How a top humanitarian organization recruits for conflict

By Helen Morgan 02 February 2016
Refugees in Uganda register their families with Uganda Red Cross volunteers. How does the ICRC build a pool of talent ready to work in conflict zones? Photo by: F. Noy / UNHCR

Aid worker security is a constant concern for the global development community, and ensuring humanitarians are as well protected as possible starts at the foundation of an organization — with its people.

Recruiters, as they begin building a team of humanitarians, must make sure they are constructing a resilient team that can stay as safe and protected as possible. That’s why, for example, leadership at the International Committee of the Red Cross rarely sends first mission delegates into new emergencies or complex conflicts, said Markus Dolder, ICRC’s head of Human Resources Marketing in an exclusive interview. 

“We want people who have a sense of diplomacy and are aware of the kind of situations they could be exposed,” he added.

Devex caught up with Dolder on the sidelines of the annual International Organizations Career Development Roundtable in Madrid, Spain — where representatives from over 60 organizations met for workshops, conferences and seminars on how to improve recruitment practices.