USAID Pakistan JOBS Project<br />Career Development Center- HR Forum Toolkit<br />Kickstart Your HR Program with the HR FORUM TOOLKIT<br />
Introduction<br />The HR Forum Toolkit is created as a resource for the various Career Development Centers (CDC) under the USAID Pakistan JOBS Project. The toolkit contains a step-by-step guide to conducting human resource forums as a tool for private sector linkages building and requirements gathering platform for private sector skill demands.<br />
USAID Pakistan JOBS Project<br />USAID Pakistan:JOBS Project, funded by USAID is designed to improve the competitiveness of the Pakistani economy by strengthening systems for workforce development, encouraging Pakistani companies to invest in human capital, and improving access to training, jobs and business opportunities for youth and women. This is a challenging project that seeks to improve the employability of hundreds of thousands of jobseekers in a difficult environment.<br />CARE International and Abt Associates Inc. have partnered to deliver on project objectives and to provide access, appropriate skills and inclusive programs. <br />
Career Development Center Initiative<br />The USAID Pakistan JOBS Project’s Career Development Center (CDC) initiative supports the establishment of a network of local, financially sustainable career development centers.<br />The objectives of the CDC initiative include:<br /><ul><li>set up model of Career Development Center (CDC) based upon the specific interests and capacities of interested host organizations
identify hosts who will provide a comfortable environment catering to the specific needs of the young women and easily accessible to male and female youth,
act as an entry point for young graduates, the unemployed, and other job applicants into the range of employment services and systems</li></li></ul><li>Section 1<br />HR Forum Toolkit Overview <br />
1.1. Toolkit Description<br />The HR Forum Toolkit consists of a series of guidelines, documents and supporting materials created in order to assist the career development centers under the CDC initiative with their private sector outreach and job placement activities. The toolkit is available for use for CDC staff and instructors who are planning an HR forum. <br />The HR Forum toolkit includes: “10 Steps to Conducting an HR Forum,” a sample budget for the event, materials for inviting the private sector and other partners, research tips and resources, as well as marketing, information gathering and follow up materials. <br />
1.2. Objectives of an HR forum<br />The objectives of an HR Forum are to: <br /><ul><li>Act as a platform for representatives from the private sector, academia and government to discuss sector specific HR issues, challenges and priorities.
Facilitate discussion about job opportunities and HR issues for women to increase women’s participation in the labor force.
Gain insight into the HR needs and key skills requirements in the market/sector that are not being satisfied by the current curricula and education.
Ascertain synergies between the HR needs of the target employers and CDCs objectives
To provide training and assistance that will fulfill the needs of the targeted employers and increase the employability of target beneficiaries.</li></li></ul><li>1.3. Types of HR forums<br />HR forums can be organized around various criteria, including: <br /><ul><li>By topic, e.g. gender
By area of collaboration, e.g. joint research and development projects</li></ul>Furthermore, <br /><ul><li>Act as a platform for representatives from the private sector, academia and government to discuss sector specific HR issues, challenges and priorities.
Facilitate discussion about job opportunities and HR issues for women to increase women’s participation in the labor force.
Gain insight into the HR needs and key skills requirements in the market/sector that are not being satisfied by the current curricula and education
Ascertain synergies between the HR needs of the target employers and JOBS Project objectives
Determine models for the Project to provide training and assistance that will fulfill the needs of the targeted employers and increase the employability of target beneficiaries</li></li></ul><li>Section 2<br />Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />
2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />This toolkit provides step-by-step instructions for implementing an HR Forum, fully supplemented by supporting documentation and template necessary to use at each step of the process. Please remember that these materials should only serve as a guide, and it is important to consult local resources to ensure that these documents are relevant in your organizational context.<br />
2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />Step One in the process to conducting a successful HR forum is to be able to present your idea and the ultimate benefit of the HR forum to all stakeholders in order to get their buy-in and interest in the activity. For this purpose it is very important for you to clearly articulate the event that you are proposing , and to define clear-cut objectives of the HR forum and its relevance to students/trainees or the career development center at large. <br />In order to be able to clearly articulate these various items, it is important for CDC professionals to be able to draft a concept note elaborating on, amongst other items, the topic of the HR forum, the target sector/employers, as well as the immediate and longer term objectives of the activity. <br />This step guides you through the concept development process for an HR forum. <br />
2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />Use these questions as a guide for your planning of the HR Forum. <br /> Please feel free to add other questions relevant to your institution’s needs. <br /><ul><li>Develop a set of guidelines and objectives for the HR Forum. What do you hope to achieve by hosting an HR forum at your institution?
What sectors/industries/employers are most relevant to the needs of students at your institutions?
How can you use the HR forum as a platform for reaching out to major target employers?
Does your CDC have existing relationships with certain private sector partners? How can the HR forum act as a platform for strengthening this relationship and involving the private sector?
What are growing sectors/industries of job opportunity for students?
How can the HR forum be used as a tool to extract information about employer needs in this key target sector(s)?
What sort of HR forum would be most feasible for your institution’s needs?
An Open HR forum (with multiple employers)</li></li></ul><li>2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br /> Based on your collective brainstorming around the answers to the questions on the prior slide, draft a concept note/approach letter on the proposed HR forum to share with your<br />management to gain internal approvals for the HR forum. <br /> Be sure to include:<br /><ul><li>HR forum overview
A tentative agenda</li></ul>A sample concept note/approach letter is attached with this toolkit for you reference: <br />
2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />Before you can get your concept of the HR forum approved, you must also be prepared to present the higher management at your institution with an estimated budget of items. This <br />budget will also be necessary for the smooth planning and execution of the forum. <br />Attached is a sample budget template for an HR forum event. This sample is just a guideline and the associated costs will be different according to the scale of the event, the number of participants and local rates. <br />XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX FILE<br />
2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />In order to gain the requisite internal approvals to carry out an HR forum, the next step is to utilize the concept note and budget that you have created to pitch your idea to the higher management in order to gain initial approvals. <br />For this purpose, it is necessarily to engage in discussions with the higher management to gain approvals and to secure the attendance of any relevant faculty members that are involved in the sector being covered by the HR forum. <br />
2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />After your management has approved the HR forum proposal and budget, you can begin planning your project in earnest. Even if you do not receive the full budget that you requested, you can still conduct a smaller scale, focused HR forum to identify specific employer requirements and gain placement commitments for students by maintaining and improving relations with key employers. <br />To be able to properly plan and organize your event, you can use the sample tasksheet attached here. It provides a general summary and timeline of various tasks that you need to complete to successfully execute an HR forum. <br />
2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />Here is a sample invitation card for your reference. The template for the invite is attached with your CDC marketing materials and can be customized for different events. <br />You might also find it helpful to bring along a brief one-page overview of the HR forum to share with employers to help them grasp the idea and objective of the proposed activity. A sample one-pager used by the USAID Pakistan JOBS Project is provided here. You can create a similar for your own CDC and institution, using your institution’s letterhead. <br />
2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />Soliciting and confirming the attendance of corporate partners is one of the most challenging aspects of conducting an HR forum. It is also one of the most crucial elements to a successful and fruitful discussion. This step includes researching potential partners, to approaching them and using available resources to confirm their attendance. <br />For many institutions, the best place to start may be by inviting corporations with which your institution has existing relations, and using their attendance as leverage to attract other corporate partners to the HR forum. It is here that you may seek the assistance of your higher management or the faculty from the relevant discipline to leverage their contacts in the industry and provide critical introductions to local companies.<br />
2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />In order to gain appropriate information about employer skills and training requirements from prospective entry-level employees and/or college graduates, it is important to design and conduct a survey questionnaire with the participants at the HR forum, in order to gauge their expectations and current level of satisfaction with incoming employees. <br />This information will be essential for assessing the competitiveness of your institution’s graduates in the job market within a particular industry. It will not only identify areas for improvement for the CDC and the institution, but will also identify upcoming placement opportunities for graduates. <br />The attached sample questionnaire is an example of the sort of questions that can be included in your <br />questionnaire. <br />
2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />In preparation for the HR forum, you will also need to deal with logistical details and create basic material such as banners, powerpoint presentations, copies of the CDC brochure, etc. For this purpose, you may use the marketing material templates provided for all CDCs by the Project. <br />A sample backdrop is provided in your marketing material package, and is pasted below for your reference. <br />The text will need to be changed according to the title and details of the event. <br />
2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br /> On the day of the forum, it is crucial to have all relevant tasks prepared earlier in the day, so as to enable you and the CDC staff to focus their attention on the corporate participants.<br /> Tips for the day of the HR forum:<br /><ul><li>Remember to double check with expected participants earlier in the day and the day before to ensure their attendance.
If there is a chief guest, reconfirm their attendance and arrival time a few hours before the forum.
Ensure that all logistics are taken care of, such as catering and appropriate directions to campus.
Steer the program around the specific discussion points that have arisen in your research and that you want the corporate partners to address, and avoid letting the conversation derail too much. The more structure you can provide to the discussion, the more solid and specific the results of the HR forum will be.
Ensure that the participants fill in the questionnaire – a good time to do this is when the corporate partners are settling in and waiting for the program to start. Having dedicated staff members responsible for ensuring this task is a plus.
Don’t forget to exchange business cards with all participants!</li></li></ul><li>2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />Thank You Letters<br />As a follow up to the HR forum it important to maintain contact with the private sector representatives that participated in the forum, and to express your appreciation for their time and effort. This will ensure that they remember your CDC and the event you organized in a positive light and will form as the basis for future communication with the companies involved. <br />If a member of your higher management or any external/government chief guest also participated, it is recommended that you send out thank you letter to those parties as well. <br />A few sample thank you letters are attached here for your reference. These are formats that you can customize and use with your institutional CDC letterhead. <br />
2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />Press Release<br />A second, equally important follow up item is a press release for the HR forum that was held. Such a press release will help give coverage and visibility to the efforts of your CDC, as well as all the various private companies that participated and your institution at large. <br />This will not only gain goodwill with existing and participating corporate partners, but might also attract the attention of other corporations and stakeholders who are interested in similar issues.<br />Though the procedures will differ from institution to institution, in general you will need:<br /><ul><li> To draft a press release
Check with the media/communications department at your institution to ask for procedures
Ideally, include quotes from higher management, CDC staff, and select corporate partners – and get them approved by the respective individuals
Ensure that your institutions website features the press release
*TIP: You might even want to invite some media personnel to the event. </li></li></ul><li>2. Ten Steps to Conduct an HR Forum<br />