Human Resources in times of war

Hiring a recruitment agency usually saves time and money and gives access to the best candidates. The latter is even more important for NGO’s who rely heavily on local staff on the ground, with their head offices often located far away from the country they operate in. This applies even more in times of war, when foreign staff may not be present at all.

In a war-torn country, many will search for jobs with NGO’s, often being the only lucrative jobs available. It is especially in those times, that NGO’s should want the best people for the job, regardless their political or other affiliations. And it is exactly that which may be more difficult than ever in times of war. 

It is of paramount importance to make sure that jobs are not being distributed among friends or family of current employees, or worse: among those who are willing to bribe their way in, not only for the job, but for access to goods and services which they can use among the ones who are on their side of the war (and thus deprive those who are not).

One way - and seemingly the only one if there is no foreign HR staff on the ground present – is to work with a reliable local recruitment agent. Reliable is the keyword, for the agent may of course also be susceptible for pressure from the society. Find them, rather than asking a long- term employee on the ground to find the best candidate. Why? To avoid any doubt, to avoid the long-term employee to be put in an impossible position and to avoid that the NGO effectively becomes a tool of the warring parties.


Written by: Judith Spiegel

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the Yemen Career.