Programme: Madrid 2015

Sessions – Wednesday 18 November 2015

Wednesday 18 November Sessions

11:00 – 12:15


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.


Sonja Spierings & Maria Hadzic (UNFPA), David Bearfield (EPSO), Leonard Otti (UN), Ruth Grove (World Bank) and Liz Arnanz & Diego Montilla (CDR)

Moderator: Michael Dahl

The Millennials – Who are they and are we ready for them?

Workforce demographics are rapidly changing. The millennial generation, currently between 15 and 35 years old, is entering the global workforce and will continue to shape and define the culture of the 21st century workforce. Why does this matter?

Millennials matter not only because they make up the most numerous generation since the Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, and by 2025 will make up 75% of the global workforce, it is also a generation that differ significantly from past generations both in terms of work attitudes, career aspirations and technological savviness. One of the key characteristics of the millennial generation is that it collectively has a focus on reaching a level of self-actualization and places a high value on intrinsic motivation in their work. Millennials tend to prefer flatter organizational structures and a culture that allows for flexibility in their work – in other words, millennials have a preference for a type of organizational culture that differs from what we have previously seen.

The session will start off with a group of millennials presenting their views on how they differ from previous generations and what they would like to see in their career development/future work place.  We will then ask the other side of the panel consisting of representatives from the UN, EU and World Bank on their perspectives of what you just heard and whether your organizations are ready to embrace this growing work force of millennials.


Jonathan Ball & Juliane Drews (UNAIDS) and Laverne Webb (EnCompass LLC)

Mentoring women: A win-win approach to growing internal talent

Organizations are striving for gender parity at all levels, particularly senior management positions. At the same time, they need to find cost-effective ways to develop internal talent. As part of its Gender Action Plan, UNAIDS has launched an innovative mentoring programme for women that aims to support the professional development of women at all levels of the organization. The programme, delivered entirely at distance, helps mentees to strengthen competencies, address workplace challenges and build confidence. It also gives an opportunity to mentors to share their experience and knowledge while developing their skills in guiding and supporting colleagues.

This session, led by UNAIDS and Encompass, will share recent thinking on mentoring and how it can be used in the context of empowerment of female employees. It will also describe the mentoring programme for women at UNAIDS, including key success factors and results achieved in the first two years.


Victoria Campbell & Sandra Ribon Christensen (UNOPS)

Preparing for the future – UNOPS Emerging Leaders programme

UNOPS recently completed its first cohort of an “Emerging Leaders programme”, a 12 month leadership development programme for colleagues with high potential for leadership roles. The cohort includes 50 diverse and talented colleagues from all corners of the organization, who came together both in person and virtually- to network, collaborate, learn about themselves and to innovate.

The programme had the following aims:

  • To focus on the development of high performing and high potential personnel, to retain their talent and to support UNOPS strategic plan
  • To develop a pool of talented professionals that can be drawn upon for management and leadership roles in UNOPS
  • To increase representation of women and personnel from programme countries in UNOPS leadership roles

The cohort was selected through a competitive process, and is representative of the energy, enthusiasm and diversity of the next generation of UNOPS leaders. As a talent management and leadership development programme, it involved the identification of high potential, diversity and gender considerations, and a blending learning programme, including mentoring and career counselling, as well as a team based UNOPS innovation project.

In the session, we will share our experiences from how we identified and selected the group, the design and development of the programme, the results so far, and our lessons learnt. Some of the experiences we would touch upon include how to be creative and make an impact with limited resources, how to engage support of key stakeholders in the process, and how to build and sustain a virtual network.


Heike Gras (EPSO) and Nikola Trbovic (Hudson)

Guaranteeing Fairness and Equality of Treatment Using Parallel Simulation Exercises in Large Scale Assessment Centers: Two Empirical Studies

The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) delivers a staff selection service to the highest professional standards on behalf of the EU Institutions. Every year, thousands of candidates, from 28 European Members states, go through the EPSO selection process, which includes an assessment center as final stage.

In this presentation, the first EPSO competition with an AC, realized in 2010, and involving 174 candidates (profile lawyer) is presented, job specific scores and general competency scores obtained in the written case study are analyzed, and statistical tests are applied in order to check for possible biases related to the use of parallel simulations. In another competition of 2012, involving 123 candidates (profile assistant in project management), the parallel simulation system in group exercises is also presented. In both cases, results confirm that the use of parallel simulation allows maintaining fairness and equality of treatment, even in extended testing periods.

Results are discussed and recommendations regarding the construction, the use and the legal aspects of parallel simulations are proposed.

The three main points that the presentation will cover are parallel simulation development: standards and rules; analysis of the data provided by two competitions; and recommendations for the use of parallel simulations in AC.


13:45 – 15:00


Weert Börner (German MFA), Georges Diener (French MFA), Mary Wong (U.S. Department of State), William Tierney (British MFA), Désirée Bonis (Dutch MFA), Rita Kazragiene (Lithuanian MFA) and Angeles Gutierrez (Spanish MFA)

Moderator: Michael Emery

Career development from a national government perspective

A panel discussion on career development from a national government perspective with participants from different Ministries of Foreign Affairs. Participants will be presenting their specific national experiences in in promoting personnel in International Organizations, including specific government structures, special services for national applicants, innovative practices, and annual events such as career fairs and staff conferences.


Makoto Miyasako (OECD)

Becoming the Employer People Want – The Findings of the OECD’s Employment Competitiveness Study

Organizations are increasingly finding that in order to attract and retain the talent that sets them apart they need to differentiate themselves in terms of what they can offer as an employer. As an intergovernmental organization located in France seeking to hire unique talent from its 34 member countries the OECD is no exception.

In light of this the OECD recently launched its Employment Competitiveness Study which aims to understand just what it is that our employees value the most – and least – and how we can use this information to set ourselves apart as an employer of choice. The focus of the presentation will be the results of the Employee Preference Survey, an online survey opened to all staff seeking to identify their relative preferences amongst a number of financial and non-financial conditions.

The presentation will look at the unique challenges that the OECD faces when seeking to attract highly-qualified established professionals, before going in-depth into the findings of the Employee Preference Survey and how the Organization can use these to maximize the value it offers as a recruiter on the global market.


James Darley (Teach First)

The importance of the Candidate experience and brutal metrics – How Teach First became the largest graduate recruiter in the UK

James Darley has headed up graduate recruitment for the UK education charity Teach First for nearly 12 years.  In that time they have become the largest (recruiting 1,700 graduates a year) and one of the most prestigious recruiters in the UK where 10% of Oxbridge graduates and 6% of Russell Group graduates apply. James will share how they achieved this incredible brand domination in such a short amount of time, how the candidate experience has been core to their success, how data & metrics ensure delivery and how they have simplified selection around core competencies.


Juan-Carlos Pastor (IE Business School)

How Authentic Leaders Transform Organizations and People

Over the past few years, people have come to distrust leaders. The increase in corporate scandals and management misconduct has contributed to create an environment of lack of trust in professional organizations and social institutions alike. Individuals no longer trust their leaders based solely on their titles, diplomas and credentials. They want to follow real people who inspire and excite them. Leading authentically becomes especially important in difficult times when the traditional social order gives way to social uncertainty and a sense of insecurity invades people’s emotions.

Because authentic leaders act in the best interest of their organizations, have open communication with their teams, show consistency between their words and deeds and are able and willing to admit their mistakes, they can build the trust that teams and organizations need to overcome current challenges and move forward. Authentic leaders are effective role models that have long lasting effects on the values and attitudes of their followers who increase their engagement with the vision of the leader and their organizations. Followers of authentic leaders sacrifice their self-interest for the collective and act as catalyst of social and organizational change.

Being an authentic leader means being worthy of your followers´ trust because it is only their trust that will allow you to make difficult decisions. The process of becoming an authentic leadership is an inside out process. It starts with a high level of self-awareness and being true to your-self. Honesty and integrity are at the core of leadership authenticity and they both start from within one self.


Aitor Maguna & Pilar Cortes (WFP), Antonino Brusa (UNICEF) and Michael Dahl (UNFPA)

Approaches and good practices to promotion management among UN agencies: UNFPA, UNICEF and WFP

Management of career advancement is at the center of the talent management strategy and the decisions we make in this area have multiple implications in terms of the organizational design, talent pipeline, motivation, costs and values promoted. It is in fact extremely interesting to observe that there are many similarities among organizations on the approach to manage career advancement and at the same time significant differences. In this session we will present and discuss the current approaches of UNHCR, UNFPA, WFP and UNICEF.


15:30 – 16:45


Michael Emery & Michael Dahl (UNFPA), Victoria Campbell (UNOPS), George Chernikov (IOM) and Victoria Francisco (ADB)

Aligning our People Strategy to the new Business Model

“People Strategies” are talked about everywhere but what are our experiences in trying to create these and make them as relevant and in real-time to our quickly ever changing business environment so we stay fit for purpose as an HR community? This session will look at some of the learnings from our colleagues in UNFPA, UNOPS, ADB and IOM. These UN agencies will be sharing their recent experiences in creating an effective HR strategy/”People Strategy” that aligns with the strategic business model of the respective organization.  We will explore what worked well? Key learnings? DOs and DONTs? and hopefully end up identifying some common themes/learnings across the agencies.


Bob Athwal (University of Leicester)

The business of preparing students for work: The journey from award winning employer to award winning careers service

Come and hear how an award-winning international graduate recruiter used his experience and insight to turn an under-performing university careers service into an award-winning one. Hear how data is the key to success, working in partnership with employers and being prepared is at the heart of the Leicester Way.


Kate Warren (Devex)

How to compete for the next generation of global development talent

With buzzwords like innovation, localization and sustainability becoming common vernacular and new technologies and approaches rapidly disrupting how we do development, we wondered: How is this changing the face of the modern aid worker?

Devex recently conducted a survey, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development and Population Services International, of our community of global development, health and sustainability professionals to see what tools, skills and approaches they think the next generation of development professionals will need to thrive and how the evolving aid industry is impacting what kind of talent will be in demand.

One finding was clear: Eighty-four percent of respondents believe that in 10 years, the technology, skills and approaches used by development professionals will be significantly different than they are today. In this session, we will unpack the findings and what they mean for your organizations talent needs and what you can do to stay competitive.


James Darley (Teach First)

The importance of the Candidate experience and brutal metrics – How Teach First became the largest graduate recruiter in the UK

James Darley has headed up graduate recruitment for the UK education charity Teach First for nearly 12 years. In that time they have become the largest (recruiting 1,700 graduates a year) and one of the most prestigious recruiters in the UK where 10% of Oxbridge graduates and 6% of Russell Group graduates apply. James will share how they achieved this incredible brand domination in such a short amount of time, how the candidate experience has been core to their success, how data & metrics ensure delivery and how they have simplified selection around core competencies.

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