Plan for sustainability

How do you institutionalize programs and get the whole team on board?

1. Invest time in research and planning

Onboarding begins in the design stage. If you engage stakeholders in the beginning and understand their priorities, it becomes easier to link local hiring goals with managers’ specific goals.

2. Focus first on high-turnover or in-demand positions

A local hire effort creates an opportunity for continuous improvement around hiring policies.

A local hire effort creates an opportunity for continuous improvement around hiring policies. It creates a proactive strategy to address key institutional needs that may be overlooked in the current way of doing business and helps aligns current investments in workforce development that may not have intentional goals for broad-based impact. One example of an institution aligning investments in workforce development can be found in Kaiser Permanente’s (KP) effort to increase hiring from West Baltimore, Maryland. KP has long provided scholarships to local youth to attend community college programs in radiology or pharmacy tech. However, students would graduate without enough service hours to qualify for a position at KP. Now the institution is working to ensure that students receiving scholarships also have opportunities to do their service hours at KP facilities.1Maritha Gay, interview by David Zuckerman and Katie Parker, April 21, 2016, transcript.

3. Set public goals

Public goals are not only a tool to publicize efforts and generate interest in the program, but to hold the institution accountable to the effort.

Public goals are not only a tool to publicize efforts and generate interest in the program, but to hold the institution accountable to the effort. Institutions such as Johns Hopkins University and Health System in Baltimore, Maryland, Advocate Health System in Illinois, and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, recently launched local hire initiatives where they publicized the percentage of hires that would be local or the number of jobs that would be set aside for community members. Public goals are an important way for leadership to demonstrate that the initiative is a priority.

4. Track and report on what matters

Even after just one year, local hiring and career pathway programs can make a tremendous positive effect. But high quality data needs to be consistently tracked in order to tell this story. By investing time into establishing your workforce baseline and setting up data infrastructure systems, it will be easier to report back to stakeholders on the success of initiatives.

5. Educate all staff

Although it’s easy to think of hiring as just human resources, in reality, the success of a local hiring and career pathway effort crosses all departments: administrative staff may need to shift payroll practices; department managers may need to change release time policy; supply chain relationships may help to bring large vendors to the table for local hire efforts. Dedicating resources to training all staff on the effort can significantly increase the initiative’s long-term impact. Best practices include doing presentations at monthly departmental staff meetings, or requiring that mandatory professional development training hours be dedicated to the effort.

6. Ask for feedback

Creating mechanisms to solicit qualitative feedback will help you gather evidence on the various ways in which these initiatives matter.

It is important to ensure that there are processes for all stakeholders—job applicants, new employees, managers, intermediaries—to provide feedback. This is not only essential in insuring that the program is effective, but it will also help generate narratives about the program’s achievements. Often it is the individual stories that are the most compelling. Creating mechanisms to solicit qualitative feedback will help you gather evidence on the various ways in which these initiatives matter.

 

Measure your workforce baseline

Key ways to assess your current workforce and existing commitments

Survey your workforce policies and practices

Which policies and processes are working? Which are barriers to success?

Map your community's assets

You know your community needs jobs—but do you know the strengths it can offer?

Identify your partners

A workforce pipeline doesn't have to be built alone—who will be on your team?

Design around data and metrics

What are you going to measure to assess success, and how are you going to measure it?

References   [ + ]

1. Maritha Gay, interview by David Zuckerman and Katie Parker, April 21, 2016, transcript.