existing mechanism.

Submission of vacancies for the semi-annual staffing exercise in April 2016

·        Reminder: Any vacant POLNET positions in the Professional and higher and Field Service categories available for one year or longer in your departments/offices are to be included into the first semi-annual vacancy exercise for POLNET.
·        We have begun receiving vacancies for the first exercise (around 40 received to date). You are strongly encouraged to forward all vacancies to  as soon as you can to facilitate the timely building of job openings and development of standardized assessments. When submitting vacancies, please ensure that the following documentation is made available (template attached):

- Any classification documents associated with each position
- Any job opening posted for that specific position within the last five years
- Funding information related to each position to ensure accurate disclaimers on the job openings
- Names of the programme manager and alternate programme manager responsible for assisting the NST in building the job opening
- A list of the most appropriate competencies required for each position (for non-managerial positions this will include the core values of professionalism, respect for diversity and integrity along with two core competencies, for managerial positions this will include the core values of professionalism, respect for diversity and integrity along with two core competencies and two managerial competencies
- Any knowledge requirements to be indicated under Professionalism
- Any required and desirable languages
- Any required and desirable experience requirements
- Any additional information which will prove beneficial to the NST in drafting the job opening
- Indication of a focal point within your office who will liaise with the NST and programme managers.

Creation of standardized assessments for POLNET vacancies

·        The ASG/OHRM has sent a memorandum to heads of POLNET departments (DPA, DPKO/DFS, ODA, OCHA, OHCHR) requesting the substantive involvement of those departments in the development of standardized assessments for POLNET vacancies.

Update on establishment of staffing entities

·        POLNET NST- Most Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for the NST have been selected and will be on board by 1 March. Ms. Nalini Contreras has been appointed Chief, POLNET-NST. She can be reached at
·        POLNET SCP and JNB – We expect to receive all outstanding nominations, including from the staff representative bodies, for the Special Constraints Panel (SCP) and the POLNET JNB by 23 February. Members will be invited to training in mid-March.
·        Senior Review Board (for all job networks) – The current Senior Review Group (SRG) has been expanded to form the SRB. The ASG/OHRM briefed the members of the Board on their new functions on 10 February.

Outreach and career support

·        Virtual Q&A sessions and briefings continue to be offered via Inspira LMS. Please refer to Inspira for registration (search for “mobility” in the learning catalog).
·        All updates on the new staffing system including timelines and guidance for staff are posted on the mobility page of the HR Portal
·        Mobility support tool kit –  Contains tools and resources for staff (attached)
·        One-on-one engagement:
o        Specific mobility questions: contact
o        Career Coaching: Slots are available for staff over the next couple of weeks (registration via Inspira. Search for “coaching” in the learning catalogue)


Adjusted timelines for 2016 exercises

Template for the submission of vacancies

Mobility Support Kit

Deborah Ernst, Acting Chief
Human Resources Management Service
United Nations Office at Nairobi

Posted on: 08 Mar 2016