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About UNICEF: Employment

Selection process

© UNICEF/UN043944/Holt


For every child, deliver!

For selection of its staff, UNICEF is committed to securing the highest standard of competence, by means of a competitive selection process and to achieving gender and geographic balance.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

To join UNICEF on a regular or temporary staff contract, apply for the following sourcing streams and current vacancies advertised here.


Table of Contents (Please click to jump to that subject)
Generic Vacancy Announcements and Talent Groups

Specific Vacancy Announcement and Batch Recruitment

How to apply

Interview Process

Duration of Assignments of International Professional Fixed Term Appointments

Generic Vacancy Announcements and Talent Groups

A UNICEF Talent Group is a pool of potential employees defined by area, expertise and level of seniority, from which UNICEF offices worldwide can quickly select to fill a role through an expedited recruitment process when an employment need is identified.

To join a Talent Group, submit an application in response to Generic Vacancy Announcements (GVAs) that are periodically advertised here. A candidate who meets the required GVA qualifications may be invited to participate in a detailed assessment of their skills and experience. The process includes interviews, technical tests, and may include other forms of written and verbal assessment, so as to ensure all candidates in a Talent Group are properly evaluated prior to recommendation for a specific vacancy.

Successful candidates will be notified and placed in a Talent Group for a three year period and applicants are welcome to apply to more than one Talent Group.

Hiring offices review relevant Talent Groups and contact candidates directly when there is an opening for a specific position. They may conduct additional interviews to get to know the candidates to determine the best fit for their post. 

In the upcoming months, several Generic Vacancy Announcements will be published to fill Talent Groups and prospective candidates are encouraged to visit the “Vacancies” page and create "Job Alerts" to be notified for any upcoming talent groups throughout the year that fits their profile.

Specific Vacancy Announcement and Batch Recruitment

A specific vacancy announcement invites applications for specific posts, while batch recruitments are utilized to combine selection processes for multiple vacant positions within the same functional area. These are normally used if there is no talent group or no qualified candidate in the talent group because of the specific nature of the position.

How to apply

Please check for any suitable vacancy announcements here and click "Apply"

When completing your application form, please provide sufficient information to enable recruiters to evaluate your eligibility and suitability for the specific position. Make sure you update your resume and attach a cover letter outlining your motivation for the specific position. Please use English as an application language for International Professional positions and make sure you keep your email and phone number updated throughout the application process.

Please click here to view a video tutorial on how to apply for a position advertised on UNICEF's employment website: Candidate Experience Training 

Interview Process

Upon closing of the application deadline, the hiring office reviews all profiles to ascertain the candidates' eligibility and suitability for the position, following the minimum requirements stipulated in the vacancy announcement. If necessary, the hiring office may consider additional criteria in order to further reduce the number of candidates in the shortlist.

Based on this analysis, the hiring office retains a few candidates and uses a number of assessment tools, including written examinations, (competency-based) interviews and assessment centre findings to arrive at a recommendation.


  Online assessment: which include a series of online capability tests consisting of questions covering the areas of Numerical Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning.
  Pre-recorded video assessments: focusing on competencies and knowledge that are expected of the successful candidates. You will be presented with various scenarios following a series of multiple choice questions.
  Remote written exercise: The written exercise will assess the competencies and skills that are expected of the successful candidates and will typically focus on the technical competencies described in the vacancy. You will be advised on the format of the written assessments, which usually take place by email or through an online testing platform.
  Interview: If you are successful at this stage you will receive an invitation for an interview, which usually takes place on the phone or Skype. Interviews can follow the competency-based format, in which you are asked to describe a relevant concrete examples drawn from your personal work experience depicting UNICEFs competencies. Interviews may also include motivational questions, as well technical questions and presentations.


The selection of staff will be guided by UNICEF’s competency model. Core values should be held by all UNICEF staff. Competencies are sets of behaviours that are essential for the delivery of results for UNICEF.  Please refer to the vacancy announcement of a position to learn about the required competencies. You can click on the following document for a detailed description of each UNICEF core value and competency. [pdf]

Approval and Outcome

The recommendation is then reviewed to ensure that selection principles of fairness and transparency are adhered to.  All applicants will receive an email by the hiring office informing them about the outcome of the selection process and provide the opportunity for candidate feedback.

The length of the selection process varies depending on the hiring office’s priorities, normally between one to four months. UNICEF will endeavor to inform candidates of the status of their applications as quickly as possible.

Please note that UNICEF does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, traveling, processing, training or any other fees). Click here to learn more about fraudulent job offers.

Duration of Assignments of International Professional Fixed Term Appointments

The period an International Professional staff member is normally expected to serve in a duty station is based on the mobility and hardship classification of the duty station, which is established by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) according to prevailing living conditions. The tours of duty under the hardship classification are:

- H (Headquarters) and A duty stations five (5) years
- B duty stations four (4) years
- C and D duty stations   three (3) years
- E duty stations two (2) years

You can find out about the current hardship classification of the duty station you are serving in by viewing the Consolidated List of Entitlements Circular available on the mobility and hardship section of the ICSC website at icsc.un.org.

In terms of eligibility requirements to be considered for another post within UNICEF, staff members can apply to GVAs anytime, and to specific vacancies towards the end of their tour of duty, depending on the hardship classification of their duty station and staff category




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