Key Actions by:

Standard 9: Proactive recruitment and onboarding for timely start-up.

Staff the project in time with the right people using recruitment and orientation best practices.

Provide new project staff with comprehensive onboarding.

  • Why

    Investing in staff onboarding is a key part of good human resource management that contributes to strong project management. CRS offers general onboarding that welcomes staff to the agency and their CRS office location. Project staff receive additional onboarding that is specific to their job family and project position. Comprehensive onboarding for project staff:

    • Helps ensure that project staff know what their project-specific roles and duties are and how to perform them.
    • Helps project staff understand how their project, and their role in that project, fits within the organization.
    • Equips project staff as early as possible to begin making a contribution, so as to make full use of project implementation time.
    • Helps new hires to feel more fully a part of CRS and their project.
  • Who

    • Primary responsible: Supervisor
      • The supervisor guides job-family/position-specific onboarding, building on general staff onboarding provided by human resources (HR) staff.

    • Others involved: Project manager/chief of party (PM/CoP) and other key staff identified by supervisor
      • The PM/CoP and other key staff provide position and project-specific information for project staff onboarding.

  • When
    • Within first six months (for all project staff); ideally faster for existing CRS staff
    • Emergencies: Reduce the onboarding timeframe to a few days or one week maximum
  • Partnership
    • Accompany partners as needed in planning new staff onboarding.
    • Partner staff are often the ones who collect data from project participants. To ensure data security and confidentiality and support partner capacity building in the area of responsible data, CRS should accompany partner leadership to orient new project staff to CRS' Responsible Data Values and Principles. This orientation should address:
      • how project data will be collected and used
      • how to properly handle data
      • how project participants will be informed about why CRS and partners may be collecting personally identifiable information (PII)
      • how participant consent for collection of PII will be requested and documented
      • other good data handling practices covered on the Responsible Data site on MyCRS
    • To foster mutual understanding during project implementation, it may also be helpful for new partner staff to take the six online Partnership and Capacity Strengthening Basics courses which are also available to partners on the Institute for Capacity Strengthening site.
  • When CRS is a sub-recipient
    • Follow the same process whether CRS is the prime or a sub-recipient.
    • In addition to onboarding staff to the overall donor compliance requirements, be sure to onboard staff to any specific issues related to working with the prime.
  • Emergency projects
    • Customize the onboarding process and decrease onboarding timeframe to a few days or 1 week maximum.
    • Managing the expectations of staff hired specifically for an emergency project is very important for effective project human resource management, especially during project close-out. While HR will review contract issues as part of general onboarding, the supervisor may also wish to discuss with the new staff member his or her understanding of the length and terms of the employment contract, to ensure a shared understanding.
    • Maximize use of the project start-up workshop to orient multiple staff simultaneously to project design assumptions, technical approaches, and donor requirements and expectations.
    • As appropriate, use the Emergency Field Operations Manual "shotgun” rapid orientation and onboarding for groups, which can be completed in 2-3 hours.
    • Ensure the process covers security-related policies and issues, including the mandatory Safe and Sound e-learning module.
    • Review emergency benefits such as R&R, danger pay, etc.