Nonprofits and Trade Associations

A global trade association, financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, came to us for help with guidance through a significant reduction in force and assistance with future restructuring plans. The association identified the need for an experienced HR resource to manage their entire Human Resources function,  including compensation and benefits, payroll, employee relations, recruitment, and employee development.

What We Did

Reduction in Force:

We initiated the engagement by driving organizational restructuring, starting with a reduction in force, which would impact approximately half of the workforce.  We partnered with the association’s general counsel and identified external employment counsel to oversee the legal aspects of the process. Partnering with the Chief Financial Officer, we evaluated the financial business case and conducted an analysis of all potential outcomes and their financial impact on the organization’s viability.   We gave honest counsel at regular intervals to the CEO as we determined the best go-forward approach.  Working within an abbreviated timeline at the CEO’s request, our team developed a comprehensive communication plan to support senior leadership in message delivery to the impacted workforce, served as the HR point person in all notification meetings, and provided ongoing support for separated employees. We concluded the reduction in force by positioning ourselves as a resource to the retained workforce, who required continued support as the association planned for the future.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing:

Recognizing there would be a time where in-person work would resume and the association would again be able to serve their members, we developed a strategic growth plan for their workforce. The impact of the restructuring caused many employees to take on additional responsibilities, leading to ambiguity within the organization’s various roles. We led managers in administering job questionnaire surveys to gain a better understanding of position titles in relation to employees’ daily job functions and evaluated job levels and responsibilities across all levels of the association. We drove a comprehensive job redesign project where we established financially mindful salary structure bands, defined the specific roles and responsibilities of each position, and identified career pathing opportunities to promote growth, retention, and engagement within departments. We helped team members identify core competencies for their positions using the Korn Ferry Leadership Architect and integrated them into each job description and the behavioral interview process. We presented our comprehensive results to leadership, led a concerted communication plan to ensure ongoing organizational alignment, and trained all employees involved in recruiting on effective interviewing using behavioral interviewing techniques.

With a comprehensive structure in place,  we went to market with an ambitious workforce plan to regrow their workforce aligned with the association’s refreshed service offering. Recognizing that our client had ambitious hiring goals, we hired an additional devoted resource, allowing us to dedicate three consultants to manage the recruitment process with the goal of finding exceptional talent for all open positions, without the additional commission costs associated with engaging with external recruiters.

 The Result

Over the course of seven months, we filled 15 open positions and saved our client 53% compared to the cost of a traditional recruiting firm.  Red Clover was embedded as their human resources team and recruitment outsourcing provider. We operated solely with the success of the business in mind, rather than focusing on the commission associated with each placement. We developed a recruitment process that allowed us to connect candidates directly with hiring managers because we understood the business and had direct, intimate knowledge of the skills and experience a candidate would need to be successful with the organization.

We began the engagement by delivering clear, accurate job descriptions, a financially sound, data-driven, and equitable compensation structure, and interview skills training to all levels of the organization. We continued to serve as the association’s full-service HR partner as they moved beyond the impact of COVID-19 and established ourselves as a trusted advisor on workforce planning, performance management, employee training, payroll, and professional development. Our task started as assisting with a reduction in force and evolved into helping the senior leaders reimagine their business.   We rolled up our sleeves to work closely with them in rebuilding an efficient, effective, and engaged workforce that continues to serve their member’s needs at a significant cost saving.

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