What Works for the Workforce: Leadership Competencies in Action

Competency-Based Recruitment, Screening & Selection: Strengthening Workforce Capacity, Retention & Organizational Resiliency

Webinar Held on December 14, 2011

This webinar showcases the creative, evidence-based efforts of Buncombe County, North Carolina’s Department of Social Services to recruit, screen, select and retain new frontline child welfare staff, in order to build workforce capacity, improve employee retention, and promote organizational resiliency. The presenters highlight specific steps and strategies – such as the identification of core competencies; open and realistic recruitment; structured, competency-based screening, including job samples; extended new employee “on-boarding” process – and describe how these efforts are embedded in a broader systemic initiative to foster organizational resiliency, workplace pride, and staff cohesion. Participants learn about the development, implementation and outcomes of this innovative hiring process, as well as offer lessons learned, tips for agencies, and the leadership skills and competencies necessary to sustain it over time.

Presenters include:

  • Becky Kessel, MSW, Program Administrator for Foster Care, Adoptions and Licensing Services in Buncombe County. She has been with the County for more than 15 years and has previous experience in mental health, developmental disabilities and healthcare.  She has served as an advisory member and field instructor for the North Carolina Child Welfare Educational Collaborative, and on teams participating in the American Humane Association/Casey Family Programs Breakthrough Series Collaborative on Safety and Risk Assessment, the National Drug Court Institute and National Advisory Council for Teen Pregnancy Prevention. 
  • Lisa Eby, MSW, MS, is Human Resources Director in Buncombe County. Her 10 years in human services have focused on integrating her knowledge of systems thinking and organizational effectiveness in order to foster a culture of engagement, innovation and compassionate service. Lisa has an extensive background in child welfare, and previously worked in healthcare as a consultant.
  • Angela Pittman, MSW, is Buncombe County’s Social Work and Legal Services Program Administrator. She has worked in the social work field for 20 years, served in a variety of frontline and managerial child welfare positions, and been an adjunct professor at Montreat College. She currently serves on multiple Boards and Commissions related to Child and Adult Social Work.
  • Freda Bernotavicz, MS, leads the NCWWI’s Leadership Academy for Supervisors (LAS). She previously directed a project to develop models for recruitment, selection and retention of child welfare staff, and was the founder and Director of the Institute for Public Sector Innovation at the University of Southern Maine and a member of the Maine Children’s Cabinet.


1-page Summary