What is UN roster? How does it work?

We received a lot of questions what is UN roster and it works. So there are small FAQ about roster.

What is a roster?

Most job openings are for a specific position in a particular office and duty station but there are also so-called generic job openings, which are used to create rosters, i.e. pools, of candidates available for immediate selection across the Organization. Generic job openings are recognized by the following text "This Job Opening is for roster purposes". Typically, positions in field missions are advertised as generic job openings. You can learn more about rosters in the section below, "Understanding Roster Management". The application process is the same for both types of job openings, whether position-specific or generic.

Another good example of the “Roster System” is the one the UN uses for translators and interpreters. If you are every so lucky to pass one of their translation and or interpreter exams, you are added to a roster. Once a vacancy for such a job opens, they start picking individuals from their roster to fill it.

There are many legitimate UN rosters out there that pre-screen applicants for very fast deployment when needs arise. Roaster are different for contract types (can be P-2?,P-3, General Service and specializations).

How does it work?

A roster is a pool of candidates who have already been vetted as viable candidates through the application process and who are ready for immediate selection.

If you have been informed of your inclusion in the roster, either based on the recommendation for a specific or for a generic job opening, you can potentially be selected for an upcoming job opening without having to undergo the entire application process.

Once you are included in a roster, you will be regularly contacted by e-mail to either confirm your continued interest in upcoming job openings, or you may choose to temporarily put on hold or permanently withdraw your roster candidature.

Does it mean that I will get a job in UN because I am in UN roster?

To be rostered is a great achievement! But it typically takes time, especially for specialist roles which do not come up that often as compared to say, HR Officers.

Sometimes it can last for 2 years without any results.


In case you applied directly to roster positions then there is not much competition (you are already assessed and ready to board on), You just have to wait for a position to pop (HR candidate roster is to provide fast track HR services to UN organizations where the resource is available on short notice - ready to commence at no time comparing to non-roster positions).

Since you are rostered, it would be good if you browse through other our web site / UN web site start applying for jobs that falls under the said category and your credentials. Always mention your current roster status and that is how you can bypass assessment process while increasing your chances (more applications more chances).

Nobody can predict the offer timing but roughly, it may take from just a month to months, for instance; New Contest (vacancy announcement - closing date - applicants sorting process for that specific position - Evaluation etc. Remember you are already roster so you do not need to go through all this but your competitors until the time of physical interview (approx. 1 - 7 months - it can stretch longer too). However, at some UN Roster it may get shorter (approx. 1 - 3 months) depending on the urgency to fill the vacancy (you may still have to follow the same above process).

It is always complicated and there is no straight answer or formula to calculate any exact time frame. A few important things you must check, One in hand is better then two in a bush - if you are working don't sign off until you sign a new contract. Secondly, apply to open positions within UN to increase your chances.

Tell me what kind of test I should pass for UN roster?

For a consultant position in UNOPS it will be written assessment with the questions all about technical knowledge, after will be usual interview with general questions and technical/professional questions.