What skills are needed in humanitarian agencies now operating in Europe?

By Helen Morgan 17 November 2015
Staff stock medicine supplies in a room at a primary health care center for Yazidis refugees in Sirnak, Turkey. Given the exceptional circumstances of the refugee arrivals within the EU, what are the most needed skills aid agencies’ recruiters are seeking? Photo by: Caroline Gluck / EU / ECHO / CC BY-NC-ND

Following the unprecedented increase in the number of refugees arriving in Europe, humanitarian aid agencies are ramping up efforts to meet basic needs.

Expanding their teams now means adapting and coordinating recruitment in a new territory — the European Union — as well being more creative than ever in recruitment strategies to work around tight funding.

In September, the EU allocated more than 70 million euros ($75 million) in emergency funding to support the most affected member states, but how much of that will go toward aid remains to be seen; a representative from the International Rescue Committee told Devex the organization is reaching into its own pockets to support its efforts. Meanwhile, the Norwegian Refugee Council received some 6 million Norwegian kroner ($600,000) from the Norwegian government to deploy staff members to Greece.

But what skills are needed? And given the exceptional circumstances of the situation within the EU, how does this affect recruitment strategies? Devex spoke to several aid agencies expanding operations within Europe to gain insight into the challenges in recruiting in this new landscape.