Note: Since the revised Mobility policy has not been finalized yet, answers to these FAQs may be subject to change.

What is the ‘Pathways Pool’ and why is this being implemented at IOM?

The Pathways Pool is a group of pre-assessed candidates who have been approved as ready to perform the functions of certain job groups and at certain grades. This initiative is being implemented at IOM to:

  • offer a pathway to IOM personnel and external talent interested in advancing their career within certain job groups;
  • enable a streamlined and faster recruitment process for key posts in the missions;
  • support talent attraction and retention and succession planning, by offering structured career pathways in certain job groups.
  • recruit in a forward looking way for the right skills, competences, aptitudes and values.

Candidates will receive four ratings, namely “star”, “tier 1 – fully ready”, “tier 2- ready with development needs” and “not ready yet”.

What roles are covered by the Pathways Pool?

The Pathways Pool covers the roles of ‘Chief of Mission’ (at grade levels P4, P5 and D1) and ‘Resources Management Officer’ (at grade levels P3 and P4). Additional roles and grades may be added in the future depending on organizational priorities.

I am a national staff member, can I apply to join the Pathways Pool?

Yes, applications to the Pathways Pool are open to staff members in all categories who meet the requirements of the position. Besides the required education, working experience, etc. one of the requirements is a satisfactory or better performance rating. National staff members who consider that they have the right profile and experience to perform the roles are encouraged to apply to become Pathways Pool members.

I am IOM personnel, but don’t hold a staff contract, can I apply to join the Pathways Pool?

Yes, applications to the Pathways Pool are open to consultants, UN Volunteers, secondees or staff on loan who meet the requirements of the position. National staff members who consider that they have the right profile and experience to perform the roles are encouraged to apply to become pool members.

I am not an IOM staff member, can I apply to join the Pathways Pool?

Yes. Periodically, a call for ‘Expressions of Interest’ will be issued and both internal and external applicants will be able to apply.

My current role is not Chief of Mission or Resources Management Officer, can I apply to join the Pathways Pool?

Yes. Staff members in any role can apply to the Pathways Pool, as long as they meet the requirements of the position. Again, this will be subject to certain conditions, such having the necessary degrees, work experience and satisfactory or better SES.

I have been a Chief of Mission or Resources Management Officer in the past, but currently am not. Can I be included in the Pathways Pool?

Yes, following successful performance and reference checking, IOM may decide to include you (at the grade at which you were a Chief of Mission or Resources Management Officer) in the Pathways Pool, as long as you have not been out of that function for more than four years. 

Can I apply to more than one grade or functional area?

Yes, you can, however you should take the decision strategically and realistically.

If I am currently a Chief of Mission or Resources Management Officer can I apply to other posts outside of the Pathways Pool?

Yes, you can. The normal recruitment process for non CoM and RMO posts will remain unchanged.

I think I meet the requirements but have still not been invited to the assessment center. How is that possible?

Given the limited number of slots and the articulated diversity needs of the organization, it is possible that you will not be invited despite meeting the requirements. Should that be the case, we encourage you to apply again for the next assessment center.

I have gone through the assessment process for the Pathways Pool but I have been assessed as not ready yet. Can I apply again?

Yes, in addition to feedback from the external provider you can request feedback from HRM as to why you were assessed as not ready yet and you may be able to apply to re-take the assessment after an appropriate time (not less than two years) has passed. In the meantime, you can work on your personal development and the shortcomings identified in the assessment center, focusing on developing the skills and knowledge required for advancing your career in a certain job group. Staff members can contact the Staff Development and Learning Unit to request advice on learning and development opportunities, which will also need to be coordinated with the respective supervisors.

How is the selection process conducted?

HRM will review all applications and compile a longlist of candidates, who meet the established pre-set eligibility criteria. HRM and the Office of the Director General are responsible for making the final decision on the applicants from the list who will be selected to go through the assessment process. Before being assessed all candidates will undergo a thorough reference checking, including education, criminal records….?

  • To be qualified/cleared for the Pathways Pool, candidates will be appraised in an assessment center and precleared for (immediate) deployment. IOM will articulate what skills, attributes, values and competencies will define future success in the two roles and assess against it accordingly. Several UN sister agencies[1] use assessment centers for higher-level posts, particularly managerial positions and leadership roles. An Assessment Centre is an HR management process that consists of assessing the skills of individuals by subjecting them to simulation exercises, skills assessment tests and psychometric testing. It aims to complement more traditional assessment methods, such as assessment interviews or self-assessments with the end goal of improving HR decision-making. While normally that AC will take place face-to-face, with current COVID-related travel restriction the next one will be fully online.
  • Based on the results of the assessment process and on the recommendations of the Assessment Panel, HRM will rate the candidates as “star”, “tier 1 – fully ready”, “tier 2- ready with development needs” or “not yet ready” for each of the roles and grade level for which they have been assessed. The assessment process will include multiple role plays that simulate work scenarios of roles. If you are a “star” or “tier 1 – fully ready” candidate, you are eligible to bid on relevant positions.
  • The Director, HRM will review all final results and submit recommendations to the Appointments and Posting Board (APB) for final endorsement.
  • Following the APB, the results will be sent to the Director General (for ‘Chief of Mission’ roles) or to the Deputy Director General (for ‘Resources Management Officer’ roles) for their final decision.
What happens if my application is not prioritized?

It is highly likely some staff members will not be prioritized for assessment given the limited availability. If so, upon request, staff members will be given feedback as to the reason and will be encouraged to reapply.

What are the eligibility criteria my application is measured against?

IOM will be looking at your education, technical and substantive skills, management and leadership experiences, language skills (6 official UN languages and Portuguese), UN/Public Sector Experience and history of volunteer engagement.

When will the assessment center be conducted?

Assessment centers are conducted on at least an annual basis, usually before year end.

Is there a maximum number of members for the Pathways Pool?

No. All candidates who will be rated as as “star”, “tier 1 – fully ready”, “tier 2- ready with development needs” after the assessment process will be recommended for inclusion in the Pathways Pool.

Once I have been included in the Pathways Pool, do I still need to apply for Chief of Mission or Resources Management Officer roles?

Roles may become available as part of the annual rotation exercise or when ad hoc vacancies arise:

  • During the annual rotation exercise, IOM staff members eligible for rotation, who are members of the Pathways Pool, will be able to express interest for those roles in the Compendium that are covered by the Pool. For these roles, while members due for rotation will normally be given priority consideration, other Pathways Pool members, who have served for a minimum of two years in their position, may also indicate their interest, if the post has not been filled through rotation.
  • When ad-hoc rotational position vacancies are made available as they arise by HRM, Pathways Pool members will be able to indicate their interest (i.e. bid) for these positions.
If I leave IOM, will I be automatically excluded from the Pathways Pool?

No. Upon separation from service or transfer to another Organization, staff members who are members of the Pathways Pool may continue to be members with the mutual agreement of both parties. The same applies to staff members on Special Leave Without Pay.

How long is the assessment center result valid? How long can I stay in the Pathways Pool?

The results are valid for two years following the inclusion into the Pathways Pool at which point they will be reviewed and a decision taken on further inclusion (which will among other things depend on having shown interest in upcoming posts). 

Is there an age limit to apply to the Pathways Pool?

For candidates to be eligible for assessment, they have to be available for at least one full assignment before retirement.

Do I have to work in a Non-family Duty Station?

The selection of qualified, diverse candidates for these two types of positions has been a challenge in the past years and the organization has had problems in finding qualified candidates to meet its rapidly growing needs, including working in non-family and hazardous duty stations. So candidates willing to work in those duty stations will be prioritized for assessment.

How does promotion apply following the assessment center?

Once you have successfully passed the Pathways Pool assessment center and are appointed to a position, your appointment will be made at the grade which you were assessed.

Ad hoc assessment

HRM is also developing an online ad hoc assessment center to fill gaps outside of the annual assessment center exercise.



As of 10  August 2020