April 2010 HR Director Report

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Los Angeles, CA April 23- 25, 2010


Advertisement, Search, Recruitment of (4) Pacifica Foundation General Managers

Recruiting The Ideal General Manager Candidate

On February 5, 2010 the Pacifica Foundation General Managers National Search & Recruitment Free advertisements were placed in the following areas:

* Allaccess.com (Free)

* National Federation of Community Broadcasters (Free)

* California Chicano News Media Association (Free)

*National Association of Hispanic Journalists (Free)

* South Asian Journalists Association (Free)

* Radio Online (Free)

*Media Alliance

* African –American Public Radio Consortium (Free)

*IndyWIRE (Free)

*Center for Asian American Media (Free)

* Koahnic Broadcast Corporation (Free)

*Pacific Islanders in Communications (Free)

* Latino Public Radio Consortium (Free)

* CPB (Free)

* Pacifica Foundation website (Free)

* Pacifica Foundation Affiliates (Free)

*Pacifica Foundation Station Staff List (Free)

*Grassroots Radio Discussion List (Free)

In addition the HRD contacted Pacifica Foundation employees, past and present who are familiar with the organization. Encouraged and promoted employee referrals amongst the stations Management Search Committees. In the age of online social and professional networking, the chances are, our employees, volunteers, Local Station Boards, and Pacifica National Board are connected to hundreds of potential candidates.

Pacifica Foundation HRD has established relationships with University of Southern California, Columbia University, University of California, Berkeley, and Howard University Graduate Programs in Journalism and Mass Communications Departments.

The Pacifica Foundation HRD has established new relationships with Radio and Media external customers and suppliers who have non-commercial radio industry knowledge. These relationships have helped develop leads on potential candidates who might have the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics to meet our General Manager requirements.

Outreach and awareness at the earliest stages of the recruitment process are important steps the Pacifica Foundation Human Resources Department has taken to develop a representative and talented applicant pool. Pacifica Foundation Management Search Committees have also participated in this effort and continue to monitor each step of the recruitment process.

The primary focus of the second phase of our Pacifica Foundation General Manager Advertisement campaign began in March 2010. This phase of the advertisement campaign targeted comprehensive paid advertisements with following:


    2-Sunday Package

    • Los Angeles Times - 2 Sundays

    -April 4, 2010

    -April 11, 2010

    • CareerBuilder - 30 days

    • Hoy - 1 day

    -Los Angeles, Ca


    • Brand X - 1 day

    -Los Angeles Times Blog

    • Times Community Papers - 17 days

    (1)Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot

    (2) Daily Pilot

    (3) Huntington Beach Independent

    (4)Los Angeles Times / Times Community News

    (5)La Canada Valley Sun

    (6)Glendale News Press

    (7)Burbank Leader








= $3,674.45 / $918.61 PER STATION


Due to our financial challenges, we are faced with becoming more creative and using more alternative sources in order to increase the diversity of applicants. The recruiting sources used, based upon the knowledge and skills required , are amongst the best targeted sources to meet our General Manager needs.

The idea the more places you search and recruit increases your chances to attract qualified applicants is a myth!

If unemployment were at an all time low, more recruitment sources would typically be needed to fill the applicant pool. However, we are presently experiencing high rates of unemployment and it should be easier to attract qualified applicants.

Are certain recruiting sources superior to others? Do certain recruiting sources produce superior or better candidates? The answer is no ! These are a few of the many questions that were discussed amongst the Management Search Committees across throughout the network.

As of 04/19/10 we have received 100 resumes for the General Manager job opportunity. We have interest and resumes from applicants domestically and internationally. The applicants have been grouped by station:

KPFK -40

WBAI -30



The deadline to submit resumes is April 23rd, 2010. Each candidate has been sent a confirmation email once their resume was submitted. Throughout the search process there have been several discussion about extending the deadline. WPFW and *KPFA (Management Search Committee recently configured) will extend their deadline until May 14, 2010. Applicants who have submitted their resumes by the April 23rd deadline will notified of extension. WBAI will remain firm on the deadline until the Management Search Committee has an opportunity to review their applicant pool. KPFK will have this option also. Per the agreement with the Management Committee Search Chairs and Co-Chairs have sent the following Selection and Interview tools and resources:

  • Reviewing the Pacifica Foundation General Manager Resume.doc
  • Candidate Evaluation Form sample [1].doc
  • Pacifica Foundation Sample Candidate Screening Form.doc
  • Behavioral Based Interview Questions.doc
  • Behavior Based Interview Pros and Cons.doc

    Pacifica Foundation General Manager Search and Recruitment Challenges

    • Clarification of Management Search Committee Role and Responsibilities
    • To be a member of the Management Search Committee must you be on the Local Station Board ?
    • Will there be alternate Management Search Committee Members ?
    • Should the Management Search Committee include (1) Non Local Station Board Staff Representative and (1) Non Local Station Board Volunteer Representative
    • Management Search Committee should meet weekly during Search and Recruitment campaign
    • Membership should be limited to no less than( 5) and no more than (7)

PACIFICA FOUNDATION GENERAL MANAGER SELECTION: How can the Management Search Committee Choose the Best Qualified General Manager Candidate(s)

We are in the First stage of developing a first round set of applicants for our General Manager job openings. The task before the Management Search Committees is to figure out whom, amongst this set, would be the best- qualified candidate so we can offer him or her a job. This is no easy task ! The Pacifica Foundation HRD and the tools /resources provided will support the Management Search Committees throughout the process.

The Pacifica Foundation HRD will contact all Management Search Committees early next week to discuss resumes and selection process moving forward.

DESIGNING PACIFICA FOUNDATION EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK CONTINUES…Will submit 1st draft to Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt by mid May, 2010

The past year has brought about a wave of changes in the employment arena. The expectations and requirements placed upon employers have continued to grow in virtually every area of employment including compensation, benefits and paid leave, among others. With these changes, it is important to review and revise the current Pacifica Foundation Employee Handbook and revise it with theses new policies.

While the Pacifica Foundation has an employee handbook, we have let our critical policy statements remain untouched or have not added in some key areas. Following areas will be updated or considered for inclusion:

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    In early 2009, the FMLA regulations changes affected eligibility, leave-request procedures and notice requirements, among other things. There are also new provisions for employees with family members who are called to active duty or who have returned from military duty and are being treated for combat related injuries. These changes should be added to the employee handbook and policy manuals for those organizations that are required to offer FMLA.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    While this may be addressed in an EEO statement, there are often good reasons for further clarification in a separate policy. This can serve as a firm and proactive reminder that discrimination against those with disabilities will not be accepted.
  • Safe Harbor Compensation
    One of the most litigated areas in employment law has been in the area of FLSA claims. One protection against certain claims could be through a "safe harbor" policy that may preserve an employee's exempt status due to certain circumstances. The Department of Labor has rules that state a company’s risk is reduced if they:

    *have a clearly communicated policy prohibiting improper deductions which incorporates a complaint process;

    * make reimbursement to employees for any improper deductions; and

    *show a good faith commitment to comply going forward.

  • Adverse Weather
    This is becoming of much greater interest recently as employees are monitoring weather conditions more frequently to determine their travel plans for work. Guidance regarding when the business will close and how weather-related absences or shutdowns will affect compensation can alleviate a lot of questions and aggravation. This statement of an employer’s policy should provide clarification for both exempt and non-exempt employees.
  • Blogging
    The use of blogs has exploded during the past few years. Guidance regarding the limits of sharing inappropriate or confidential information should be provided in updated policy statements along with the liability risks associated with this communication medium.
  • Social Networking
    Similar to blogs, the use of social networking sites tools like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have increased as well. Although most of these may be used outside of work, there are still important considerations that should be addressed in a handbook policy, including what is prohibited or the consequences of violating this policy. The policy should address such issues as:

    • Limits on posting confidential or proprietary company information
    • Situations surrounding employees making disparaging, threatening or harassing remarks about colleagues or the company
    • Employees posting inappropriate photographs on their site
  • Electronic Communications
    There is still confusion and cavalier actions regarding the use of company e-mail, instant messaging and internet. A Pacifica Foundation policy needs to address these constantly changing technologies and what is acceptable from a business and personal use standpoint. With the increased use of cell phones and PDA’s, this policy may also need attention to address the implications of using these newer forms of communication.

After changes are made, it is important to share the highlights with our Pacifica employees and have each acknowledge receipt of any new employee handbook. This is essential and may include a statement that reiterates nature of their employment. If the Pacifica Foundation Employee Handbook is part of our organization intranet site, the same principles apply.

The update or rollout of a new Pacifica Foundation employee handbook is a high priority, it is something that can ultimately bring some peace of mind to the Pacifica Foundation. The importance of providing clear answers or paths to resolution has never been more important. Knowing you have policies in place to reduce risk or potential problems can provide much more time to devote to the critical HR issues that produce company growth , productivity and profitability.

The Pacifica Foundation Employee Handbooks will also be referred to as the foundations policy and procedures manual. The Pacifica Foundation Handbook/Manual aim is to be a statement of the policies of the business and how the business is to be conducted. The Pacifica Foundation Employee Handbook is one of the most important communication tools between the Pacifica Foundation and our employees. Not only does it set forth our expectations for our employees, but it also describes what they can expect from the Pacifica Foundation. It is essential that Pacifica Foundation’s Employee Handbook be clear and as unambiguous as possible. Misunderstandings or misstatements can create legal liabilities for our organization. In many of our legal disputes courts have considered our Pacifica Foundation Employee Handbook to be a contractual obligation.

The Pacifica Foundation Employee Handbook and related personnel policies should be one of the first formal communications that the Pacifica Foundation will have with an employee after they are hired. It is imperative we make sure the first impression is a good one. Similarly, in the event of a dispute or poor performance review, this will be the first place that the employee turns.

The Pacifica Foundation Employee Handbook will contain enough detail to avoid confusion, but not so much as to overwhelm. For instance, if there are other documents (i.e. group insurance handbook, and retirement plan documents) which more appropriately provide details, we will not recreate the information in the handbook. Instead, offer a brief summary and refer to the other document in the Pacifica Foundation Employee Handbook. The Human Resources Department will consult with Pacifica Foundation Legal Counsel during the revision process.


The Pacifica Foundation HR focus in 2010 is on leverage from making better use of existing resources to managing cost savings. The HR function delivers the best results when leadership understands what HR brings to the table and when HR understands the business of the organization. Also HR must keep in mind that there is no HR without the organization. Based on the experience of the last year and a half, we can argue that cost cutting alone cannot be the main priority of any business which wants to achieve its professional goals in the long term. While cost cutting is an important dimension of HR work as it is for any part of the business, HR makes the greatest difference in enhancing performance and developing next generation’s leaders.


1. Performance Management. What has been missing in the past months from performance management initiatives has been an explanatory and visible flow of information, which can help improve the Pacifica Foundation’s performance in tough times. A proper performance management framework should provide managers and teams with the methods, tools, technologies, information and analytics to react more quickly and effectively.

2. Talent Management. Especially in 2010 when energy levels and motivation are down, it’s more crucial than before to focus development efforts on the right people, make every hiring decision count, and do all we can to maintain work force engagement. If the Pacifica Foundation fails to do so will drain their know-how by registering high employee turnover and they will lose their position on the market as good employers. Therefore, they will weaken the organization allowing others to make use of their know-how and bad reputation to gain market share and develop new business.

3. Change and Leadership Management. Change management requires thorough planning and sensitive implementation. Change must be realistic, achievable and measurable. Change cannot be forced on people or else it will create problems. When difficult times arise and change is needed, if leadership is not prepared for it and managers fail to find solutions to guide the team and the company out of difficulties, the employees will feel confused and without support. Pacifica Foundation employees need to feel safe and secure in their jobs and must have trust in their leaders. Good employees want to work in an organization with strong leaders where they feel their work is part of a big picture, and change is just another step on the ladder of development.

4. Pacifica Foundation HR transformation refers to reorganization of HR in order to serve better the needs of the business. For HR to be able to deliver added value to the business, it will focus less on operational processes and more on understanding the business, taking part in strategic meetings, being aware of the long term plan, gaining business knowledge and understanding what the organization needs to succeed. Based on this information HR will reorganize its roles, tools and service delivery to support major business needs.

5. Cost Cutting. It is only natural to reduce costs when the organization’s performance is low and the economical environment doesn’t look too promising. When we are looking to apply cost cutting measures look for those solutions which bring the least damage on the long term. We will try to avoid additional layoffs as much as possible and focus on more creative ways of reducing cost like freezing salaries, reducing benefits or replacing them with less costly options, implementing flexible working hours, reducing the number of temporary staff and outsourcing various other processes. When implementing cost cutting measures do it with a plan, let the employees know why and do it step by step, not all at once.

Having these top five priorities in mind, I can only say that it matters how you finish. As the Pacifica Foundation Human Resources Director, I have the unique opportunity to influence the overall performance of the organization, develop new leadership roles, lay out the plan for further development and implement tools and services to support the business.