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Recruitment Intervention Strategies

Recruitment and Retention Toolkit   Recruitment Intervention Strategies   Strategies to Expand the Candidate Pool [ 2.2.2.h]

Strategies to Expand the Candidate Pool [ 2.2.2.h]

The ATTC Network provides a list of helpful strategies for recruiting “outside the box." It provides suggestions on finding ethnic and racial minority candidates, developing initiatives geared toward specific age groups (e.g., Gen “X” and over-50 employees), seeking out the unemployed, obtaining referrals to appropriate college hires, utilizing interns, developing re-entry programs for people who have left the field and wish to return, and other tips.

The article, Attract New People to the Field of Addictions, suggests recruitment concepts that could be applied to the addition field.
Other sources for recruitment are detailed below, these include:
  • State and local government Web sites;
  • Adult and dislocated worker programs;
  • College students and college graduates; and
  • “Overqualified” candidates and “underrated” sources of talented employees.
State and Local Government Web sites
States may offer recruitment resources on state-hosted Web sites that include a variety of job search or job posting resources and vacant job positions. Link to this map or chose from this list to be directed to a state’s recruitment resources. Recruiting at these sites target state and local candidates. In addition to these resources a review can be completed by searching within your State’s Web site using appropriate key words.
Dislocated Workers
The Adult and Dislocated Worker Program is designed to provide quality employment and training services to help employers find the skilled workers they need and to help eligible individuals find and qualify for meaningful employment. A dislocated worker is an individual who:
  • Has been terminated or laid off, or has received a notice of termination or layoff from employment
  • Is eligible for or has exhausted unemployment insurance
  • Has demonstrated an appropriate attachment to the workforce, but is not eligible for unemployment insurance and unlikely to return to a previous industry or occupation
  • Has been terminated or laid off or received notification of termination or layoff from employment as a result of a permanent closure or substantial layoff
  • Is employed at a facility, where the employer has made the general announcement that the facility will close within a 180 days
  • Was self-employed (including employment as a farmer, a rancher, or a fisherman) but is unemployed as a result of general economic conditions in the community or because of a natural disaster, or
  • Is a displaced homemaker who is no longer supported by another family member
The Department of Labor provides more information on the goals and services of this program.
College Students/Graduates
Young people out of college and graduate students represent a vast pool of talent available to work in the addictions field. The ATTC network offers Tips for Agencies Recruiting College Students/Graduates and recommends hiring students for short-term jobs, shadowing experiences over the holidays or part-time during the school year to provide an opportunity to get to know the employees as well as the job expectations. It is important to keep in mind that students have a different mindset than experienced workers. They are learning and acquiring knowledge, which makes them flexible, adaptable, curious, and productive. Susan Clancy Kennedy the founder of Career Trekking, a job coaching firm that specializes in helping college grads and young professionals identify and land the job that’s right for them, offers some insight in her blog, Attracting the Millennial Generation to your Organization.
Encore Careers - Retires Returning to Work
Life after retirement for some may mean an “encore career” to rediscover a former interest and many are opting for public service jobs or those that help society. is hosted by Civic Ventures, a nonprofit think tank on boomers, work and social purpose; the Web site is for people interested in encore careers – jobs that combine personal meaning, continued income and social impact. While is not a job placement service, it provides free, comprehensive information that helps people transition to jobs in the nonprofit world and the public sector.
“Overqualified” Candidates and “Underrated” Sources of Talented Employees
Research now indicates that it is a myth that overqualified job applicants are easily bored or prone to quit. These intelligent workers actually benefit organizations. Research suggests that such candidates could be expected to stay longer and perform better than an applicant who seems to be a better fit.
BNET recommends looking at several underrated sources of employees, including single mothers, veterans, fast food workers, farm kids, and “career switchers.” Although geared to the corporate world, the slide presentation 10 Creative Strategies to Hire Great People has ideas that can be modified for the behavioral health world and links to other information of interest.  

Consider rehiring boomerang employees (those employees who used to work at the organization and now may be interested in returning). Read some reasons these alumni should be considered for employment again.
The workforce pipeline from Health Workforce Information Center includes resources to help entry into and retention in the workforce, such as interviewing, hiring, obtaining needed certifications, and work assignments.
Working Well Together (WWT)” is a workplace Web site funded by California’s Mental Health Services Act and the California Department of Mental Health. Its primary goal is to ensure that public mental health agencies are prepared to recruit, hire, train, support and retain multicultural clients, family members and parents/caregivers as employees.
Resources for recruitment of different generations:

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