International NGO Journal

  • Abbreviation: Int. NGOJ
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8225
  • DOI: 10.5897/INGOJ
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 264


The elephant in the room: Understanding recruitment pitfalls in NGOs

Dipankar Datta
  • Dipankar Datta
  • Country Director, Norwegian Church Aid, Somalia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 31 October 2023
  •  Accepted: 07 November 2023
  •  Published: 30 November 2023


This commentary can be considered as an appeal to the leaders of humanitarian aid and developmental organizations (commonly referred to as Non-Governmental Organizations or NGOs) to critically reflect on the existing recruitment process and take corrective measures to address a number of grave concerns. The paper argues that the recruitment process is now often power-centric, which not only provides limited space for transparency and accountability but also compromises candidates' respect in any given recruitment process. This power-centric approach may not necessarily enable the organization to select individuals with a genuine passion or to retain passionate employees even after they are hired. The paper encourages leaders and Human Resource professionals to engage in conversations by critically reflecting on a series of uncomfortable issues that are presented here, followed by the formalization of a code of conduct that establishes how organizations will treat candidates.


Key words: Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), recruitment, human resource (HR).