25 June 2012

How to get a job at UNDP

Apparently don't bother doing anything as absurd as actually applying for one on their website. From the DevEx LinkedIn forum:
SK: Is there anyone in this group who was successful in getting an assignment by applying in the UNDP website? 
GP: Not so far. I was working in Kabul earlier this year, and was then invited to fill out the paperwork to join a pre-approved list of consultants. 
SK: Ya that's what I thought. I don't think anyone ever gets a job through that website. It is such a ripoff. The World Bank is far more transparent and fair in employing consultants. 
TN: I feel that a proportion of the advertised roles are already filled by the previous incumbent. It is possible that their contract is up for renewal and UN rules require that the position be advertised. I hope I'm wrong, but this process puts an awful lot of people to an unnecessary inconvenience, and for nothing. 
SK: Also they need a minimum number of application to go through the process. I'm told that sometimes people do get through the website. So do apply, except that it is such a laborious process. 
JE: I think it is a waste of time and energy applying for many of these postions with UN and ADB as well. People are already in place and the advertisement is to provide the appearance of an open selection process. Unless 'invited' to apply for a specific postion, I personally won't waste my time. 
JML:  I worked as a Programme Officer for UNDP Timor-Leste for 3 years and then had a short-stint in the regional office in Bangkok. I then took a break for motherhood and for the past year have been applying to get back in the game. It is hard. I agree with TN’s post and sadly know it is the case for some of the vacancies. 
SM: I agree to the comments, UNDP must think of refining the process,if they want to keep the already working people, at least they must not waste others time and resources. 
This a double tragedy that they raise a hope for jobless, waste their time and unnecessiarly to show fairness,which in reality .....................they may tell it better. 
SK: Thanks for your responses. I recently wrote to UNDP to highlight some of the anomalies in the application process. For example a lot of jobs will ask for a financial proposal, except that there is no scope in the application format to provide one. The motivation section does not accept more than 1000 characters!


boredinpostconflict said...

Isn't the issue raised by TN applicable to a lot of organisations and not just UNDP? I've been on the opposite end of this situation myself where a position has been "promised" to me but a recruitment process (advertising, reviews, even interviews) had to still take place to ensure an air of equal opportunity? 

rovingbandit said...

I thought the polite thing to do was advertise something internally first if you think you have the right candidate in-house. The British government does that.

boredinpostconflict said...

I think its more about policy rather than politeness. Organisations apply the same policies to recruitment as they do to procurement. 

rovingbandit said...

Right, but when internal hiring happens all the time, and which isn't necessarily a bad thing, then surely better to be explicit and transparent about it, and say "our policy is to offer vacancies to internal candidates first" and then not advertise externally and mislead people.

UNJobSad said...

This is very common for many UN agencies. I don't intend turning up for any interviews in the future where there is an internal candidate already doing the job, as I'm likely just wasting my time. I flew to Rome once to interview with the World Food Programme and two thirds of the interview panel spent the whole time reading and sending emails on their Blackberries. They picked the internal candidate, so obviously I was there just to make up the numbers. The disrespect shown caused me to be a *former* supporter of and donor to the WFP, so that's just one example of the negative effects of these policies. I don't think the organisations realise how mistreated candidates feel about them.

I managed to get a job with UNDP via their website, but it was only because the top boss disliked the internal candidate enough to override everyone else's desire to give him the job. They still spent 4 months fighting over it, before they gave up and took the external candidate.

MJ said...

I dunno about UN jobs - they may well be exempt - but I've heard of these kind of adverts being required by immigration authorities for NGOs wishing to recruit / renew a contract for a non-national. I've also heard that many PhDs in the UK work similarly. Government policy is that they have to be advertised, but the donkey work on the original proposal would have been written by the favoured candidate, meaning the supervising prof has an additional reason to want to give it to them: guilt! V frustrating all round, I'm sure.

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