Field Recruitment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Questions about Action Against Hunger-USA’s Field Recruitment process
I cannot upload my CV. What should I do or whom should I contact?
All prospective candidates need to send Action Against Hunger a CV in order to be accepted into the recruitment process. Try using a simple Word.doc format. You can also try to minimize the length of your CV & remove any photos or other large graphic elements.
I can’t figure out how this job will be graded. How can I find this information?
The details of our remuneration package for international field staff are posted on our website. Most job titles indicate whether they are scaled as a Program Manager, Coordinator, Deputy Country Director or Country Director. Specialist positions are scaled on the same level as Program Managers, Experts are scaled on the same level as Coordinators.
I submitted my application several weeks ago but have not heard back from Action Against Hunger. When can I expect an answer?
Action Against Hunger receives hundreds of applications every month. Unfortunately, while we appreciate your interest in working with us, we cannot reply to each application individually. The recruitment team is continuously screening new applications. Candidates who we’d like to invite for an interview & to sit a technical test are usually contacted within 10 days of submitting their application.
Why can’t I apply for multiple jobs?
We ask all candidates to apply for the job that MOST interests them. When reviewing your application the recruitment team considers you not just for that position but for all other open vacancies, as well as other roles that may be opened at a future date. If we think that you may fit better with another position we will still contact you to discuss this option with you.
What languages do I need to be able to speak & write?
International field vacancies are usually posted in the working language of that mission. This means that you’ll be expected to be able to communicate well – both verbally & in writing – in that language. For Pakistan, Cambodia, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda & Nigeria the working language is English. In the Democratic Republic of Congo the working language is French. In the Democratic Republic of Congo all Coordinators, Deputy Country Directors & the Country Director are also required to be able to write well in English since some donors require their reports to be completed in English.
Being able to communicate easily in multiple languages is always an asset when working in the humanitarian sector. While English, French & Spanish are the most commonly used languages within international teams, Arabic, Urdu, Portuguese, & many other languages may also be helpful.
What language will be used in my interview?
Your interview will usually be conducted in what will be the working language of the position you’ve applied for – either English or French.
Why can’t I apply for an international position in my home country?
International field vacancies are only opened when operationally it has been determined that this will be the best outcome for our programs. It is not possible to hire local staff in their home country on a US contract. Accordingly, these positions are restricted to professionals from other countries.
Why do I need to enter my experience & qualifications in the application form when you can find this information on my CV?
We ask candidates to enter their professional experience & qualifications for several reasons:
(a) CVs are often structured & formatted very differently one from another & our application form helps the recruitment team to analyze & expedite the selection process
(b) If you are accepted into our candidate pool your cumulative work experience is used to calculate your salary in line with Action Against Hunger’s international salary structure.
What steps are involved in Action Against Hunger’s recruitment process?
Initial screening Candidate applications are screened against essential criteria for various vacancies, including the one for which you applied.
Technical test You may be requested to complete a technical test to evaluate your technical knowledge. Technical tests are timed & usually take 2 -3 hours.
Interviews You’ll be interviewed by the HR department & a technical advisor. If possible this will be a single interview which will take 1-2 hours. Depending on the position a second interview may be required with other members of the operational team.
Reference checks Your referees will be contacted to verify your employment, character, skills & previous experience.
Will I have to come to New York in-person for an interview?
Interviews are usually conducted on the phone or via Skype. If you happen to be based in New York we will certainly conduct an interview in person. Action Against Hunger does not pay for candidates to travel to New York for in-person interviews or help facilitate visas to the United States for this purpose.
Who will interview me?
All potential international field employees are interviewed by both a representative of the Human Resources team & a technical expert. If you have previously worked with one of our technical advisors then we will usually identify a second technical advisor to participate in the interview so that all candidates are evaluated equally objectively against the same selection criteria.
Why do I have to complete a technical test?
For many positions Action Against Hunger requires candidates to complete a technical test. This allows us to objectively evaluate your technical knowledge & how you will apply this in real field situations. It is not the only tool used to evaluate whether you will be suitable to work with us in the field but is one factor to help determine whether you have the fundamental skills, knowledge & experience to meet the professional requirements of our international field positions.
I don’t want my references to be contacted before I advise them that I have applied for a job with Action Against Hunger. Will you advise me before contacting my references?
Yes, if you have moved through the earlier steps in the recruitment process we will let you know before contacting your references so that you have time to alert them they should expect a phone call or email from our HR team.
How long does it take for Action Against Hunger to complete the recruitment process?
Usually a candidate’s recruitment process will be completed in 6-8 weeks, although it can be expedited to fill a more urgent vacancy, or take longer if you, or any of the people involved in the process are not immediately available.
Can I send my CV directly to a friend or someone I know who is currently working with Action Against Hunger – either in the field or in one of the HQs?
No. If you are interested in working with Action Against Hunger you need to apply for a specific vacancy on our website. This allows us to ensure that the same recruitment process is followed for all candidates. This is not only fair but ensures that we are able to make sure that we match the best candidates to available vacancies.
If you have been alerted to a vacancy by someone who is currently, or has previously, worked with Action Against Hunger then you may consider asking them to provide a reference for you & they will be contacted if you reach this step in the recruitment process.
Will Action Against Hunger ask me to verify my previous employment & qualifications?
All candidates will be asked to provide copies of their diplomas & other professional qualifications. Action Against Hunger reserves the right to ask for verification of the dates & scope of any previous employment you have cited on your application. Any information you provide to Action Against Hunger which is later determined to be falsified or cannot be substantiated may be grounds for cancelling your participation in a selection process, or cancelling a field assignment. You should therefore provide Action Against Hunger with only true & verifiable information, not only in your application but throughout the recruitment process.
I am currently working with Action Against Hunger as a member of a national team. I would like to apply for an international position - should I apply through the Action Against Hunger website?
All current national staff should contact their HR or Finance Coordinator to facilitate the process to be validated for international field positions. All past national staff can apply to one of Action Against Hunger’s HQs. Your past employment with Action Against Hunger will be reviewed during the recruitment process.
I have previously, unsuccessfully, applied to work with Action Against Hunger. I have since gained additional experience & skills. How can I update my CV & contact details?
Action Against Hunger keeps your application on file for 12 months. During this time you cannot re-apply for any position. If you believe you have gained sufficient experience during that period to meet the requirements of our international field positions you can reapply through the website. You will have to re-enter all your details.
Questions about working in the field with Action Against Hunger-USA
Can I bring my family with me on my assignment?
Action Against Hunger may be able to offer accompanied status benefits for certain senior field positions depending on where the position is based, the nature & length of the assignment, security conditions, the availability of different medical & educational services & other operational considerations. You can specify in your application your preference for accompanied or non-accompanied positions. If you are validated for field positions & are only able to accept accompanied positions it is important to remember that there are significantly fewer accompanied posts available than non-accompanied posts.
I have received an email telling me I accepted into Action Against Hunger’s pool. What does this mean?
Action Against Hunger recruits not just for open position but also for future vacancies. If you are accepted in the pool then this means you’ve been validated for international field vacancies but, for a variety of reasons, Action Against Hunger has not been able to offer you the post for which you applied. Once validated to work for Action Against Hunger the HR team will review your profile against current & upcoming vacancies in both Action Against Hunger missions, as well as in countries managed by Action Against Hunger France & Action Against Hunger Spain. If The HR team finds a suitable match between our operational needs & your profile then you will be contacted to discuss a specific assignment.
Please note: Action Against Hunger cannot predict how long it may take to find an appropriate assignment for anyone in the pool so do not resign from your current employment until you are formally offered & have accepted an assignment.
I am in the pool & am interested in a few other current vacancies. How do I let the HR team know I’d like to be considered for these?
When Action Against Hunger advises you that you’re validated for the pool you will be given the contact details of the HR Officer responsible for your technical pool. If you are interested in other vacancies please contact your HR Officer who will then follow this for you.
I am in the pool but have not been offered an assignment. When can I expect to be matched to a post?
If you are validated for an assignment every effort will be made to match you to a specific post. However, Action Against Hunger receives a large number of applications for available vacancies & it is not always possible to place everyone – either because your availability, skills & experience don’t exactly match current operational needs or because there are other, better qualified, candidates to be placed before you. As noted above, do not resign your current employment until you are formally offered & have accepted an assignment.
What pre-departure preparation will Action Against Hunger provide before I leave for my assignment?
Action Against Hunger provides assistance organizing your visa & flights ahead of your departure. (see below for further information related to visas & passports). You will also be sent numerous administrative documents to complete related to your salary & other benefits.
Close to your departure you will be asked to nominate 2 half-days when you can be available for briefings with the HQ team. Briefings are usually conducted over the phone or by Skype. Various technical advisors may also send you extensive background briefing materials.
International field employees working with Action Against Hunger for the first time, may also be asked to attend a 5 day induction training at our Training Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Costs for attending this training will be covered by Action Against Hunger.
What are the physical requirements for a field position?
In order to work with Action Against Hunger in the field, international employees must confirm that they are capable of enduring physically difficult, highly stressful situations which may include the necessity to walk long distances, carry a backpack or other equipment of up to 50 pounds, ride long distances over very poor road/water conditions, eat a limited diet and/or reside in potentially uncomfortable housing or tents. The physical demands described are representative of those that all field employees may encounter while performing essential functions of their jobs.
What are the medical requirements for a field position?
Prospective Action Against Hunger international employees are required to undergo a medical examination prior to an assignment being confirmed, in order to determine their physical & mental fitness for working in any of Action Against Hunger international programs.
No physical or mental condition, physical or mental disability will automatically preclude you from working with Action Against Hunger - unless your situation renders you incapable of performing the essential functions of the job, with or without a reasonable accommodation. However, you should be aware that many of our projects are in remote, high-risk locations, & if we are unable to place you in certain locations this will limit our ability to find you a suitable assignment.
What date will my contract start?
All employee assignments are for a fixed period. Your contract start date will ensure that your contract is inclusive of travel time at the beginning & end of the assignment, induction & other trainings, & briefings in any Action Against Hunger HQ (if required) or by phone/Skype.
How long will my contract be?
All employee assignments are for a fixed period which is determined when a vacancy is opened & then reconfirmed before an offer of employment is made. Most assignments are for 6 to 12 months, although assignments vary a lot due to the broad range of operational needs in the field.
Towards the end of your assignment (approx. 4-6 weeks), you will discuss with your supervisor your exact departure date since this date may influence the planned arrival of, & handover to, your replacement.
Will I be able to go home during my assignment?
You will usually be able to go home during your breaks (Rest & Recuperation – R&R), although whether this is practical will be determined by current operational plans & deadlines, the distance you have to travel, the cost & whether you have accrued additional paid vacation days to ensure that it is worthwhile to make the trip. Action Against Hunger will review the policies & procedures related to breaks & vacation when you are made an offer of employment.
Do I need a passport?
All international field employees are required to have a valid passport in order to work with Action Against Hunger. You will be responsible for ensuring you have a passport which will remain valid for at least 1 year from the time of your departure, or 3 months longer than your planned assignment. Your passport must also have a minimum of 6 blank pages to allow for visas you may need to get during your assignment (for trainings in other countries, international meetings, breaks & vacations).
How will I get a visa for my country of assignment?
Action Against Hunger will assist you with the visa process for your country of assignment. Usually you will be able to secure a visa in your home country. If alternative arrangements are required Action Against Hunger will work with other Action Against Hunger offices to help facilitate this as smoothly as possible. Action Against Hunger cannot predict how long it may take to secure a visa for your country of assignment but will work closely with you until your visa has been issued.
How will I find out about the security situation in my country of assignment?
Whenever Action Against Hunger posts a vacancy we also include information about the current security conditions in the base where that position will be working. This information will be supplemented with additional information during your recruitment process & during your briefings. You are encouraged to ask questions about all your security-related concerns before & during your assignment until these have been addressed.
Can I refuse an assignment if I am worried about the security situation in that country?
Whenever Action Against Hunger posts a vacancy we also include information about the current security conditions in the base where that position will be working. Please review these carefully before applying for a position as it is important that you are comfortable with what these will mean for you.
Action Against Hunger is deeply concerned with the security of all staff, irrespective of whether they are employed on a local or international contract. However, due to its mandate, & the nature of humanitarian operations, Action Against Hunger often works in volatile regions of the world. This means that, from time to time, AAction Against Hunger project teams may find themselves confronted by a range of security risks
During the recruitment, placement & briefing process, as well as during your assignment, you will be encouraged to ask questions about the security procedures & situation where you are working. Action Against Hunger will always respect your decision to refuse an assignment because you have serious concerns about your personal safety in your proposed country of assignment. Similarly, while working in the field, if at any time you no longer feel comfortable working in a specific location, you should discuss your concerns with the Country Director so we can help you make the most appropriate decision for you.
How does Action Against Hunger monitor the security situation in the countries where you work?
As noted above Action Against Hunger places the utmost importance on continuously analyzing, managing & communicating about the safety & security of its staff. The senior operations team updates each mission’s security procedures in response to changing security situations. Individual employees are responsible for following the security rules & communicating any concerns to their supervisor.
What kind of accommodation will I be provided with during my assignment?
Whenever Action Against Hunger posts a vacancy we also include information about the current living conditions in the base where that position will be working. Please review these carefully before applying for a position as it is important that you are comfortable with what these will mean for you.
The standard of accommodation does vary from one mission to another, & between project sites & capital locations. Action Against Hunger endeavors, wherever the context allows, to provide a basic level of comfort but living conditions in emergency projects may be very difficult.
How often will I be able to communicate with my family?
You will be able to communicate regularly with your family provided your base is one with reasonably consistent cell phone coverage & internet connectivity. Please note that you will be responsible for covering the cost of all international calls to your family.
Where will I find details of Action Against Hunger’s remuneration package for international field staff?
You can link to a detailed overview of Action Against Hunger’s remuneration package from the main careers’ page or from each individual vacancy. Please read this carefully before you apply for a position because Action Against Hunger field salaries are part of a harmonized international agreement & are not negotiable.
What is Action Against Hunger’s Rest & Recuperation (R&R) policy?
Due to the particularly difficult living conditions in most Action Against Hunger missions, employees are provided with regular rest & recuperation (R&R) breaks. Such breaks are periods which allow employees time to relax from the work & security demands of their assignments & are not regular holidays (vacations). R&R breaks are compulsory for all employees. The frequency of R&R breaks depends on the specific living & working conditions of each mission & base (considerations include the level of insecurity & stress, difficulty of living conditions, extremes of climate, etc). The standard benchmark for R&R breaks is 5 working days every 3 months.
Please note: The details of the terms & conditions of the R&R breaks applicable to your particular assignment will be discussed during your placement process & will be included in your offer of employment.
What is Action Against Hunger’s vacation policy for international field staff?
You will accrue 2.5 calendar days of paid vacation for every month you work in the field. You will be able to attach accrued vacation days to R&R breaks after you have worked at least 3 months of a minimum 6 month assignment but you won’t be able to take vacation days before they’re accrued.
Will Action Against Hunger pay for my family’s medical insurance?
If you accept a non-accompanied positon then Action Against Hunger will cover your medical insurance100% but you will need to pay any costs for your family. If you accept an accompanied position Action Against Hunger will pay medical insurance for you & your family.
How will Action Against Hunger support me developing my professional skills?
Action Against Hunger is committed to developing the skills & experience of all staff, at all levels of the organization. Learning & development opportunities are not restricted to in-person trainings. You will be encouraged to articulate where you would like to develop your career & to work with your supervisors & the HR team to identify appropriate L&D activities to help you reach your goal.
Action Against Hunger established the Training Center in Nairobi, Kenya in 2009 to help support our mission’s capacity-building activities. The Training Center team regularly conducts trainings in all missions & works closely with the HR team in New York to identify & address the learning needs of all staff.
Action Against Hunger is the world’s hunger specialist and leader in a global movement that aims to end life-threatening hunger for good within our lifetimes. For more than 40 years, the humanitarian and development organization has been on the front lines, treating and preventing hunger across nearly 50 countries. It served more than 21 million people in 2018 alone.