Improving hiring to reflect our community

Park(ing) Day visitorsThe Department of Natural Resources and Parks Human Resources (DNRP HR) is looking for new ways to attract a diverse workforce that is more reflective of the King County community at large, and a new pilot project to address that issue is already paying off.

A successful “Direct Hire Fair” on April 7, held at Renton WorkSource and sponsored by DNRP HR and its partners in the King County Employment and Education Resources (KCEER) Division, allowed DNRP divisions to interview job candidates on site. The innovative hiring fair resulted in 25 offers being made and 20 people hired, with overall hiring figures including seven females and 13 people of color.

Many of the positions are entry level or seasonal opportunities in the King County Parks, Wastewater Treatment (WTD) and Solid Waste (SWD) divisions. DNRP had 22 short-term temporary openings for five different positions — Parks maintenance workers and parking cashiers, helpers at WTD treatment plants, and SWD utility workers and scale operators.

“Based on the hiring and diversity needs of DNRP, we customized this event and recruited candidates from a number of different KCEER and WorkSource  employment programs serving women, people of color, and other underrepresented populations,” said Dan Bernard, Communities of Opportunity WorkSource Integration Manager.

“Our employment services expertise and deep partner connections combined with a 100 percent commitment from DNRP HR staff, brought some great entry-level job opportunities to some great diverse candidates.”

At the job fair, applicants were interviewed non-stop for four hours, rotating between eight teams of 20 DNRP staff members.

Along with interviewing WorkSource and KCEER clients, DNRP had been working with education leaders at the Muckleshoot, Suquamish and Snoqualmie tribes to explore career opportunities for their students.

The Public Health – Seattle & King County Emergency Medical Services Training Program also participated in the fair and reported three times its usual number of applicants.

White Center Jubilee DaysResults from the Direct Hire Fair format were encouraging for DNRP. The fair attracted 67 attendees overall, which included members from diverse communities, King County Veterans Program participants and customers from the King County Jobs Initiative and King County Career Connections. One fourth of attendees also completed applications for the King County EMS Training Course.

“This was a pilot for DNRP, and we were thrilled at the high level of interest and the diversity of the candidates,” said Gail Ohashi, DNRP HR Manager. “It was such a time savings to us and the applicants to be able to apply, interview and have contingent job offers within hours of the interview.”

“The applicants were eager to work, and our first hire started a week later. We’re looking forward to expanding our partnership with KCEER and WorkSource even further in 2017.”

WorkSource Seattle-King County, under the leadership of our local WorkForce Development Council, is a joint venture comprised of organizations dedicated to addressing local employment needs, including local and state government, community and technical colleges, business, labor and community organization. Together, these organizations provide WorkSource services to adults, youth, and businesses throughout King County and connect jobseekers with employers.

For WorkSource Services contact Roleta Batiste, Business Services Liaison  – Seattle King County – Public (Government) Sector at