Chapter 7

Hire and Manage Staff

Many successful Indigenous Guardian programs have a crew of guardians who see their work as a vocation and are passionate about working for their community. Guardians are often ‘generalists’ - they will likely have a mix of experience, personal qualities, knowledge, and skills.

It’s important to find ways to hire and keep good staff, communicate regularly, involve them in decisions and build good rapport between crew members.

As you dig into the nuts and bolts of running your program don’t start from scratch! Borrow from what others have done.

Explore this section to learn:

Tipsheet

Tips for Staffing and Managing Your Program

  1. Put time into the recruitment process to optimize the quality and quantity of candidates who apply. Get the word out well in advance, utilize a variety of job posting strategies (i.e. notice boards, social media, website, etc.), and work your contacts and networks to identify prospective candidates.
  2. Look to build a well-rounded crew with complementary qualities, skills, education and experience.
  3. When interviewing, test candidates’ suitability for the challenges of the job – things like remote work, physical demands, overtime, communicating with the public, etc.
  4. Set equitable and competitive wages similar to other employment opportunities in your community or region. If matching wages is difficult, provide other incentives and benefits to attract and keep people on.
  5. Develop an employee code of conduct and related policies to be clear about expectations, consequences and to ensure safety on the job.
  6. Provide a solid orientation for new staff that covers program goals, performance expectations, reporting, personal responsibility, safety policies and procedures, and equipment use.
  7. Meet regularly with staff to provide ongoing direction, deal with logistics, and solicit regular feedback.
  8. If you have to issue a warning or suspension for a staff member, provide them with clear terms and conditions. Document all incidents and conversations.
  9. Look to elders, community leaders or experienced staff to model expectations and provide support when issues arise or HR decisions are being made.
  10. Look to recruit a program manager with strong leadership skills who can mentor and manage staff and all other aspects of the program from program management to fundraising and communications.
Tipsheet

Tips for Staffing and Managing Your Program

Worksheet

Overview Worksheet - Hire and Manage Staff

Use this worksheet to think through how to recruit and retain a great staff team and how to get set up to manage your program well. Download it now

Worksheet

Overview Worksheet - Hire and Manage Staff