• Greg Norton

HR Can Change Lives

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

Posted 3-6-18 at Linked #1 HR, Alt Title – HR Impacts Peoples’ Lives

Reposted SHRM group 4/18/18

Reposted at Retail Industry Professionals 500K members “Retail HR Can Impact People’s Lives” 7/26/18

Reposted at Pulse 8/28/18

At the tail end of the Clinton administration I made the switch from search and recruiting with advanced technology managerial and engineering candidates to working with a non-profit and welfare-to-work program participants. I needed some fresh air after eight years of filling positions with exacting and complex technical and managerial requirements.

The non-profit had set-up a system of getting the homeless off the streets and into partially subsidized housing, getting the addicted effective treatment, and getting those who had never worked before into soft skill classes. Once the program participants (all women) had graduated through all that, they were deemed “job ready,” and I assisted them into employment. In that role I contacted an HR Manager who had been advertising entry level positions.

The manager called me back, but during the call, my training as a recruiter kicked in, and I began to see my candidates loom up in my mind, as unqualified, inexperienced, unproven, and pretty far from the ideal candidates I had been used to previously presenting to talent acquisition teams. Then she said “Bring your best down tomorrow.”

She personally interviewed all seven candidates the next day. She hired everybody, including the most problematic. On the trip back to our site, some of those freshly hired women wept with joy. It represented their first job for most. I wish I could say the story ended happily ever after, but, of course, it didn’t. We lost one candidate at the drug testing site. Two sisters, who had been some of our highest achieving participants, got into a fist fight with each other within a week of starting their jobs.

In the long term follow up one of our participants stayed on and got a promotion, and another moved on to a promotion with another company. But to this day, I’m in awe of the Human Resources Manager who took the time to sort through them and gave them all a shot at a career. Greg Norton, Outplacement Consultant at Career Advancement Services. Always eager to link to others.


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