It’s been six years since I hired someone. I’m ultimately responsible for about 50 of PHS/SPCA’s 110 employees as well as our volunteer program, but I have just six direct reports and each has been an incredibly valuable part of our team since 2008. Recently, one decided to move on. Our employee responsible for our printed publications and design work, our website maintenance and a few other responsibilities is having her second baby and decided to be a stay-at-home mom, which I think is totally cool. Fortunately, we get our share of interest for openings, so I’m confident we’ll find a fantastic designer/webmaster/social media coordinator soon. Fairly often, even when we have no openings, people ask how they can get hired. Or, they ask about tips for seeking employment within the animal welfare field, in general. For one, don’t stress how much of an “animal person” you are. I know, sounds odd, coming from me. But, we expect that applicants will like animals, and want them to be good around people since every employee has to interact with people. If you want to work for a humane society, animal shelter or SPCA, try volunteering first. The first applicant I contacted about our current opening is a volunteer. I was able to ask around about her and I also figured she learned enough about our culture to know it’s a good fit. If you aren’t a volunteer, learn about the organization by visiting in person, reading everything you can online and even checking out one of their offsite events. In your printed materials, spell the organization’s name correctly! One applicant called us the SPCA LA. Then again, an applicant years ago sent her materials to the Pacific Humane Society. She realized her error and sent new materials a day later. I hired her and she was with us nearly five years. She succeeded in standing out and making an impression, which is my last piece of advice.
Scott oversees PHS/SPCA’s Adoption, Behavior and Training, Education, Outreach, Field Services, Cruelty Investigation, Volunteer and Media/PR program areas and staff from the new Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion.