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The CAP model allows organizations to align their focused recruitment
efforts with strategic goals, proactively set measures to evaluate success, and
includes detail as to how to invite, track and manage employee resources.
For each of the steps, consider what will
best fit your organization’s culture and will be sustainable by the resources
available to you.
For any initiative that will involve resources from across the organization, it is always advisable to start with obtaining support and buy-in from your executive team. One approach to doing so is to present the business case and the cost and benefits to the organization for implementing a Career Ambassador Program (CAP). Also, consider seeking an
Executive Sponsor as a key role to champion the program. An Executive Sponsor can be a great resource for socializing the program with senior level management and integrating the program with related strategic initiatives. When obtaining executive support, a few important points that can be emphasized are:
Maintain executive support by regularly providing communication about the program's progress, small and large accomplishments, and impacts to your organization.
A Career Ambassador Program (CAP) should align with your organization's strategic recruitment goals and help address already known hard-to-recruit classifications. Also, key performance indicators (KPIs) should be developed to ensure the program has meaningful metrics to achieve and sustain success. A strategic recruitment plan isn't, however, necessary for a CAP to be implemented effectively. Please see the below for what to do regardless of if your organization does or does not have a recruitment plan.
If your organization has a current and complete recruitment plan, identify what are critical outreach events to attend. Based on those events, consider the staffing needs required in order to ensure the appropriate Career Ambassador representation. For example, if it is identified in your recruitment plan to attend an outreach event related to Information Technology, staff the event with a Career Ambassador who is an Information Technology subject matter expert. Subject matter experts have the capability of answering technical questions related to their respective occupation. Also, Career Ambassadors don’t necessarily have to attend events geared towards the technical aspects of their occupation. If it is identified in your recruitment plan that your organization is attending a focused recruitment event based on a certain demographic, this would be a great opportunity for Career Ambassadors who can relate. Ensure to equip the Career Ambassador with the knowledge and tools to successfully inform job seekers on state careers, the state hiring process, and why state government is an employer of choice. See Step 5 – Attend Events for more information on the preparation activities of attending recruitment events.
If recruitment planning has not been completed, you can begin the process by identifying your organization's vacancy rates, hard-to-recruit classifications, mission critical classifications, at-risk classifications, underutilized demographics, and obtaining input from program areas through interviews or surveys to determine what outreach events are considered essential. Outreach events should ultimately support recruiting top talent in order for your organization to meet its strategic goals.
Develop KPIs by gathering and establishing the following recruitment benchmark data for hard-to-recruit classifications. Once benchmark data is established, compare it to after implementing a CAP to potentially discover positive impacts of the program in addressing hard-to-recruit classifications. See Step 6 – Monitor Key Performance Indicators for more information on how you can measure CAP success.
Effective communication is an integral part of change management and will be instrumental in ensuring the Career Ambassador Program (CAP) is implemented successfully. Given that a CAP may affect your entire organization, it is valuable to develop a formal communication plan that will introduce and gain support for the program. Consider including the following:
Your communication plan's key messages should address main points of the program. An important main point to include is that training for Career Ambassadors will be provided upon selection. At the time you are developing your CAP's communication plan, also consider developing a training plan for Career Ambassadors to ensure they are well-equipped and successful when attending outreach events. See Step 4 – Solicit Ambassadors for a variety of outreach topics for your CAP's training plan.
When communicating about your CAP, your audiences will be executive staff, managers and supervisors, and all staff at minimum. Depending on what your organization's strategic recruitment goals are, you may have smaller sub-audiences within the larger groups based on subject matter expertise and/or occupational specialty. A best practice communication strategy is communicating to your various audiences in a sequential order that will be most effective. For the purposes of a CAP, start with gaining support from executives first, then managers and supervisors, followed by all staff.
Key messages to executive staff should include:
Key messages to managers and supervisors include:
Key messages to all staff include:
As part of your communication plan from Step 3, develop a marketing strategy to solicit management and staff participation in ongoing and future recruitment opportunities by encouraging them to participate in your organization's CAP. A strong marketing campaign with pertinent information as to what role they will play and what their responsibilities will be is the key to a successful rollout of the program. Determine how you are going to train your Career Ambassadors to set them and your CAP up for success.
Below are some points to consider when customizing your marketing messages to managers and employees to encourage them to become Career Ambassadors for your organization.
Develop your marketing campaign and decide what to include in your messaging:
Deliver your key messages effectively:
Raise awareness and promote your program post-launch:
Bring awareness to your organization's CAP by ensuring you are communicating the importance of this program through numerous departmental communication channels. See Step 3 – Implement a Communication Plan for more information on how to successfully communicate CAP within your organization.
Develop selection criteria for participation in your CAP:
Create tracking methodology for Career Ambassadors:
In tandem with your marketing efforts and to continue your efforts to build awareness about your CAP, determine how you will train your Career Ambassadors.
To ensure your organization's Career Ambassadors are effective in outreach efforts and are confident in the information and message they are charged with delivering, offer training for them to set them up for success. Consider whether the scope of your CAP may be best suited by offering training on an annual, bi-annual, or as needed basis. If Career Ambassadors are partnered with Human Resources representatives at outreach events, formal training may not be needed. Your organization's training may include:
Information regarding the State hiring process training may include:
"How to Begin Your State Career" presentation covers all of the information above, and can be customized to fit your organization's needs.
In addition to marketing the attributes that make the State of California an employer of choice, your organization should also consider the unique selling points that make it an attractive place to work. Furthermore, the state has key attributes that make it the premier employer. Below are examples of unique selling points Career Ambassadors can discuss when informing job seekers about career opportunities at their organization and with the state.
Consider which of the following to include for your organization:
Ensure you provide your Career Ambassadors with classifications they should promote at recruitment events. Information about salary, minimum qualifications, career ladders, and current vacancies is important for your Career Ambassadors to have when conducting outreach. To determine which classifications your organization may want to concentrate on, consider occupational groups that are difficult to find strong candidates for, the areas of your organization you may be expending higher level of resources to source candidates for, or classifications in which your organization seeks to increase its diversity. Work closely with your Human Resources team to ensure your recruitment efforts align with your organizational data. For additional information, please see the following reports on the CalHR website:
Census of Employees
Women's Earnings in State Civil Service
Departmental Civil Service Demographic Statistical Reports
Statewide Civil Service Demographic Statistical Reports
For an example of a very comprehensive Career Ambassador training, please see
Career Ambassador Toolkit. This toolkit provides SMUD's Career Ambassadors with everything they need to know to effectively represent SMUD at a variety of educational institutions. Another resource available to you is the
Institute for Local Government. Their online resources provide information on how to connect with the next generation of employees and how to engage youth about careers in public service.
Identify focused recruitment events that align with your goals in Step 2 – Align with Strategic Recruitment. Events may be specific to universities and colleges, occupation/trade groups, veterans, persons with disabilities, and underserved communities. Universities and colleges often post information about their upcoming on-campus recruitment events on their career center webpages. CalHR's Online Forum provides an ongoing calendar of recruitment events. We encourage organizations to add events they will attend to the recruitment events calendar. To register for the Online Forum, contact the CalHR Statewide Recruitment Unit. In addition to general internet searches for events targeting specific demographics (i.e., Veterans), or occupational fields (i.e., Information Technology) consider also visiting these websites to locate recruitment events:
Maximize the return on investment for your outreach resources by selecting outreach events based on your strategic recruitment goals:
Make your outreach resources go even farther by forming partnerships with other state organizations:
Consider a shared recruitment approach with other state organizations when selecting outreach events. Explore partnerships with state organizations that have similar recruitment needs and challenges and to maximize recruitment efforts. Benefits of partnering with other organizations may include:
Determine what resources and supplies your will provide your Career Ambassadors when they attend outreach events:
A key element to evaluating the effectiveness of your CAP often includes collecting direct feedback from your Career Ambassadors after they attend an event. It's advisable to discuss each event and document the information the Career Ambassador provides. Not only can this help you measure your KPIs in Step 6, it can also be helpful in determining which events to consider attending again in the future. Information you should capture includes:
Measuring KPIs assists your organization with making data-driven decisions. Evaluate the success of your organization's CAP by monitoring the KPIs that were developed in Step 2 – Align with Strategic Recruitment of the model. If possible, use the recruitment data your organization already collects on a routine basis to serve as a benchmark. That way you'll have a baseline to compare to in order to evaluate the effectiveness of your organization's CAP. If your organization doesn't already collect recruitment related data, it will still be helpful to begin the routine collection of it so that you can analyze it to determine the impact of your organization's CAP over time. Assess your KPIs on a regular basis, such as every quarter in order to monitor the impact of your CAP. Below are example KPIs that may indicate your CAP is successful:
Increase in Applicants Applying for Hard-to-Fill Classifications
One of the easiest metrics to track is the number of applications your organization receives for hard-to-recruit classifications. Utilize the Examination Certification Online System to collect the number of applications you received prior to implementation of CAP. After implementing CAP and attending focused recruitment events, compare the number of received applications for hard-to-recruit classifications and compare to the benchmark data gathered. This data may show an increased trend of received applications based on attending targeted events utilizing Career Ambassadors.
Decrease in Cost-Per-Hire
Also known as the Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator, this tool helps organizations identify the hiring costs for each vacancy. The ROI Calculator allows organizations to see the total cost for each recruitment they advertise. Not only does the ROI Calculator assess the advertisement cost per vacancy, but it also calculates business impact, possible savings, and return on investment. If your cost-per-hire decreases over time this may be an indication that CAP outreach activities are successful.
Increased Employee Engagement
Administer an employee engagement survey at your organization to measure engagement. If your organization does not have an employee engagement survey, CalHR launched the Statewide Employee Engagement Program which is a service that includes survey administration, results and recommendations, and an action planning tool that may help your organization improve workforce engagement.
Increase in Social Media Activity
media is vital to recruitment and outreach activities. Facebook, Twitter, and
LinkedIn are three of the most popular social media outlets to promote your
organization. If your organization has a strong social media presence, ensure
you are monitoring the number of “likes”, “retweets”, and “shares” received
when posting recruitment related information. An increase in social media
activity might indicate increased awareness of your organization and a growing
interest in available career opportunities.
Recruitment Feedback Surveys
Consider developing a brief survey for applicants who interview for your vacancies to complete asking "How did you hear about this career opportunity." Ensure your survey questions capture your focused recruitment efforts. Monitor the results of the survey every quarter and compare to benchmark data. If over time survey respondents indicate they heard about career opportunities at your organization through outreach events, this may indicate your CAP is successful, or may provide you with useful data as to how to further refine your focused recruitment efforts.
Contact CalHR's Statewide Recruitment Unit at
email@example.com for assistance, questions, or feedback on the CAP model.