International Organizations place their staff away from Hardship

Posted by Henrik Ryden on May 23, 2017
According to The U.N.'s refugee agency the number of displaced people is at its highest ever, surpassing even post-World War II numbers. In our yearly vacancy location study, we looked into where most jobs in International Organizations are located, and the result was neither what we hoped for nor expected.
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Impactpool is the world’s fastest growing career platform for talents focusing at a career at a mission driven organization. Our pool increases with 2000-5000 new members per week and we work with some of the world’s largest organizations supporting them to attract talents to the most challenging places on earth.
Impactpool started the year of 2017 to look back at the job opportunities posted in 2016. All in all we studied 17000 job announcements posted from 1 January to 31 December 2016. These jobs came from several hundred different organizations including the United Nations and larger International Organizations. These jobs are mainly internationally recruited positions (expat) and therefore the high volume of local staff are not included.
Our results are alarming! Most international jobs are still located in New York, Geneva, Washington, Nairobi and London not close to the beneficiaries! This could of course be explained by claiming that one cannot group the whole sector into one, not all organizations are focused at humanitarian work and the jobs in many developing countries are more effectively executed by nationals who better understands the local context. All this is true and correct, but on the other hand it is important to again discuss if it is financially defendable to have a great portion of the expat community operating out of cities with the highest living conditions in the world? 
We face the largest refugee crisis ever since the second world war and still most job advertisements are located in New York, Geneva, Washington D.C. and Nairobi, four headquarters locations containing a large proportion of 'field based' organizations, where three of them are located a safe distance from any hardship.
- This result is very surprising to me and I feel deeply sad. We are working closely supporting organizations that are operating where the need is the most, so this result is not the picture I had envisioned, says Magnus Bucht CEO at Impactpool.
Below is the top-10 locations in 2016:
  1. New York City (United States of America)
  2. Genève (Switzerland)
  3. Washington, D. C. (United States of America)
  4. Nairobi (Kenya)
  5. London (United Kingdom)
  6. Amman (Jordan)
  7. Paris (France)
  8. Juba (South-Sudan)
  9. Manila (Philippines)
  10. The Hague (the Netherlands)


It is several Headquarters locations in the top of the list, but more field locations would have made sense given the recent refugee crisis.

One explanation, but far from the whole true is that many organizations recently moved into roster recruitments instead of posting single jobs. In statistics like this, a roster counts as one position allthough several recruits from the same job. This may impact the results for some field locations that we had expected says Magnus Bucht.

But Magnus does not believe that roster is the whole truth. - No, it is certainly not the whole truth. However, I think many organizations would hope that roster is the answer, but unfortunetly most organization's rosters are inefficient. In many cases it is just a list of assessed talents sitting in an excel-sheet, that sheet gets obsolet quickly. Todays roster has low return-on-investment and the number of recruitments per roster is also fewer than the potential it has, as many talents assessed are already being picked up by other employers before the talent comes in question for a position part of the roster.


Impactpool has started to work with a few organizations to increase the efficiency of rosters and one thing we ensure is that the  applicants on the roster is available to take on assignments. Our pools are easy to manage and a key to success is to frequently engage with the talents in the pool to both prepare them and to ensure they are available when an opportunity arise.

Do you want to learn about our pool concept? Click here or on the button below.

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