Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nothing Else Works? Throw a Position at It!

On Monday night the school board will vote whether or not to hire a new "Human Relations and Recruitment Specialist at a salary of $55,000 per year (plus about $25,000 in benefits).  The goal of this position is to:
" to identify minority candidates through outreach efforts within the community and the broader employment market, and then work with Principals and the candidates to increase the diversity in our applicant pools.  This individual with also work with our current minority employees to establish support groups to provide ongoing connections with the larger school community designed to increase employee retention."

Since August of 2007, the school district has engaged in a plan to increase minority recruitment (and retention).  Despite action taken to date, it has been related by HR Director Annette Mikula, that the sum total of efforts yielded 1 minority hire out of 40 new hires this past year.

What has never been shared with the public....and one can likely surmise how many minority hires have "left the building" for one reason or another in recent years.  Is too tall an order for even the legendary little Dutch boy?

While we fully support the goal of a more diverse workforce to better reflect the diversity of our community and school district, we have some concern that we're just throwing a position at a problem.  Our question is a simple one:
 "How can ONE individual-- in a school district of about 1,000 employees and 7,000 students-- repair what 3 years of efforts could not?"

It seems that we need to repair the intra-district culture before we continue with any plan.  As Yoda might opine, one person cannot a culture change.  What's the plan if this doesn't work out?  Is there an exit strategy?