Types of career opportunities
Types of contracts and appointments
The following types of contracts and appointments are advertised on the UNHCR recruitment platform.
International Professional Staff
International Professional Staff (fixed-term appointments) work in a range of functional profiles in field locations, at Headquarters in Geneva, or in one of the Global Service Centres – Amman, Budapest and Copenhagen. These positions are subject to rotation, with staff required to change duty station from time to time.
UNHCR does its best to fill vacant International Professional positions internally. If no suitable internal candidate is identified, the organization will advertise these positions externally.
UNHCR needs to deploy staff quickly to respond to the needs of people forced to flee in displacement emergencies. We recruit candidates to cover short-term emergency staffing needs (up to 729 days).
Temporary Appointment opportunities are offered in field locations, at Headquarters in Geneva, or in one of the Global Service Centres. Please note that a Temporary Appointment does not carry any expectancy, legal or otherwise, of renewal and cannot be converted to any other type of appointment. A Temporary Appointment carries reduced allowances and entitlements compared to a fixed-term appointment.
UNHCR Consultants are highly trained professionals who are recruited on a temporary basis. They provide high-level technical knowledge that is not available within UNHCR. The flexibility of these roles enables UNHCR to rapidly adapt the skill set of the workforce and respond to new challenges and crises. Consultants do not work under any type of partnership agreement or any other entity (e.g. company or firm) and will not perform the regular day-to-day functions of staff.
Types of consultancies:
- International consultants hired directly by UNHCR from outside the country where they will perform the services (place of work).
- Locally hired international consultants directly hired by UNHCR who are not nationals of the country in which they serve, but have been hired at the place of work.
- National consultants directly hired by UNHCR who are nationals of the country and have been hired at the place of work.
The above consultancy contracts cannot exceed 11 consecutive months and so include a mandatory break-in-service of one month. Consultants can only be engaged for a period up to a maximum of 24 months of full-time work in a 36-month period. After this, a minimum six-month break-in-service is required.
- Consultants recruited through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). These posts can be both nationally and internationally recruited roles. Unlike other consultancy contracts they do not require a mandatory break-in-service. Contracts are usually offered up until 31 December each year regardless of the start date of the contract, with renewal dependent on performance and the needs of the organization.
Talent Pools for common functional profiles help UNHCR rapidly recruit staff to respond to crises. Selected candidates may work in field locations as well as the Headquarters (Geneva) or in one of the Global Service Centres (Amman, Budapest and Copenhagen).
They are called 'evergreen requisitions' in the UNHCR recruitment platform, and are advertised by functional areas and grade levels based on actual needs for a period of 12 months. They are used as ‘rosters’, in order to have a balanced number of ready-to-hire professional candidates for the most common or sought-after job profiles at various levels/grades, who can be deployed at short notice to a vacancy that best matches their skills. Talent Pools are primarily used to fill Temporary Appointments
Please note, Talent Pools will be advertised at the end of 2022 and will remain open for 12 months.
Interested in learning more about international professional opportunities (P2-P4) to support our efforts across the globe?
We held a live webinar on Wednesday, 29 March and you can register to receive the recording.
General Service Staff and National Professional Officers
General Service Staff are recruited locally and the individual is required to be legally present in the country where the post they are applying for is situated. They do not have a requirement to rotate. General Service Salary Scales
National Professional Officers must be nationals of the country in which they serve, and they have substantial knowledge of local conditions. They are also not required to rotate. Their recruitment should enhance the national capacity building and contribute to the quality of the nation’s professional workforce. Local Staff Salary Calculator
Vacancies in these two categories are advertised on the UNHCR recruitment platform, and internally and externally within the country of the duty station where the vacancy exists. Vacancy notices are shared with all UNHCR staff in the country. They are also issued in the local press, posted on national employment websites, and with all UN agencies, local missions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the country. Contact one of the country offices to learn more about current General and National Staff opportunities. Browse UNHCR country pages.
In addition, UNHCR also recruits Field Service Staff, however these positions are only advertised internally and are primarily targeted at current General Service staff looking to gain international experience. They are temporary international assignments, often located in hardship and non-family duty stations.
UNHCR’s Internship Programme offers eligible students and recent graduates the opportunity to gain experience in the humanitarian sector in an international environment, in line with their academic programme or future work in a field related to UNHCR’s mission.
Learn more about UNHCR's Internship Programme.
In addition, UNHCR recruits Junior Professional Officers and United Nations Volunteers. These positions and the application process are managed separately to the main recruitment platform. See the relevant page for more information.