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Nov 1, 2021

We were delighted to welcome Simone Giles, Head of Human Resources, and Dagmar Droogsma, AVP, European Strategy & Engagement, at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Europe to the EMEA Recruitment podcast.

“We know the work we do is important; we know it changes lives, but – beneath that – it’s really crucial that people joining us have full access to the decision they’re making about whether we’re the right organisation for them.” 

Simone and Dagmar spoke to Jenny Callum, Associate Director in our Dutch Finance & Accountancy recruitment team, from London, where it wasn’t raining for once! They kick off the episode with a nod to the partner of the EMEA Recruitment podcast, Operation Smile, by revealing the last thing that made them both smile – they’re heart-warming answers.

Simone explains who EDF is, when it was established and the workplace culture that it borrows from its foundations in the USA. Dagmar joined EDF just six months ago, coming at a time of rapid growth across Europe, India and China. She loves how international the organisation is, as well as its focus on pragmatic solutions.

As EDF expands, Simone talks through the true cost of a wrong hire. Alongside the obvious financial losses, she looks at the unseen costs associated with a bad fit.

Unlike other non-governmental organisations (NGOs), all of EDF’s advocacy is based on “sound science and economics”, Dagmar explains. The organisation uses the evidence its teams gather to try to influence policy or run projects on the ground; they want to ensure that what they propose to governments is actually feasible. 

EDF’s mission is an obvious draw for potential candidates, but transparency is the “most effective way to secure and retain fantastic people”, Simone believes. EDF’s current hiring efforts in the Netherlands will focus initially on Compliance, Operations and Due Diligence roles. By starting the relationship with a prospective employee with a very open mindset, Simone feels that they’ll be engaged and excited by the work EDF does.

Dagmar explains EDF’s plans for growth and expansion over the coming 12 months, including projects focussed on hydrogen, agriculture and food. 

Before we wrap up the episode, Jenny asks Simone and Dagmar to reveal the one skill that they feel has contributed to their success – interestingly, they both feel that one skill in particular is essential. Listen to the end of the episode to find out what it is.

You can find out more about Environmental Defense Fund’s work on its website:

If you’re interested in job opportunities with EDF, please contact Jenny: 


To listen to a specific part of the episode, use the timestamps below:

02:19: Where Simone & Dagmar are in the world
02:36: The last thing that made them smile
03:48: EDF’s history and company culture
08:13: The true cosy of making the wrong hire
09:54: Why EDF is different to other NGOs
13:23: Where EDF’s support comes from
17:24: The most effective way to recruit fantastic people
19:41: EDF’s expansion plans for the next 12 months
22:14: The skill needed for success


We’re proud to support Operation Smile through the EMEA Recruitment podcast. Operation Smile is an international medical charity that provides life-changing surgery to children born with cleft lip and palate. Please help us reach our target of creating 100 new smiles by donating:

This episode is hosted by Jenny Callum and Rose Jinks

Find out more about our full range of recruitment services through our website:

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If you have any suggestions for future episodes of the podcast, please reach out to Rose: 


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