4.4 Rapid recruitment process for national staff

Country Offices undertaking rapid recruitment of national staff for emergencies must adapt normal recruitment procedures so that they allow the most rapid process possible. The recommended process for rapid recruitment of national staff is outlined below.

Ensure good coordination and decision-making between HR and the emergency team

  • The Country Director (or delegate) is responsible for staff planning, identifying staff requirements and authorising recruitment activities.
  • The CO Human Resources Manager, in consultation with the line manager, is generally responsible for coordinating recruitment activities for national staff.

Annex 16.15      Recruitment checklist-national staff

Formulate job description descriptions for every position

  • Adapt job descriptions from existing samples to speed up the recruitment process.

Annex 16.16      Sample job descriptions-national staff

Secure authorisation for recruitment

  • Complete a recruitment authorisation form for the national staff member.
  • Ensure the position is approved by the Country Director or authorised delegate, line manager and CO Finance Manager.

Note: In emergencies, speed is a key factor of success. To achieve this, it can be necessary to decentralise recruitment and allow sub-offices to hire directly. This has to be done with clear guidelines sent to all sub-offices as quickly as possible. A ceiling grade, above which only HR at head office is allowed to interview and hire, has to be set. A memo describing the guidelines for decentralised recruitment needs to be endorsed by the Country Director (or delegate) and sent out immediately. Refer to Annex 16.17 Decentralised recruitment memo CARE Sri Lanka sample.

Issue and circulate a vacancies notice

  • Advertise vacancies as widely as possible to all local internal and external networks.
  • To speed up the processing of applications, contact only selected candidates for interview-this needs to be mentioned on the vacancy notice.
  • Due to the urgency of an emergency environment, a closing date might not be specified, and suitable curricula vitae (CVs) are forwarded to the CO until the position is filled.

Screen applications

  • Review CVs to confirm key requirements are met.
  • Due to the urgency of emergency positions, candidates can be contacted by phone to confirm their availability or otherwise to start work immediately should they be confirmed successful at interview.
  • See Annex 16.18 CARE Sri Lanka personal history and experience record, which was used by a CO in an emergency response to keep a record of applicants’ data.

Interview schedule

  • Coordinate interviews to assess the appropriateness of candidates-interviews can be face-to-face or via telephone.
  • In urgent cases, a candidate can be employed without an interview where the candidate is an ex/former CARE staff member, with the condition that the contract duration is for no more than one month in the first instance to determine their suitability.
  • Complete a record of the interview assessment and keep it on file.

Annex 16.19      Interview framework template

Complete reference checks/other employment checks

  • A minimum of one satisfactory reference must be obtained
  • Check any other requirements such as a drivers licence or driving test.
  • In urgent cases, a conditional offer can be made to a prospective candidate pending receipt of satisfactory references or medical checks.
  • A verbal reference is acceptable (that is, face-to-face, over the telephone).
  • Notes of the reference given verbally, or a written reference if provided, must be placed on the personnel file.
  • For some positions, a medical check may be necessary, and the staff member should obtain medical clearance before any offer of employment.
  • As an example, see the guidelines on reference checks issued by the CARE Sri Lanka CO.

Annex 16.20      CARE Sri Lanka-References of candidates
Annex 16.21      Reference checks guidelines
Annex 16.22      Reference request form

Issue a job offer and employment agreement to selected candidates

  • Notify the preferred candidate once the selection is made.
  • Staff has to be informed that they are hired only for the duration of the response-false hopes must be avoided at all costs. In this respect, special attention has to be given to what hiring managers say when recruitment is decentralised.
  • Ensure a probation period is included in the contract. If this is not possible, it is best to hire staff for a one-month contract first when they are recruited in an accelerated process. The contract can then be later renewed for the required if performance is satisfactory.
  • Provide feedback to any other candidates who were interviewed. Make sure the successful candidate has accepted before declining any other suitable candidates.
  • Ensure details of new staff and employment contracts are provided to finance and payroll departments for budget and salary administration.
  • Refer to section 8 to ensure all new staff receives appropriate induction and orientation.

Annex 16.23      Employment agreements/national staff-samples