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Job opportunities at the ICRC: how to apply


The ICRC's human resources policy and other useful information for potential staff

How to apply for job opportunities

Online applications 

Please apply for only one advertised post - the one for which you feel best qualified (see also skills always in demand and vacancies ).

We will only consider one application.

Once you have submitted your CV (using our Personal History Form) you will receive an acknowledgement by e-mail. This will come from the address No-reply . If you use an anti-spam filter, please configure it to allow mail from No-reply, otherwise you may not receive an acknowledgement.

To start the online application process, please register online for a personal account, making sure you fill in all the fields marked as obligatory.

 See also the ICRC's website privacy policy 


In case you encounter technical difficulties, please check the following:

1. Difficulties upon connecting to your account

  • If you have not used your account for more than a year, it has been automatically deleted: you should  create a new account.
  • Make sure the "Caps Lock" key is disabled.
  • The field for your user name is limited to 30 characters. If your user name was longer, please delete the exceeding number of characters from the end.
  • Delete cookies via the "tools" menu of your internet browser.
  • Don't use special signs (+ " * % & / ( ) = ? ! - etc) in your email address or password.

2. Difficulties of sending your application

  • Make sure you click the "send" button (under "your selection") at the very end of the registration process.
  • The following message appears: " You cannot postulate if you have not filled all the mandatory fields in the CV form. Please fill in the CV form by clicking on Your CV hypertext link". - Please check the following fields of your CV: "Children", "Courses", "Red Cross Experience" and click on the "save" button on every page, even in case if your choice is "no".
  • The following message appears: "You have no demand in wait of validation". Log out and disconnect from the website. Delete cookies via the "tools" menu of your internet browser.
  • The following message appears: "You have already applied for this job". Our server does not accept a second application for the same post. Please choose any other post and specify under the "Letter of Application" section the post you wish to apply for.
  • Don't use special signs to fill in your CV.

Application process: step by step

 Applications for advertised vacancies and skills always in demand  

  • Once you have completed your application, you will receive an e-mail confirming the creation of your personal account for future visits. This mail will come from the address jobs.gva . If you use a spam filter, please configure it to allow messages from jobs.gva, otherwise you may not receive an acknowledgement.

  • If your application meets the ICRC's basic selection criteria, we will tell you about the next steps in the recruitment process.

  • If your application does not meet our basic selection criteria we will inform you, but we will not give further details.

 Because we receive so many applications, we can only enter into oral discussions with candidates whose applications have reached the interview stage.  


 Interviews for specialists  

If we select your application we will invite you to ICRC headquarters in Geneva for a day of interviews. You will have one-on-one interviews with two or three members of ICRC staff from different units. The interviews will enable us to add to the information contained in your application and to assess your motivation for humanitarian work. They last 60 to 90 minutes each.

You will also take written and oral language tests in English, French and any other language mentioned in your application.

We will let you know the results of your application no later than two weeks after your interviews.

If you are successful, you will receive an offer of employment.

 Interviews, tests and assessment days for delegates and administrators  

If we have selected your application, we will invite you to ICRC headquarters in Geneva for an in-depth interview with a recruitment officer, who will assess your motivation and your professional and personal experience.

You will also take written and oral language tests in English, French and any other language mentioned in your application.

If you are successful at the initial interview stage, we will invite you to attend an assessment day in Geneva at a later date.

The assessment day enables us to decide whether you have the necessary skills for ICRC field work, such as motivation, leadership, stress management, decision-making, communication, team work and the capacity to conceptualize. This is not a competition between candidates: our board of observers assesses each candidate individually.

We will let you know the results of your application no later than two weeks after your assessment day.

Engagement procedure

Once the ICRC has approved your application to work in the field, we will offer you a contract.

 The contract  

  • We may offer either of two kinds of contract:

    • Fixed-term: usually offered to technical specialists and health professionals who cannot stay abroad for long
    • Open-ended: usually offered to delegates, administrators, secretaries, IT specialists, etc.
  • A three-month trial period starts on the first day of the contract.

  • Salary, social benefits and a number of technical matters are dealt with during the recruitment interviews.
  • Every staff member must accept and sign the "rules to observe", which form part of the contract    

Rules to be observed by individuals who work for the ICRC


 Preparing to leave on mission  

When you start preparing for the field will depend on the date from wh ich you have told the ICRC that you will be available. That date is usually the same as the contract starting date. Preparations for departure include settling your private affairs and obtaining vaccinations. Visa formalities are dealt with by the ICRC.

 Introductory training course  

  • All new staff members hired for a mission lasting more than six months attend an introductory training course known as " Integration " . The course lasts three weeks and usually takes place before you leave on your first mission, at the ICRC's Training Centre in Ecogia, near Geneva.

  • Depending on the circumstances, you may take the introductory course during your first mission, at an ICRC Regional Training Unit.


 Leaving on mission  

  • During the period leading up to your departure for the field, you will receive specific information on the country to which you have been assigned. You will also be told about your tasks, although these may change later if the situation so requires.

  • The length of a mission varies with the country, the conflict and the ICRC operation. Generally speaking, a mission lasts one year. ICRC managers stay in the same post for longer, to ensure continuity of operations.

  • You can not choose your assignment. Your place of assignment will depend on events and on operational requirements. For as long as you remain under contract, the ICRC reserves the right to change your place of assignment as required (this is a clause in the co ntract).

  • A few days before leaving on mission, you will have a day of briefings at ICRC headquarters in Geneva.

Cooperation with the ICRC's National Society Partners

Almost 20% of the ICRC's expatriate field staff are seconded by a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society.

Depending on the arrangements that exist between the ICRC and the National Society of your home country or country of residence, your application may involve concertation with that Red Cross or Red Crescent Society. If this applies to you, you will be informed of the steps to take.

The ICRC experience: a big plus

The following article appeared in the magazine Success and Career and is reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher.

Undeniable personal qualities ...

Working for the ICRC in the field is a terrific way to learn fast about life, human behaviour and what is rational and irrational in our world. ICRC delegates learn to listen, to talk, to agree to compromises while working steadily towards their goals, to anticipate problems, to set priorities, to be practical and effective, to take decisions quickly, to bear up under stress, to see things in perspective. They are very independent, and must be able to take the initiative, to work as a team, to demonstrate tenacity and perseverance. (...)

... coupled with solid professional skills

The ICRC's delegates are recruited at the end of a rigorous procedure because they have a solid and adaptable personality, but they all have previous training in another field. Once at the ICRC, they develop other skills:

  • project management, from concept to implementation;

  • financial management, including the management of funds and spending, bringing strategy in line with the means available, and the establishment of operating / management reports;

  • supervision of multicultural staff, whether as direct or functional subordinates, from a distance or on the spot, including the management of salaries, contracts, insur ance, setting objectives and arranging for training;

  • verbal and written communication, in that they present the organization, its objectives and its operations to a variety of target groups, and draft reports;

  • strategic analysis, in order to understand the balance of power in a situation, to assess it and to turn it to good account;

  • logistics, the management of stock, transport and buildings, and the procurement and sale of goods;

  • network management, in computer terms, to circulate information or collect data, and in relational terms, to forge ties, organize operations and obtain guarantees;

  • interpersonal skills, such as the ability to negotiate with people at all levels and in difficult contexts in order to obtain a result and the ability to work as a team member towards achieving a shared objective;

  • openness to the international world, by developing the capacity to integrate into widely varying cultural and socio-professional settings;

  • language skills, sometimes in rare languages. (...)