This November marks the 28th gathering of the United Nations annual climate change conference, also known as the ‘Conference of the Parties’ or ‘COP’ – bringing together world leaders, ministers, and negotiators to agree on how to address climate change, and how to implement the Paris Agreement devised at the 2015 gathering.
COP28 comes at a decisive moment for international climate change – and will take place across a two-week period (30 Nov – 12 Dec), hosted by the United Arab Emirates in Dubai where more than 80,000 delegates will descend.
The Right Partner for the Job
The event organisers reached out to the Robert Walters Middle East office back in June 2022 when they were seeking a recruitment partner for their external hiring – where in the region of 250+ professionals would be needed to help pull together an event of this magnitude.
The partnership initially started out with four roles across business support, marketing and events – with this growing out to mid and senior level specialist roles including the likes of communication, government relations, event management and corporate affairs.
Zara Qureshi – Principal Consultant at Robert Walters Dubai:
Given the unique nature of the event, a number of the roles were either completely new or had no direct comparison on the market – such as a Head of SIDS (Small Island Developing States) – which meant that we had to adopt a unique recruitment strategy in order to source the right talent.
Casting the Net Wide
It was clear from the off-set that such a high specialized skillset and type of experience required for the roles was going to be hard to come by.
Not only was knowledge and understanding of the specific role important, but COP28 required a specific mindset from its employees – one which was dedicated, motivated, and passionate about doing good, and that understood what working an 18 month project would undertake.
It was imperative that the search be set wider, removing geographical borders entirely, the team looked at ex-government, trade body, public sector, and UN workers, in addition to those with a sustainability background.
With the power of international recruitment firm Robert Walters, based across 31 countries, behind them - it wasn’t long before shortlists were being sent to the COP28 hiring team for consideration.
Building Meaningful Relationships
After six months on the project – and multiple shortlists of candidates – offers were very slow in the making. Robert Walters Principal Zara Qureshi set about building a closer rapport with the HR Manager for COP28, which overtime grew to become a two-way relationship with advice and guidance being provided from both sides of the party.
With a better understanding of the briefs, and which roles to specifically focus on, the new shortlists quickly went through to interview stages – with every single interview and hire being conducted remotely via virtual video calls.
Robert Walters have placed nearly a third of all hires for COP2 – totaling a value of 3.6 million AED.
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This November marks the 28th gathering of the United Nations annual climate change conference, also known as the ‘Conference of the Parties’ or ‘COP’ – bringing together world leaders, ministers, and negotiators to agree on how to address climate change, and how to implement the Paris Agreement deviRead More
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