The Giving Season Challenge for Talent Pros

We have made it to the end of November, and you know what that means…we have officially kicked off the Giving Season.

Recently, I was scrolling through my social feeds and happened upon a feel-good article about a homeless man who stood at a busy highway handing out resumes which ultimately resulted in multiple job offers.

Sounds like your HR team’s new favorite heartwarming read, right?

After further review, this moving career-centric content felt more like click bait. As it turns out, this tale is actually focused on a Texas A&M graduate who quit an impressive web development role at General Motors, cashed out his 401k, moved to Silicon Valley to cultivate a (since failed) tech start-up, and used his last dimes to print and hand out well-edited resumes on a busy road in a shirt and tie. Not exactly the backstory we were expecting.

Don’t get me wrong though – I appreciate the grit and grind it took to get back up again after a crippling career move. But we have to wonder… why aren’t there more success stories out there highlighting the more populous homeless sector? The people that don’t have the same access to these previously mentioned resources and opportunities – you know, resumes, ties, college.

Tis the season to do more as talent pros.

In Atlanta, we are fortunate to be surrounded by organizations that offer valuable education, training, and skill building programs for local homeless and underserved men and women. If you haven’t already gotten a jump start on your CSR program planning or community outreach initiatives for 2019, consider leveraging your talent development function to get involved with local organizations like these Atlanta-based ones:

I.  Our House is determined to break the generational cycle of homelessness by providing early child care-specific training, career development, and soft/life skills workshops for low-income adults.

“Workshops cover a wide range of topics and provide training on essential soft skills, such as resume writing, interviewing skills, professional etiquette and conflict resolution strategies, which enhance participants’ ability to obtain and maintain employment.”

II. Rescue Repurpose Redeem, a small part of Sweetwater Mission, provides non-traditional work opportunities to ‚ÄúVeterans and others living with disabilities to enhance their lives through personal success while creating a sustainable business.‚Äù

Long story short, RRR supplies rescued/donated items to participants, empowering each person to develop valuable craft skills through placement and job training so that they can create unique handmade products to sell.

 III. Refugee Women‚Äôs Network serves women who have fled from war-torn countries in hopes of finding a safe and promising future in the US. Simply put the network strives to ‚Äúequip refugee and immigrant women with the knowledge and resources to become economically self-sufficient through employment, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.‚Äú

RWN also offers leadership training and social adjustment services to ensure that these women have every chance possible to grow personally and professionally.

IV. While Year Up isn’t exclusively helping young adults in the Atlanta area, the nation-wide organization has extremely valuable ties to local businesses and community outreach programs that are also looking to help low-income students achieve more for their futures.

“We align our training with corporate partner needs and market trends to ensure that the skills you learn will be in-demand. Learn valuable technical and professional skills, and gain work experience during internships at top companies.”

When we use our own talent for good the giving season lasts so much longer for many underserved and homeless individuals. Use your outreach initiatives to build up this talent population in 2019 and you never know – we may just be reading about your team in the next heartwarming hiring piece.

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