Human Resources Associate – GS6 FT- Panama City #103411

  • Contract
  • Panama


UNICEF is a leading humanitarian and development agency working globally for the rights of every child. Child rights begin with safe shelter, nutrition, protection from disaster and conflict and traverse the life cycle: pre-natal care for healthy births, clean water and sanitation, health care and education. UNICEF has spent nearly 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families. Working with and for children through adolescence and into adulthood requires a global presence whose goal is to produce results and monitor their effects. UNICEF also lobbies and partners with leaders, thinkers and policy makers to help all children realize their rights—especially the most disadvantaged.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, a champion

Guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UNICEF Strategic Plan, 2018–2021, the programme addresses barriers to the full realization of children’s rights, with a focus on the most vulnerable, particularly indigenous and Afrodescendent peoples, migrants and rural populations. 

The general objective of the UNICEF programme 2021-2025 is to support the Government so that, from early childhood to adolescence, opportunities are created in an equitable manner and without violence, allowing children and adolescents to grow and develop fully, with no left one behind. 

The UNICEF programme for Panama will prioritize: (a) Early childhood development; (b) Adolescent development and participation; (c) Protection of children and adolescents. 

Purpose for the Job:

Under the close supervision and guidance of the Operations Manager, the Human Resources Associate provides administrative, procedural and operational support and assistance to the efficient implementation of a broad range of Human Resources functions for all categories of staff in his/her office, ensuring accurate and timely delivery that is in compliance with UNICEF HR rules and regulations.  

How can you make a difference?

 Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  • Support to business partnering
    •  Support the business partners in developing initiatives to encourage employee well-being and employee recognition schemes
    • Support the management of change processes by advising clientele on changes to HR processes under the guidance of HR Business Partner
    • Support the business partners in assisting clientele in using HR systems such as talent management, agora and achieve.


  • Support in processing of entitlement and benefits
    • In consultation with supervisor, analyze, research, verify, and compile data and information on cases that do not conform to UN or UNICEF’s HR Rules & Regulations, to support consistent and equitable application of decisions and implementation of agreed upon action.
    • In consultation with supervisor, analyze, research and verify information for the purpose of responding to staff queries on areas related to benefits and entitlements.
    • Initiates the processing of a wide range of personnel actions in accordance with UNICEF rules and regulations, by ensuring all relevant forms and actions are completed by staff and forwarded to the GSSC.
    • Maintains and prepares all personnel-related records and files, ensuring all information on each staff member is up-to-date and accurate.


  • Support in recruitment and placement
    • Prepares and circulates internal and external advertisements.
    • Liaises with candidates in the various stages of the recruitment process.
    • Prepares formal acknowledgement, offer and regret letters.
    • Initiates and follows up on reference checks and academic verifications, and ensuring the completion of other background checks.
    • Monitors life-cycle of recruitment process to update supervisor as necessary.


  • Support in organization design and job classification
    • Participates in the review of GS positions specific JDs, ensuring effective application of ICSC methodology.
    • Drafts and edits job descriptions to be submitted for classification for review by supervisor.
    • Follows up and liaises with HQ and RO over status of requests to ensure timely completion.
    • Prepares documents to be submitted for classification to RO and NYHQ, ensuring completeness of documentation
    • Monitors life-cycle of all job classification requests to facilitate recruitment and organization planning.
    • Compiles and analyses information and statistics related to posts and staff for reports on staffing trends.
    • Analyze, research, verify, and compile data which facilitates preparation of workforce planning reports for supervisor to review against benchmarks i.e. Gender and geographical balance and other recruitment related key performance indicators.
  • Support in learning & capacity development
    •  In consultation with supervisor, researches and analyses data and information to help identify training needs within his/her office for the development of learning plans and other targeted training interventions
    • In consultation with supervisor, researches, analyzes, verifies, and compiles information on external training courses available and educational institutions to help supervisor decide on learning programmes that address learning gaps in his/her country office.
    • Assists team in organizing and conducting courses, workshops and events by participating in exercises which aim to build capacity of stakeholders.
    • Develops and processes contracts for institutions providing training and courses, ensuring compliance with UNICEF rules and regulations.
    • Assists team in organizing and conducting courses, workshops and events by preparing and organizing distribution of materials for participants, ensuring availability of training venues and required equipment and supplies, while providing logistical and secretarial support at workshops and events as necessary.
    • Tracks the performance management cycle processes, ensuring the timely distribution and enhancing the timely completion and return of appraisals.

Impacts of Results:

HR Associate provides input into the design and development of improved transactional services and delivery processes. Working with a high degree of operational independence, HR Associate is accountable for the achievement of overall service delivery results in one or more HR activities. The scope of HR work typically covers two or more transactional HR activities (i.e. recruitment, entitlements management and servicing, classification, staff development, performance management etc.) as generalist yet requiring the handling of complex and intricate HR matters on which quality and authoritative procedural advice is provided to the supervisor.

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

  • Completion of secondary education, preferably supplemented by technical or university courses related to the work of the organization.
  • A minimum of 6 years of progressively responsible administrative or clerical work experience required.
  • Fluency in Spanish is required. Knowledge of English is an asset.

Technical Skills:

  • Extensive knowledge of HR principles, rules, regulations and procedures within the UN, desirable.

  • Computer literacy and the ability to effectively use standard office software tools as well as good knowledge and skill in using HR systems.

  • Ability to extract and format data and to solve operational problems.

  • Ability to organize own work, set priorities and meet deadlines.


Interpersonal and communication skills:

  • Takes responsibility to respond to internal and external service needs promptly and proactively; takes initiative to ensure that deadlines, rules and regulations are met. Uses own discretion to address unforeseen situations.
  • Demonstrates a high degree of confidentiality, initiative and good judgment.
  • Demonstrates courtesy, tact, patience and ability to work effectively with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are:

  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness 
  • Works Collaboratively with others 
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships 
  • Innovates and Embraces Change 
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically 
  • Drive to achieve impactful results 
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity 


To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

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 also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 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.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

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