Even though the UN has one of the best employer reputations in the world, some vacancies are difficult to fill – in this article we list the top ten of the most challenging profiles to attract and recruit. Great opportunities if you match any of them!
Let’s look at the career profiles the United Nations always seems to search for. Apologize to all male readers, but for most recruitments and for most profiles the problem is not to find male applicants.
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- Female applicants from Sub Saharan Africa holding a University degree
Educated women from specifically this region is a “career profile” that is hard to find/attract for the United Nations. This is a profile that is of greatest interested for most UN organizations and financial institutions. The World Bank did recently launch a specific recruitment campaign only targeting this group of applicants.
- Female applicants from Conflict/Crisis countries
The UN is constantly searching for female applicants from conflict/crisis countries. We have written about the importance to meet all minimum requirements before you apply, however in some cases even if you don’t meet the minimum requirements, your application can be successful. This may be true if you are an applicant from a crisis country, where women education over time has not been allowed or from a country where national University education has been inaccessible due to war. For these countries chances are that the UN has waived the degree requirements.
- Female Security Officers prepared to take on assignments in crisis countries
Female applicants with a security profile are extremely hard to find. One reason may be that many of the security officers are retired police and military officers, and the military sector is still very male dominated in most countries.
- Senior female Peacekeepers
The deficit of Security profiles and the linkage with the male dominated military may be the reason for the deficit of female peacekeepers. Also in this area there is a call for female applicants, the Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) have a whole section targeting senior women. The first woman ever to be appointed Commander of a Peacekeeping Operation is Kristin Lund from Norway. She was appointed by the Secretary General in 2014 and leads UNFICYP. The cover photo of this article shows Brigade General Kabia, an important voice for African military women.
- Female Information Technology experts
For several years the IT fields have been male dominated and that is also apparent in the IT work force of the UN. In addition this is one of few professions within the UN where the master’s degree has been waived for most of the professional positions. For IT jobs only Bachelor’s degree have been required. However in this professional field we can see a trend, more and more the education level is increasing and in case you are a female applicant holding a master’s degree in Computer Science, you are a rare profile in the application lists.
- Maternal health Specialist for Ebola
When severe crisis hits the United Nations often have challenges to find specific profiles and especially when the number of profiles are higher than normal. During the Ebola outbreak, it was challenging for the UN to find seasoned maternal health experts. If you are a maternal health specialist and are interested to serve the greater good, you should look frequently at UNjobfinder for opportunities.
- Medical Doctors Volunteers
One profile that is often hard to find is Medical Doctor Volunteers. UNV often post campaign to recruit this profile, it is a constant deficit. If you are a medical doctor interested taking on a Volunteer assignment with the UN, you should contact UNV. Even if they don’t have an ongoing campaign sending a solicited application may your way in.
- Senior women leaders
The UN is striving to achieve gender balance. For many organization the gender balance looks good from a holistic perspective, but when looking closer you will find that still most senior professionals are male and still most of the general service staff are female. Hence, being a female leader is a great advantage and is a profile that is lacking.
- Administration (Operations) managers
One profile that is quite complex and where the United Nations face challenges to find applicants is in the area of Administration (Operations). This includes transportation and logistics. This area is lacking both female and male applicants, and the reason for this is its complexity. An operations manager of the United Nations is expected to manage budget, finance, procurement and human resources. The expertise requires knowledge in multiple fields.
Although this is a field the UN faces challenges to recruit talent from either gender, it is still an advantage to be women. Professional female Operations managers within the UN are rare.
However, one administrative area where male professionals may have better chances than female applicants is in the area of Human Resources. Human Resources Specialist is one of very few professional profiles that are female dominant. Also General services is a female dominant area.
- Female applicants who wants to serve in crisis countries
The number of female professionals applying for career positions in crisis countries are very few. So if you are highly educated and interested in getting a foot into the UN, you should focus your attention at crisis countries.