For Help Contact:
CARE Emergency Group (CEG) Surge Capacity Coordinator
Email: emergencyHR@careinternational.org

21. Human Resources

In an emergency you need to mobilise or recruit many people. Human resource (HR) management is vital. It ensures that CARE has enough capacity to respond. Lessons learned show that the operation’s success depends on having the right staff at the right time. That means also having the right human resource management staff, skills, policies and support.

1.1 CARE International roles and responsibilities for human resource management

1.2 Role of Human Resources Manager in an emergency

Checklist

  • Mobilise existing CO personnel/CO Emergency Response Team as first response.
  • Develop a clear staffing structure for the emergency operation requirements that identifies staff needs and reporting lines.
  • Ensure that HR is involved in the planning and that there is sufficient HR management capacity in the CO to manage emergency HR needs.
  • Decide on the most appropriate source of recruitment to meet emergency staffing needs.Mobilise international emergency response personnel by following Protocol D3 Emergency personnel mobilisation .
  • Apply adapted rapid recruitment procedures to fill national staffing needs.
  • Avoid ‘unethical recruitment’ or practices that do irreversible harm to local and national NGOs by poaching their staff – particularly with regard to references and notice periods
  • Use the staffing matrix to track and communicate international staffing needs with CI.
  • Complete all CO pre-deployment responsibilities for incoming staff members.
  • Arrange accommodation for all incoming staff and provide sufficient office space, phones and equipment for all incoming team members.
  • Note that all staff, both national and international, must be covered by insurance. No staff may be deployed to an emergency zone without first confirming insurance cover.
  • In case of conflict, check if war risk insurance is required and arrange as necessary.
  • Ensure all staff is issued with contracts and include a probationary period for all new staff, and closely monitor the expiry dates of all staff contracts.
  • On arrival/commencement, ensure all staff complete entry and administration forms and are issued with ID cards, equipment, per diems (daily rate), etc.
  • Ensure all new staff receive orientation, covering:
    • CARE’s values, structures and systems
    • CARE’s programme and emergency response
    • code of conduct, gender and diversity, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse
    • safety and security briefing
    • orientation to the staff member’s role and job requirements.
  • Apply appropriate per diem and travel policies for emergency staff; update them if appropriate
  • Coordinate with finance and payroll units for payments and charging of staff costs.
  • Remember that the safety and security of staff takes precedence above all other factors.
  • Manage work hours effectively to avoid burn-out in the early stages of the emergency.
  • Put in place a rest and recreation (R&R) policy.
  • Ensure staff has access to psychological support services, especially after a critical incident.
  • Ensure performance of emergency personnel is managed and evaluations are completed.
  • Ensure all staff complete clearance procedures at the completion of their assignment.

In countries where there is no existing CARE presence:

  • Ensure all policies comply with local labour laws.
  • Put HR infrastructure in place to help move from set-up phase to ongoing programmes.
  • Adapt a human resources policy manual (sample annexed 21.47) as soon as possible.
  • Establish a basic salary scale as quickly as possible.
  • Determine employee benefits appropriate to local context and legal requirements.

 Checklist

  • Develop a clear staffing structure for the emergency operation requirements that identifies staff needs and reporting lines.
  • Ensure sufficient HR management capacity in the CO to manage emergency HR needs.
  • Ensure the HR manager is involved in planning processes from the outset.
  • Use the staffing matrix to track and communicate staffing needs with CI.

3.1 Staffing structures

3.2 Emergency staffing matrix

3.3 Human resource management capacity

3.4 Human resource management involvement

Checklist

  • Decide on the most appropriate source of recruitment and define critical factors in personnel selection appropriate to the emergency.
  • Mobilise existing CO personnel/CO Emergency Response Team as the first response.
  • Mobilise international emergency response personnel by following Protocol D3 Emergency personnel mobilisation .
  • Apply adapted rapid recruitment procedures to national recruitment to fill national staffing needs.

Personnel must be mobilised as quickly as possible to meet the emergency operations needs. Once the CO has identified the staffing requirements, the CO should consider the most appropriate option to mobilise personnel depending on the needs. Options include:

  • mobilising existing Country Office personnel for the emergency, preferably a pre-identified and trained Emergency Response Team (ERT)
  • requesting the deployment of emergency staff from other parts of CARE International, including national staff in other COs and international emergency response staff
  • rapid external recruitment of national staff locally
  • rapid recruitment of international emergency staff.

When deciding on selection of specific staff, managers should consider the following factors to ensure the right team.

4.1 Factors to consider when selecting emergency personnel

4.2 Mobilising the Country Office Emergency Response Team (ERT)/redeploying existing CO staff to the emergency

4.3 Emergency personnel from other CARE offices

4.4 Rapid recruitment process for national staff

4.5 Rapid recruitment process for international staff

4.5.1 Responsibilities of the Country Office in the rapid recruitment process for international staff

Checklist
  • Complete all CO pre-deployment responsibilities and provide all required information to the incoming staff member.
  • Arrange accommodation for all incoming staff.
  • Ensure sufficient office space, phones and equipment for all incoming team members.
  • Confirm arrival and pick-up details with incoming staff.

See Annex 23.11 Pre-departure/deployment checklist , which the CO may use for every new staff member deployed to the emergency.

5.1 Pre-arrival tasks and responsibilities

5.1.1 Pre-departure planning: Responsibilities of the receiving Country Office and Deploying Member for deployment of emergency staff

5.2 Accommodation

5.3 Cash and equipment needs

5.4 Arrival arrangements

Checklist

  • All staff, both national and international, must be covered by insurance. No staff may be deployed to an emergency zone without first confirming insurance cover.
  • In case of conflict, check if war risk insurance is required and arrange as necessary.
  • For international staff, advise the deploying member of any significant travel, relocation or crossing of borders. This is a requirement of many insurance providers.
  • Check which CO is covering insurance in the case of CARE USA TDY (temporary duty) assignments and make arrangements as necessary.

6.1 Insurance for national staff

6.2 Insurance for international staff

Checklist

  • Ensure all staff is issued with contracts and include a probationary period for all new staff.
  • Ensure that HR capacity is sufficient to meet demands for contract administration.
  • In new operational areas, ensure the employment agreement complies with local labour laws.
  • Closely monitor expiry dates of all staff contracts.

If the HR management capacity in a CO is insufficient to cope with an increase in HR administration requirements, the recruitment demands of an emergency can result in bottlenecks in issuing contracts. The CO must plan and staff HR accordingly to ensure that all staff are provided with contracts at the outset of their assignments, and avoid the situation where emergency teams work without contracts.

In general, employment agreements for all new employees should consider either an appropriate probationary period or a short-term contract for a first ‘appointment’ with CARE. Where applicable, and subject to respective local laws and customs, a probationary period must be documented clearly in the employment agreement. Alternatively, and again subject to local labour laws, a maximum one or two-month fixed-term contract should apply for first-time employees to CARE. This allows time to review performance before a longer-term contract is confirmed.

Expiry dates of contracts must be closely monitored and managed. In some countries, there can be significant liabilities under labour laws if staff works beyond the period of their contract. Where extensions are to be offered, HR should communicate confirmation of the extension as early as possible and issue contract extensions before the previous contract expires. Failing to undertake this has been a common hold-up for emergency HR administration, so COs should implement these actions.

7.1 Contracts for national staff

7.2 Contracts for international staff

Checklist

  • On arrival/commencement, ensure all staff complete the Entry interview form, complete any required administration forms (including a RED form) and are issued with identification cards, per diems, equipment, etc.
  • Use the orientation checklist to ensure all new staff receive orientation, including:
    • CARE’s values, structures and systems
    • CARE’s programme and emergency response
    • the Code of Conduct, and material for gender and diversity, prevention of sexual exploitation
    • safety and security briefing
    • orientation to the staff member’s role and job requirements.

Upon commencement or arrival to the CO, any new staff member must complete an entry interview with the CO Human Resources Manager. See Annex 21.32 Entry interview form. Any additional administration forms including a RED form should also be completed. Where applicable, staff should be issued with identification cards, per diems and equipment as soon as possible before deployment to the field.

8.1 Staff identification cards

2 Refer to Annex 21.36 Per diem and travel policy guidelines, which outlines a formula for calculating a travel and per diem rate for both international and national staff.

9.1 Per diem and travel policy guidelines for national staff

9.2 Per diem and travel policy guidelines for international staff

A personnel file must be set up for each staff member. This file should contain all correspondence and information relating to that employee, and include (but not limited to) the following:

  • signed copy of the employment contract (and copy of contract variations)
  • copy of the job description
  • employee requisition form
  • notes on completed reference checks
  • emergency data (RED) form (completed)
  • entry interview form (completed)
  • orientation checklist (completed)
  • signed code(s) of conduct
  • copy of identification card
  • performance evaluation forms upon completion.

Personnel files should be securely locked and handled only by the person designated by the Country Director (or delegate). No other person will have access to personal files, without the express authorisation of the Country Director (or delegate).

Close coordination between the HR department and finance units is very important to ensure that the:

  • Finance unit receives information about what budgets new staff costs are to be charged to and provides HR the coding information as soon as possible.
  • payroll unit receives all information required to ensure salary payments commence on time
  • finance unit is able to issue the appropriate per diems and travel advances to incoming staff.

Checklist

  • The safety and security of staff always takes precedence above all other factors.
  • Manage work hours effectively to avoid burn-out in the early stages of the emergency.
  • Put in place an R&R policy.
  • Ensure staff has access to psychological support services, particularly after any critical incident.

12.1 Safety and security

12.2 Managing work hours

12.3 Rest and relaxation (R&R)

12.4 R&R entitlements for national staff

12.5 R&R entitlements for international staff

12.6 Emergency personnel support programme

12.7 Critical incident/severe stress

12.8 Emergency support for disaster-affected families of staff

Checklist

  • Ensure managers understand their performance management responsibilities and take action to remedy poor performance.
  • All managers are to complete a performance evaluation form at the end of the assignment for all emergency staff, which should be placed on personnel files and sent to the Deploying Member for international staff.

13.1 Responsibilities of managers

13.2 Managing non-performance

13.3 Managing non-performance of national staff

13.4 Managing non-performance of international staff

13.5 Evaluation form

13.6 Evaluation form for national staff

13.7 Evaluation form for international staff

Checklist

  • Use the exit clearance form to ensure all departing staff completes all exit steps, including ensuring all equipment is returned, advances are acquitted, evaluations are completed, etc.
  • Ensure all departing staff complete an exit interview.

14.1 Exit clearance procedures

14.2 Exit interview

14.3 Exit questionnaire for national staff

14.4 Exit questionnaire for international staff

Checklist

  • Ensure all policies comply with local labour laws.
  • Put HR infrastructure in place to help move from set-up phase to ongoing programmes.
  • Establish a basic salary scale as quickly as possible.
  • Determine appropriate employee benefits appropriate to the local context and legal requirements.
  • Adapt a human resources policy manual (sample annexed) as soon as possible.

The guidelines in sections 15.1 to 15.5 refer exclusively to emergency response situations where there is no approved long-term presence and no established CARE CO. Such temporary presence could take place in countries where CARE has no presence whatsoever, or in countries where one or more Members has a ‘limited presence’.

15.1 Local labour law

15.2 From set-up and initial delivery to next phase

15.3 Human resources policies for national staff

15.4 Establishing a salary scale

15.5 Employee benefits

CHS (Core Humanitarian Standards) Alliance