HHR Europe 2015 Day 1: Opening speakers on innovative resourcing

The Humanitarian HR Europe conference started today in Antwerp, Belgium with an engaging discussion on the conference theme Innovative resourcing: The talent challenge in a shifting humanitarian landscape.

Presentations from opening speakers on the theme are summarised below.

Willem van Eekelen, Independent consultant and People In Aid Chairman

Willem highlighted that: “Standard practice for X may be innovative for Y. We can also learn a lot from other sectors”.

Key themes for the sector are:

  1. Work force analytics and horizon scanning
  2. Internal talent development
  3. Talent mobility
  4. Social media
  5. Branding
  6. Inherent bias
  7. Institutionalised discrimination
  8. Participatory recruitment
  9. Recruitment process outsourcing
  10. External support utilisation

Willem's presentation slides are available here.

Ian Ridley, Senior Director, Humanitarian Operations, World Vision International

Ian’s recommendations for the sector moving forward are:

  • develop staff within the sector 
  • understand the changing role of internationals
  • important for HR to be flexible
  • understand the role of millenials

“The one thing I would say to HR practitioners is to take more risks and encourage your managers to take more risk both in recruitment and in promoting people,” said Ian.

Ian shared some useful links here.

Cathy Fitzgibbon, Head of International HR, British Red Cross

Cathy compared the response to the recent Ebola crisis to the response to the Rwanda crisis 20 years ago that led to the formation of People In Aid to address a perceived weakness in the sector’s people management. While some recommendations from the sector’s research on the Rwandan response, Room for Improvement, have been fulfilled, other issues remain today.

Positive sector changes include global tools and mechanism to coordinate responses, flexible surge, and better leadership development, staff development and staff care. Continued issues include separate workplans managed by people in different locations, brief job descriptions, and no time to conduct face-to-face interviews with the first batch of response staff.

Cathy’s presentation slides are available here.

Participants also shared their agency challenges, and personal goals and expectations for the conference. Day one closed with a kinesiology session followed by a drinks reception courtesy of global partner Cigna.

We will continue sharing updates from HHR Europe on our website at old.peopleinaid.org/hhreurope and across social media using the hashtag #HHREurope.

Date published: Wednesday 3 June 2015


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