The recruitment of local and national humanitarian staff into international organisations aligns with the sector’s commitment to better include and elevate local voices and perspectives in humanitarian response. However, such staff movements can also have unintended consequences for local organisations and for local and national capacity more broadly.
This paper explores recruitment in humanitarian organisations, and proposes that a fresh approach is needed to encourage the sector to adopt respectful recruitment practices. Respectful recruitment extends beyond ethical recruitment by acknowledging ethical and fair processes as a starting point, but also encourages humanitarians to develop a better understanding of how the sector can more holistically support local organisations facing challenges from the loss of staff. It seeks to open a wider conversation about respectful recruitment in order to explore how a combination of collective and context-specific solutions can enable the sector to make progress on these issues and better support local systems.