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Finding The Hidden Treasures

By Cassandra Sales 

Hallmark Movies

Christmas season has passed and if you are anything like me, you binge watched just about every Hallmark Christmas movie ever made.  They all have the same plot.  Fancy city girl goes back to her small home town and ends up falling in love with the boy next door.  Those towns in Hallmark movies are essentially my life living on the Oregon Border.  Everyone knows just about everyone and if I pass ol’ Martin’s ranch truck on the road he will still call my Mama to tell her I was driving too fast…despite the fact I am now 33 years old.  We don’t have a Mall, but we have a magnificent mountain that is believed to be the Root Chakra of the world.  We don’t have public transportation that runs steadily or consistently, but we all know the homeless man who drinks morning coffee at McDonald’s by name.  Despite being the 3rd largest geographical county in the state, our entire population is half the size of Redding. When you live in a community with more cows than people you slowly start to realize the importance and magic of Hidden Treasures.

The Musketeers of Social Work

It would be easy living here to throw our hands up and say we don’t have that, we can’t do that, and well that is just too hard.  However, that is not the Siskiyou way.  When I began working for Compass, I was the ILS department in Siskiyou.  Through hard work, consistency, dreams coming true and reputation Compass began to grow.  As clients came to us to help them go after the life they want, our staffing needs increased as well, and with that came a whole new set of challenges.  How do we find the other Melanies, Rhondas, Dees, Tammys, Mikes, and Jenis of the world?  If you find a long term home at Compass, you must have grit, hustle, tenacity, compassion, dedication, and of course a sense of humor.  But, how do we find those people?  While we have Team Builders and a Recruitment System Coordinator, ultimately, we are the Musketeers of Social Work – all for one and one for all – we are in this together.  The answer to our need is we must look for the Hidden Treasures.

Finding the Hidden Treasures

During every interview for a field staff, they are asked a question about a behavioral client. You are in a store when a client has a behavior: What do you do? We have all been in that situation, but what about the time rather than your intervention the cashier connects with him, calms his nerves, and now that is the client’s favorite line to go through at the grocery store.  Eventually you remember to bring your business card with you on a grocery trip and tell them to apply for Compass – years later they are now a LG Pro that has helped countless clients manage their emotions and thrive in SLS.  You just found a hidden treasure.

Every Wednesday afternoon you go to pick up a client from their work program.  As the weeks go on,  your interaction with the work program staff becomes more in depth, and eventually you have created a rapport of trust with them.  A few months later you get a call from that staff who says they had a stellar candidate apply, but there are no open positions instead they refer to them to come work for Compass.  Intentionally taking 5 minutes every Wednesday to build a connection with that work program has now led to your new All Star ILS Manager. You just found a hidden treasure.

 Active Role

These are just two real life examples that have happened at Compass.  Regardless of the size of the community we live in, connections can be built and we, together, can continue to grow our team through finding the hidden treasures.  Here are some ideas of how you can play an active role in finding the best people to work alongside us at Compass:

  1. DisabiliTEA invite the community to come in to your local office and learn just what is we do.   Introduce them to a client ambassador and share some stories of success while you share everyone’s favorite tea.
  2. Look for the Helpers – If you were lucky enough to grow up watching Mr. Rogers, you know that he is famous for saying in times of turmoil look for the helpers. There will always be helpers. The cashier who remembers your client by name, the food bank employee that always gives your client a hug when they come pick up their weekly bag, the special Olympic coach that your client’s eyes light up when they see them in the store – those are the helpers and we always are looking for more at Compass.
  3. Enlist your client’s help – Clients know what they like in a staff and what they do not. They also are the living, breathing versions of the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon they can be connected to just about anyone. Encourage their former teacher aide from high school, their former building manager, or their mentor to apply.
  4. Social Media Networking – I saved the most influential for last. Everyone is on social media these days and rather than posting about what you had for dinner last night, as exciting as that may be, use it as a platform to share opportunities to join the Compass team. Join local online groups and share Compass posts advertising Hiring Seminars. Make it a contest that the person who gets you the most people who apply from your post you will get them a $5 gift card for coffee.

The greatest treasures are those invisible to the naked eye, but felt profoundly by the heart. As you go about your day, pause and look for the hidden treasures. They are there waiting to be discovered and call Compass – Home.

2 responses to “Finding The Hidden Treasures

  1. I’m not a staff person but I have a brother who is a client in Compass and I just want to say that every one of the staff who work with him are ‘hidden treasures’ in their own special ways! They have made such an impact in his life that he has stated when our mom is no longer around he wants to stay in Redding. And that’s because he is so fulfilled be everyone who is a part of his life! So a big Thank You to all the staff that work for Compass, it’s not always an easy job (I know this because I worked for an agency for 11 years). Keep up the awesome work!

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