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Focused Outreach Program Report August 2014

Focused Outreach Efforts – CITY OF PORTLAND

By the Bureau of Human Resources’

Diversity, Outreach & Employment Resources program (DOER)

 Definition of Focused Outreach:  To reach out to people who because of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, language, sexual orientation, gender expression, or disabilities, may not envision themselves as viable applicants for City employment, or because of historical conditions and/or cultural differences and/or differences in communication styles, may not know of opportunities and/or processes related to becoming a City employee.

Goal of Focused Outreach:  To connect with diverse communities to encourage people to apply for City positions in order to create a pool of diverse and viable applicants for City positions.

Scope of Focused Outreach:  Individuals; Community Organizations, Businesses, Workforce Organizations, Schools; Bureau Recruitments; and Recruitment Informational Sessions.

Individuals:  Diverse candidate outreach contact occurs through career fairs, educational institutions, referrals, community organizations, workforce organizations, City employee’s referrals, community networking, and City informational sessions.

Description: ** Work one-on-one with diverse candidates interested in pursuing City employment opportunities.  This process consists of:

  • Initial meeting between candidate and the Focused Outreach Recruiter to:
    • Talk about the City as an employer
    • Review City jobs categories
    • Review candidate’s resume
    • Explain NeoGov application process
    • Explain application process and Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA’s)
  • Review candidate’s application, resume, and cover letter; provide feedback:
    • How to appropriately respond to KSA’s
    • Cover letter/resume responses to KSA’s
    • How transferable skills address the KSA’s
  • Prepare candidates for potential bureau hiring interviews:
    • Advise how the City conducts panel interviews
    • Advise that the City may conduct speed interviews
    • Define speed interview
    • Advise candidates to review hiring bureau’s website for additional information on bureau’s culture, mission statement, initiatives, etc.
    • Work on verbal/nonverbal communication during interviews
    • Conduct mock interview with candidate
  •  Provide feedback from interview panels to candidates regarding their interviews and advise on areas  improvement:
    • Appropriate and thorough answers to question
      • Clear responses to questions
  • Check recruitment eligible lists to determine if a candidate made the list:
    • If candidate placed on eligible list, call bureau hiring manager and identify that candidate as a diverse candidate
    • Follow up with manager to determine whether candidate received interview
    • If hiring manager unfamiliar with Focused Outreach Program, explain and define
  • Communicate with the candidate throughout the recruitment and selection process
  • Provide networking advice
    • Connect candidates with City managers and employees for informational interviews
    • Refer candidates to bureau  managers for job shadowing opportunities
  • Work with candidates who are current temporary City employees on securing permanent City employment
  • Explore promotional City career opportunities with candidates who are current permanent City employees
  • Act as a “sounding board” for candidates’ concerns regarding their experiences of the City’s process
  • Maintain resume data bank of diverse candidates to send to bureau managers who may be hiring for temporary positions
    • Work with candidates who may be interested in temporary employment to prepare for bureau interviews
    • Advocate for candidates

The Focused Outreach Program is labor intensive.  Hours of face-to-face and phone communication take place between the Focused Outreach Recruiter and the candidate.  Hours are invested in reviewing resumes and cover letters and advising on changes or improvements.  Hours are invested in preparing candidates for interviews.

**The vast majority of candidates the Focused Outreach Recruiter connects and works with utilize the entire focused outreach process.  A few candidates do not feel they need guidance or assistance in all areas such as interviewing skills; some choose not to pursue City employment; some make initial contact then fail to respond to the Recruiter’s calls and emails; and with others, months or years may pass after initial contact before candidates return to seek employment and resume working with the Focused Outreach Recruiter.

Community Organizations, Workforce Organizations, and Schools

Network with and speak to community, workforce development organizations, and schools regarding the City as an employer.

  • African American Chamber
  • Urban League
  • Urban League of Young Professionals
  • Coalition of Black Men
  • SEI (Self-Enhancement, Inc.)
  • IRCO (Immigrant Refugee Community Organization)
  • IRCO Africa House
  • IRCO Asian Family Center
  • Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
  • Latino Network
  • Native American Youth Association (NAYA)
  • The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
  • Grand Ronde Tribes - Vocational & Rehabilitation Services
  • The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
  • Oregon Native American Chamber
  • Oregon Trades Women
  • Constructing Hope
  • Dress for Success
  • Central City Concern
  • US Dept. of Veterans Affairs
  • National Association for Black Veterans
  • Northwest Indian Veterans Association - Portland/Vancouver Chapter
  • WorkSource Portland Metro-Veterans Division
  • Easter Seals Oregon
  • Incight
  • PHC Northwest
  • Easter Seals - Latino Connection Program
  • Partners in Diversity
  • Environmental Professionals of Color
  • TRIO - Portland State University
  • Portland State University
  • University of Oregon
  • Warner Pacific College
  • Concordia University
  • Portland Community College
  • Jefferson High School
  • Rosemary Anderson High School
  • Margaret Carter Skills Center
  • WorkSource Portland Metro - Central
  • WorkSource Portland Metro - East
  • SE Works
  • SE Works - Goodwill Job Connection
  • Portland Metropolitan Workforce Training Center
  • WorkSystems
  • Cascade Aids Project
  • Conduct City Applications Training Workshops (NeoGov, resume/cover letter, work skills and interviewing tips)
  • Field phone calls and emails from community organizations regarding employment opportunities for their members
  • Attend/Staff career fairs to conduct focused outreach
  • Network at trade schools, high schools, universities, and alternative schools
  • Distribute flyers regarding recruitments and informational workshops to businesses and community organizations. Talk to community members/organizations at community events, local churches, stores, beauty salons, barber shops, businesses, and etc., during weekends and evenings

Bureau Recruitments

  • Meet with Diversity Outreach and Employment Resources (DOER) Senior Analysts and hiring bureau managers on focused outreach strategies for recruitments, including seasonal and temporary recruitments
  • Work with HR Business Partners and bureau managers regarding diversity strategies after an eligible list is created (diverse hiring panels, panel trainings, interview questions)
  • Work with bureaus to fill temporary positions by providing bureaus with resumes of diverse candidates from a diverse resume database for temporary and seasonal hires and internships
  • Follow up with bureaus regarding diverse candidates hires

Informational Sessions

  • Attend bureau informational sessions conducted by DOER Senior. Analysts assigned to recruitment and bureau hiring manager
  • Monitor informational sessions for diversity and opportunities to speak to diverse candidates
  • Track diverse candidates progress through the recruitment process


Steps taken to reduce potential negative impact of NeoGov, the City’s on-line recruitment tool

Currently, the City does not provide computers for job seekers. However, the Bureau of Human Resources is researching the possibility of installing computers on the 1st floor of The Portland Building, in the space formerly occupied by the application center, that the public could use at set times during the business week.

Job seekers who have computers or internet service can use the libraries, employment office, college campus, friends, or family to submit their applications.  The following are some orgaizations with computer access for job seekers.  Employees at these various organizations have been trained in the City’s application process in order to assist job seekers.

WorkSource Portland Metro.  Find job search help at any of their locations. There are five full-service WorkSource Center locations and one Express Center.  Each Center provides the following services and more for job seekers:

  • Internet access
  • Self-service fax, phones, and photocopying
  • E-learning tools
  • Access to iMatchSkills
  • A Resource Library

Center services are available to job seekers who are at least 18 years old, eligible to work in the U.S., and enrolled in WorkSource Oregon. They can enroll at any WorkSource Center.

Portland Metropolitan Workforce Training Center.  The Portland Metropolitan Workforce Training Center (PMWTC) is located in urban northeast Portland and is part of PCC’s Extended Learning Campus. 

Portland Public Libraries.  Multnomah County Library has nearly 700 public PC’s throughout 19 neighborhood locations, as well as laptops, to use within the library branches. Library computers feature Internet access, Microsoft Office 2007 software (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), and access to the library's many online resources.  The computers are available for two 1 hour sessions per day. In addition, the library has 175 laptops which can be checked out for 2 hour sessions for use within the library.

The City surveyed employment specialists at an Application Training Workshop and gathered this information regarding access to computer resources for job seekers:

  • Outside In provides 10 computers
  • Job Connection - Goodwill Industries of the Columbia/Willamette provides 8-25 computers between the Vancouver and South East Portland facilities and 2 computers at each of 40 outlying locations
  • Central City Concern provides 7 computers
  • Easter Seals of Oregon provides 9 computers
  • *National American University provides 10 computers
  • *SEI (Self Enhancement, Inc.) provides 10 computers
  • Reynolds School District provides hundreds of computers throughout their high schools locations
  • *Oregon Employment Dept. provides 20 computers
  • WorkSource Oregon provides 30 computers
  • Oregon Tradeswomen provides 1 computer
  • NAYA provides 4 computers for job seekers
  • Bethesda Enterprises provides 5 computers

*Job seekers can use computers for job searches without enrolling in job service programs.

Outcomes – Measures of Success

  • From 2011 to present, 40 diverse candidates, including six veterans and two individuals who self-identified as persons with a disability, have obtained City employment as a direct result of their participation in the Focused Outreach Program.  In addition to the actual hires, the Focused Outreach Recruiter has met with more than 100 potential candidates, exclusive of contacts at job fairs, etc.
  • Community businesses allow the City to post recruitment flyers in their establishments and refer their clients for City jobs.
  • The City has conducted Application Training Workshops for approximately 100 employment specialists so clients can receive assistance in applying for City jobs.
  • City bureaus utilize the Focused Outreach resume data bank to fill internships, temporary, seasonal, and Community Services Aide positions, which can segue to permanent employment.  Eighteen hires have been made through the Focused Outreach resume data bank, of which five are now permanent employees.
  • Increase in the number of diverse veterans hired in the City.
  • City employees, whether or not they have utilized DOER Focused Outreach, are referring diverse professionals to seek employment opportunities with the City and to work with DOER Focused Outreach.
  • Strengthened relationships with colleges, universities and high schools in student awareness of the City as an employer.


Next Steps

Focused Outreach must remain a priority for the City.  The foundation for Focused Outreach has been laid, and some building has been done, but it will take more people and cultural changes within bureaus to accomplish more.

  • DOER Senior HR Analysts are being trained in focused outreach recruiting to increase the outreach efforts to diverse communities.  
  • Bureau Directors need to be aware of hires made by their bureaus.  If the applicant pool was diverse, but the hire was not, the question needs to be asked, “why not?”
  • Reach out to the disabled community through community advocacy groups to increase  awareness of City jobs
  • Reach out to veterans’ groups to increase awareness of City jobs