Programme: Madrid 2015

Sessions – Thursday 19 November 2015

Thursday 19 November Sessions

10:15 – 11:45


Lena Moll & Andrea Kienle (OSCE)

Taking the pulse – How fit are we and for what purpose?

This mini open space session will create the time and space for participants to engage deeply and creatively in discussing the different angles of the question “How fit are we and for what purpose?“. During this energizing and self-organizing session, participants will share and build on their expertise, knowledge, passion and best ideas around the theme. There will be a quick de-brief to capture the outcome of the meeting.


 11:45 – 12:45


Jenny Barone & Antonino Brusa (UNICEF)

Interactive competency assessment in practice: Emergency Job Simulation

Competency assessment is a core part of the selection and career development process of the UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes. Particularly in talent management programmes, organizations are looking more at the candidate’s overall competency set and cultural fit, aside from technical proficiency. In that regard, competency-based interviews have been used as the primary method to assess candidates’ competency proficiency level and have been subject to increased scrutiny and criticism. In order to assess a candidate’s and staff member’s competency level in an emergency environment and get a more holistic view of an individual’s competency proficiency, UNICEF and APT.


Fernando de Benavides (Terra Firma)

Challenges and successes of multi-channel outreach strategic in the international public sector

Are your recruiters being asked to achieve more with fewer resources? Do you face challenges connecting with your ideal candidates? Are you overwhelmed by the complexities of the ever-increasing channels for connecting with your audience?

Then join us to discover some of the latest developments in recruitment communications and discuss best practices with your peers. Share experiences about how to manage everything from publications in print and on job boards, digging into applicant tracking systems, posting content on social media, attending online events and optimizing your presence using search engine marketing, producing career content for your blogs, managing LinkedIn corporate pages and CV database mining.

During this session, we will cover why writing your recruitment adverts so they can be referenced by search engines matter, some of the best practices of online social networks including knowing what, where and when to post to gain the maximum impact. Learn the simple tricks in order to build a talent pool cost-effectively, and why building and maintaining relationships online with your audience matter. And whilst at it, help us build a powerful and integrated platform built from the ground up for the International Public Sector, combining strategic and practical perspectives, helping you to achieve more with less.


Mariola Pogacnik, David Perna & Liz Hutton (PwC)

Fit for the Future – Innovative Global Talent Transformation

In today’s increasingly complex world, it is vital to have the right people, with the right skill sets, to deliver on the critical global missions of today and tomorrow. Talent management, however, is often the most challenging task for public, private or non-profit organizations alike. At PwC, one of the largest professional services firms in the world, we have recently transformed our talent management strategy and approach to adapt to the needs of our people and the organizations we serve in the 21st century. In this session, we will discuss learnings from recent research conducted with international organizations as well as from our own talent transformation journey to share insights about the future of talent operations and opportunities for the UN and other international organizations enabling them to drive toward enterprise-wide talent strategies that are fit for future.


Alvaro Escribano (UC3M)

Managing External Knowledge Flows at Organizations: The Moderating Role of Absorptive Capacity and Training

We will argue that those organization/firms with higher levels of absorptive capacity can manage external knowledge flows more efficiently, and stimulate innovative outcomes. We test this contention with a sample of 2265 Spanish firms, drawn from the Community Innovation Surveys (CIS). We find that absorptive capacity is indeed an important source of competitive advantage, especially in sectors characterized by turbulent knowledge and strong intellectual property rights protection. The implications for management practice and policy are also discussed. Furthermore, we will discuss and evaluate how training employees, investing in human capital and in innovation affects firms productivity internationally. We will do that using data from the international investment climate surveys of The World Bank done for developing countries.


Rob Nathan & Gillian Freedman (Career Counselling Services)

How to have an effective career conversation in ten minutes

Line managers often find it hard to make space to have career discussions with staff. They may refer on to the ‘experts’ – that is – HR and others who are specially trained to have career discussions.  Lack of time is the oft-cited excuse, but we know from training HR and line managers that lack of confidence also comes into it.

Both line and HR are increasingly pushed to be accountable and make effective use of resources and time. This approach to having a career discussion in just ten minutes can be learned in just one hour!

By the end of this Clinic, you will:

  • know about OSKAR – a Solutions Focus approach to career coaching
  • have practiced the technique
  • develop your confidence to introduce brief career discussions to staff


14:15 – 15:15


Marnix de Groot & Jeroen Schulze (VONQ)

How Employer Branding can contribute to the diversity in your organization

Diversity within an organization is still a hot topic and it becomes harder now the war on talent is back with the better economic situation. How can you stand out as an organization by becoming a diverse organization on multiple fronts. We would like to take you on a journey how to get there and show what your employer brand can do for you.


Eran Schweiger (OHRM)

Staff Induction – Addressing the Global Challenge

Starting a new job, which may sometimes entail moving locations, can be an exciting as well as challenging experience. International Organizations must identify means to deliver a unified induction program to new and existing staff, both in terms of providing practical information and delivery of an organizational message. With the incoming Mobility and Career Development Framework, the UN Secretariat has developed advanced tools that aim to address those challenges.

In this clinic, I will present the Global Induction Platform (GIP) – a web-based tool that provides new and current staff with induction information in a tailored and paced manner. The GIP ensures that all staff members, wherever they are, receive organizational information as well as material customized for their specific profile and new position.

The GIP is a modular platform that can be constantly changed and updated through a simple interface, and requires little management resources. The GIP project also included the development of additional tools such as duty station guides, relocation checklist, buddy system, and spouse employment guide, all to support the ultimate purpose of making the transition into a new position as smooth and quick as possible for the staff member and his/her family.


Claudia Purpura (OCHA)

Building Leaders together: the Inter-Agency Field Leaders Programme

UN field leaders in agencies need to work effectively with a multitude of both humanitarian and development actors. Yet most UN field leaders spend their whole career in a single agency, or within the confines of either the development or the humanitarian community. Additionally, there is general consensus that effective leadership is clearly beyond the individual abilities of one man (or woman).

One way of getting to such a synergy of efforts is for leaders from different organizations to get together earlier than on the operational setting and work together as if part of the same team.

Most leadership courses in any industry are either academic or in classroom settings. The Inter-Agency Field Leader Programme is about giving an on-the-job opportunity to successful and ambitious leaders to operate at their same level of responsibility in a different organizational setting and/or in a real coordination role outside their level of confidence and experience.

During this session, after a brief presentation of the Programme participants will engage in discussions around:

  • What are the cost and benefits of this type and similar programme?
  • What it takes to partnering in similar initiatives among different organizations?
  • How can we evaluate the success of this leadership programmes?


Sara Murfitt & Babken Babajanian (LSE)

Engaging with new talent to get fit for purpose

As one of the world’s leading social science universities, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), is developing students for the workplace with a focus on solving business and world issues. We can’t do this in a bubble though and we are dedicated to our academic work having an impact on public life.

The Masters in Public Administration degree programme includes a unique capstone project where our students, many of whom have more than two years professional experience, work with international organizations and business to tackle socially relevant and topical policy issues.

Previous Capstone partners have included; BCG, EBRD, OECD, UNESCO, UNICEF and The World Bank.

Come to this interactive session where we demonstrate how working with universities can provide you with:

  • Insight in to the latest research and policy methods relevant to your organization
  • Access to some of the best students delivering on a real policy issue for your organization
  • Input into the curriculum
  • A talent pipeline for your recruitment programmes


Telma Viale (SRI International)

Sustainability is a capability but are we ready to collaborate?

Sustainability is a combination of technical expertise and the organization skills and systems that make real collaboration possible. When thinking about the 17 SDGs, only when technical expertise meets collaboration, sustainability can be realized. Given that the technical issues within sustainability are quite specific and vary widely, it makes sense to focus on the platforms that drive collaboration. The panel will discuss four skill sets that are crucial to collaboration and for which HR plays a critical role: Talent management, engagement, teamwork, and leadership.


15:45 – 16:45


Frank Hutton (Terra Firma)

LinkedIn – Friend or foe?

LinkedIn has become a focal point for people and organizations looking to connect with each other, whether that is for business, information exchange or recruitment purposes. Many of us have created profiles and use LinkedIn as a passive tool that works for us while we eat, sleep, work and play.

However, as good as this is, its true power is only unlocked when you begin to use it proactively for research, understanding and positioning – whether that is as an individual or an organization.

Join Frank as he explores how you can make LinkedIn your ally and co-worker in achieving your everyday goals.


Elodie Bergot (EPO)

New Career System at the EPO

The EPO has recently introduced a new career system, moving from a system that rewarded accrued seniority to one entirely based on recognition of performance and competences. The reform is the result of the systematic review of all career elements, such as job grading and classification and career progression. It has resulted in a number of significant changes, including the move from A/B/C categories to a single salary spine, enhanced career progression and an increased variety of rewards (such as steps and promotions based on merit, functional allowances, and bonuses).

Management has played a fundamental role in the reform, which has been achieved through specific initiatives and through action programs on communication and transparency, information, training, and IT adaptation.

After less than one year of implementation, the first results are encouraging and show that the reform has had a positive impact, including measurable increased performance, enhanced cooperation among teams and improved dialogue with the management. The system, which is now entirely manageable, will allow the Organization to better control its long-term liabilities, thus ensuring its social and financial sustainability long into the future.


Julianne DiNenna (UNHCR)

Women’s Leadership: A UNHCR Experience

What holds women back in the career ‘chain’ and why? UNHCR employs some 8500 regular staff (international and national/general services): 3254 women and 5246 men. Numbers of men surpass the numbers of women in the international professional category at all levels except at the P2 level. As in other UN agencies, staff must rotate positions every so many years from hard duty to more family-friendly duty stations. So, what holds women from acquiring on leadership positions if everyone must give up their seat and change posts after so many years? Surely the opportunities are there especially as more women enter the workforce, right? This clinic will explore a few key findings from a recent UNHCR study on women’s leadership which reveal some of the dynamics that hold women back and will discuss what agencies might be able to do about it.


Juan Jose Barinaga & Laurence Besiktasliyan (NATO)

Getting ready for the new NATO Headquarters: The people element

The move to the new NATO Headquarters in 2016-2017 will be one of the most challenging processes that NATO people have ever experienced. Relocating approximately 4,000 individuals, up to 17km of archive material and special facilities/equipment for political consultations among 28 member Nations and 41 partners is an enormous task in itself. Doing it in a way that ensures minimum disruption to the core political-military activity of NATO requires an extremely comprehensive transition plan that was started in 2013, and is in full execution now.

This session will focus on the people element of the transition plan, i.e. International Staff, International Military Staff, National Delegations, Agencies, Vendors, and Visitors. Particularly, it will cover in more detail the work being done with the staff whose jobs are most affected by the move: security, operations and maintenance of the Building. It will illustrate the implementation of an HR-developed multi-phased process consisting of job matching, internal selection process, external recruitment campaigns and training initiatives that aims to allocating the right people to the posts demanded by the new facilities.


Romana Rauf (WHO)

Human Resources for Health – Health Workforce Team(s) responding to the Ebola Health Outbreak Response in West Africa

In October 2014, the World Health Organization signed an agreement with the Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Cuba, for the Ministry to deploy up to 300 of its health professionals to be employed at the Ebola-treatment centers in the most affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) in West Africa for a period of up to six months.

Clinic:  Mini Case Study approach on:

  1. Setting the scene of the foreign medical team’s deployment experience, as it unfolded in September/October 2014 timeframe onwards.

Ask the participants, to debate in small groups, of their perceptions on/anticipation of, the:

  • Pre-deployment essentials
  • Likely challenges (pre-deployment)
  • In-country boarding support priorities
  • Recommended approach (given the reality of the then chaos)
  1. Share the case study findings from stakeholder interviews conducted prior to the Cuban Brigade’s completion/exit from West Africa.
  • What worked well? Best Practices
  • What, didn’t? Lessons to be learned
  • Given the benefit of hindsight, what could be done different or better?
  • What have been the key challenges?
  • And the compelling story extracts of survivors
  1. Debate:
  • Reflection of reality vs rhetoric
  • Is there a model fit-for-purpose, in preparedness for the next outbreak?

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