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Diversity Recruitment – Is your organization walking the talk?

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So… it’s 2021 and you’ve spent the majority of 2020 working from home. Keeping your normal business activities going is challenging enough under the circumstances. How do you juggle your organization’s new commitment to diversity and anti-racism?  

 

…you’ve spent many budgeted dollars and resources updating job descriptions, releasing statements addressing societal inequities, and updating your website to include your Diversity and Inclusion plan of action… but what now?

 

… Aha! I know – reach out to a staffing firm you trust  and tell them that all your current opportunities need to be filled by diverse candidates – more specifically BIPOC candidates. 

 

Ahhhhhhhh WRONG!   

 

Let me tell you why.   

 

I’ve had the privilege of recruiting for the nonprofit sector since 2005. And while I like to pretend everything has been ice cream cones and green lights in terms of fair hiring practices, that simply isn’t true.

 

I’ve witnessed a large disconnect between words and actions in regards to diversity recruitment, right within the sector I have serviced for so many years. 

 

If you’re asking me to find you a diverse candidate to be the admin assistant (the lowest paying job at your organization) but your board is made up entirely of white men, then you have to wonder if you really want your nonprofit to be part of the solution, or if you’re simply checking the “diversity” box.

 

In order to commit to changing the systemic internal bias that sits deep within the organizational chart of your nonprofit you have to start thinking in terms of changing your company culture, getting a pipeline of qualified diverse candidates to fill your upper-level positions, taking steps to retain those candidates and making them feel welcome and valued for their diverse perspectives and ideas.

 

Creating that long-lasting change requires more than telling a recruiter like me to hire BIPOC candidates for you. I am an expert in recruitment, not an expert in diversity and inclusion… and so, ding ding ding… that is a great place to start.  Invest in hiring a Diversity and Inclusion trainer or consultant. Someone to help your nonprofit create long lasting procedures not just for the staff, but most importantly the CSuite and the board. While this won’t happen overnight, it is a step in the right direction. 

 

Don’t be discouraged! There are important adjustments an organization can take with immediate impact:

 

Happy Recruiting!

Katie   

 

Disclaimer: This blog post was written specifically out of my knowledge of the nonprofit sector and charter school recruitment space in NYC and the Metropolitan area.

Tech-Skills, A Pandemic Necessity

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COVID-19 threw a curve ball in 2020, but these effects will reverberate beyond 2020 and 2021. Now is the time for organizations to reflect on and embrace change informed by 2020s’ experiences.

The need for employees with technology skills grew out of a need to connect with donors, members, students, and patrons during a time with stay-at-home orders. Technology prowess is not typically a term you would use to describe the non-profit sector, but organizations successfully pivoted.

Carrying these technological lessons and values into 2021 and beyond will make organizations stronger and more resilient. Certain non-profit specialties serve to benefit more.

Human Resources

Supporting staff during a pandemic relies on all their training in employee management, empathy, and technological expertise. Setting up servers for remote file access, leading virtual interviews, and engaging remote staff are three trends have been met with positivity. Continuing these trends or creating a hybrid for the future will improve company culture.

Educators

Remote or hybrid-model teaching varies from school to school and changes day to day. Educators are the most flexible group of professionals served by Staffing Boutique, Inc. New and unfamiliar technology, such as virtual whiteboards and video chat, requires teachers of all calibers to rethink their teaching methods and curriculum. The lack of hands-on assignments challenges creativity of both educators, administrators and students. Continuous training on these new tools and methods will help educators be successful in the future.

Fundraising and Event Staff

According to the CCS Philanthropic Climate Survey, Edition IV COVID-19’s effect on fundraising was mixed. However, the same report found a clear answer regarding donor communication. 61% of surveyed non-profits held online fundraising events versus only 31% in June 2020, and even less before that. Hiring staff that exhibit technological skills will aid the creation of a successful and concise virtual program.

Are you Office Ready?

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First, congrats on getting hired.

There is nothing more exciting then receiving a communication from a candidate who has turned the corner to become an employee. After spending months searching, interviewing and preparing, this is the moment we wait for but our job is not done. Our next hurdle is to make sure the candidate stays employed.

Let’s explore what your first 30 days will look like and get you office ready. An employment offer is always contingent on the new hire completing a probation period that typically lasts 90 days or 3 months. Essentially, the leadership wants to be sure you fit within their culture, you can handle their work flow and pacing and you get along with the natives. No company will compromise the harmony within their existing team for one lone talent.

The first 30 days on the job set the stage for your future with the company. Follow these 10 tips to make your first 30 days a positive experience for all.

  1. Learn, Learn, and then Learn some more – Research, read, observe and take in as much as you can about your new employer. Ask if they have white papers or reports you can read to familiarize yourself with their product line and to gain knowledge about their existing customer base and new markets they may be exploring. Make yourself the resident expert.
  2. Ask Meaningful Questions –
  3. Dress to Impress – Adhere to the dress code but always stay sharp. Be sure that your attire is pressed, clean, keep the stains at bay and shoes pristine. Always be impeccably groomed and well put together. Add elements of your personal style as an accent. Stay neutral in the beginning until you get a sense of what is acceptable and unacceptable.
  4. Be Enthusiastic and Open-Minded – Stay upbeat with the right level of enthusiasm throughout the day. Everyone knows your new, so be open-minded about this new adventure. This is an opportunity to create an entirely new you and shed any negative work experiences from your mind. Positive vibes makes you more approachable and will help others to feel more comfortable to share with you.
  5. Learn the Rules of Engagement – Take the time to observe and learn how work flow happens across departments, within your team and up the chain of command. Familiarize yourself with the preferred communication style, tools or management platform. Is your office digital forward, a hybrid blend between the old and the new, etc.
  6. Identify and Befriend Silent Influencers – In every office there are silent influencers. These are the captains of the water cooler, the seasoned team member whose personality and weight of experience knows how to play the chess game. He/ she plays it well too. Find out who this is, be kind to them and take time to learn from him/ her so you steer clear of any messy office politics.
  7. Search for Quick Wins – When possible, seek out ways to score a quick win. Maybe flag an error in a report or close on a low-hanging opportunities. These do not have to be anything grand. It just needs to show your direct report that he/she made the right choice coming out of the gate.
  8. Set Realistic Expectations – This is not the time to raise your hand and volunteer for every new project. Sit down with your direct report and set realistic, clear expectations factoring in your learning curve. Often new hires over extend themselves and then quickly become overwhelmed. An employer knows productivity will increase with time. Take the time they are allowing you to get up to speed. Identify the rising stars of the company and then work to mirror their pacing.
  9. Arrive Early/ Leave Late – We’ve all heard the adage being on time is being late. This is not time to test that theory. Anything can happen from your front door to the office door. Give yourself ample lead time factoring in any unknown variables. It’s better to be 15 minutes early than 10 mins late to a glare of faces looking up at you with a mild annoyance. Do not watch the clock, keep your head down and do your work. When the day ends, let your colleagues leave as you take 10 minutes to prepare your desk for the next day. You’ll find the time goes by faster and your direct report will notice your diligence. Remember, you’re on probation – someone is always watching. 
  10. Keep it Professional – It’s too early in the game for you to be grabbing a drink with your colleagues. Do not mix business and pleasure. Remember, these are your work colleagues and you do not know everyone’s intention. Maybe you beat out Joe’s nephew for the job or Jennifer had applied internally and is angry she wasn’t given the promotion. Be friendly but don’t let your guard down. Friendships will naturally form overtime but in these early times keep it professional at all times.

Make your first 30 days the best ever. We know you will knock it out of the park. Be yourself and enjoy this next phase of your career.