Library Director, Fiscal Officer, and Human Resources leader recruiting

Posted by on Aug 4, 2021 in Blog, Government and Public Sector, Hiring, Public Libraries, Talent Acquisition | Comments Off on Library Director, Fiscal Officer, and Human Resources leader recruiting

Library Director, Fiscal Officer, and Human Resources leader recruiting

It has been our privilege to work with a number of public library systems by helping them find their next Library Director, Fiscal Officer, or Human Resources leader.

As these are high-profile and critical positions in your Library, you need a partner with proven library recruiting expertise in sourcing qualified candidates and facilitating the screening and selection process. We bring a unique perspective to our work because we have experience in all Human Resources disciplines as well as recruiting, which means you get:

  • Years of experience recruiting executive-level talent and knowing how to locate and engage with top talent.
  • A sensible approach to engaging with the labor market for talent, whether through our broad network of library and public-sector professionals or using the newest technology tools to connect with talent.
  • Experience working with Library senior management, trustees, and community stakeholders to ensure all constituencies who have input are heard.
  • A diverse pool of talent reflecting the needs of your community, staff, and other stakeholders.
  • Guidance on how to develop a job description so that you can clearly convey what the role is about.
  • Accurate compensation data based on our extensive experience benchmarking library positions so that you know what an appropriate compensation package should look like.
  • Providing you with a robust screening and selection process so that you are learning the most about candidates and how they would be successful in the role.
  • Assistance with making the offer, negotiating with the finalist/s, and recommending best practices for orientation and onboarding.
  • Providing tools to set expectations and assist you with coaching and performance management.

Our library clients include

  • Clermont County Public Library
  • Cleveland Public Library
  • Cuyahoga County Public Library
  • Delaware County District Library
  • Stark Library
  • Stow – Munroe Falls Public Library
  • Tiffin – Seneca Public Library
  • Toledo Lucas County Public Library
  • Westerville Public Library
  • Wickliffe Public Library
  • Ohio Library Council

We understand libraries’ unique workplace dynamics, trends in librarianship, the challenges libraries face, and what the future holds.  We are members in the American Library Association/Public Library Association [ALA/PLA], Ohio Library Council [OLC], Michigan Library Association [MLA], Ohio Government Finance Officers Association [OHGFOA], and the International Public Management Association for Human Resources [IPMA-HR].

To have an exploratory conversation to understand our process and experience with library recruiting and answer your questions, take a look at our success stories, and then contact us!

Recruiting success stories

Posted by on Jul 26, 2021 in Blog, Hiring, Talent Acquisition | Comments Off on Recruiting success stories

Recruiting success stories

Over the years we have successfully led recruiting efforts for our clients.

We wanted to share some of them with you…follow the links to learn about some of these projects.

These are just a few examples of the recruiting work we have done for our clients over the years.

Whether you need help find that special person, or just need an advisor to help you make your recruiting strategies and processes more efficient and effective, we can help.

Want to learn more? Contact us to learn how we can help with your recruiting and talent acquisition needs.

Employment Opportunity – Social Impact Strategist

Posted by on Jul 19, 2021 in Blog, Hiring, Non Profit, Openings, Talent Acquisition | Comments Off on Employment Opportunity – Social Impact Strategist

Employment Opportunity – Social Impact Strategist

We are helping our client [and friends!] at Sangfroid Strategy find their next Social Impact Strategist.

The Social Impact Strategist supports the strategy and implementation project-based consulting portfolio for nonprofit and philanthropic customers in Cleveland, Ohio and across the United States to build their capacity.

In this role you will help with:

  • Nonprofit strategy development
  • Strategy and implementation
  • Building internal strategy development structure
  • Communications, presentations, and workshops
  • General project support

Interested? Click on the link to learn more and share your experience and why you would be a great fit.  They have a great culture, competitive pay and benefits, and many opportunities to learn and grow…personally and professionally.

We are glad to help our clients with their recruitment needs. If you would like to know more about our recruitment and strategies to attract and retain talent, contact us to learn how we can help.


The value of a Human Resources audit

Posted by on Jun 23, 2021 in Best Practices, Blog, HR Consulting, HR Operations Audit | Comments Off on The value of a Human Resources audit

The value of a Human Resources audit

We are frequently asked by clients to help them understand if they are getting the most out of their Human Resources activities and whether there are better ways to do things.  They are also interested in knowing if there are best practices they could follow to improve their outcomes. A great way to determine this is to conduct a Human Resources audit.

An HR audit is simply a review of processes and activities to ensure you are working efficiently, effectively, and in a compliant manner.

An HR audit can accomplish a couple things:

  1. Compliance: Help you determine if you are complying with all applicable laws and regulations that pertain to employment, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, etc.
  2. Process improvement: Find ways to improved processes and enhance efficiency by carefully reviewing what HR functions are being performed, and considering alternate ways of doing things, including the use of technology.


Employment laws change. Remember, not only federal law, but state laws, and even county and municipal laws may apply to you. It is important to ensure your employment practices stay current. If you are a smaller organization this can be difficult, especially if you do not have HR staff.

An HR audit can help you develop a list of potential compliance issues that you can investigate so that you can decide how to address them. We suggest that you consider developing a relationship with a law firm that specializes in employment matters so that you have access to legal updates as they arise. Your public accounting firm can also be a resource on these matters

Process improvement

Think about the changes you have seen at work over the past five, ten, or fifteen years.  Then ask yourself:

  • Are you still processing new hires the same way?
  • Have your hiring processes kept up with what today’s job seekers are after?
  • Are you communicating with employees the same way or are you using all of the new communications tools available to reach them?
  • Does administration of employee benefit plans and insurance invoice processing take up a lot of time?

When you think about how we do things in our personal life, whether its signing documents electronically, accessing information on website and other portals, and utilizing many different communications technologies, there are bound to be ways to apply these things in the HR department as well.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of doing things the same way each year. There are so many new tools to help get the HR paperwork handled more efficiently, it’s worth taking a step back and assessing what you are doing and ask yourself:

  • Why is it done this way?
  • Are there ways I solve similar problems in other aspects of my life that I can apply here?
  • Where do I spend most of my time? Does it add value?  Do other perceive this work as meaningful?
  • For any given process, if I review the number of steps involved, can I combine or reduce some?
  • What else could I do if some of these other tasks took less time?

When should you conduct an audit?

  • If you have a transition in your HR function, an HR audit can help the new HR leader set priorities.
  • If you expect new processes and systems to be implemented, reviewing processes and tasks can help make the implementation run more smoothly and give you a clearer idea of requirements and outcomes.
  • If there will be a change in key stakeholders…if there is an acquisition or divestiture, new leadership, or large groups of new employees, it might be a good time to conduct a review.

Human Resources audits are one of our specialties. We have the tools to conduct a thorough analysis and provide recommendations to be more compliant and more effective and efficient. If you need help starting your HR audit or have or other Human Resources consulting needs, contact us and check out our updates for more helpful resources.

Case Study – HR audit for a petrochemical services firm

Posted by on Jun 22, 2021 in Best Practices, Blog, Case Study, HR Consulting, HR Operations Audit, Success Stories | Comments Off on Case Study – HR audit for a petrochemical services firm

Case Study – HR audit for a petrochemical services firm

We are frequently asked by clients to perform an HR audit of their organization’s Human Resources function.  There are several reasons to perform an HR audit:

  • Management wishes to know how effective and efficient the Human Resources function and staff are;
  • There is no current formal Human Resources department and management wishes to know what their baseline is before adding one;
  • There will be a transition of Human Resources staff or leadership and management wants to ensure the department is in good shape before new department employees are hired.

Our Human Resources Operations Review covers all HR functions and disciplines. We perform a detailed review of your organization’s:

  • Talent Acquisition [staffing, sourcing, screening, selection, hiring, and retention practices and strategies]
  • Compensation and Benefits [compensation policy and philosophy; salary grade system; job descriptions; benefits enrollment process; plan documents and summary plan descriptions]
  • Employee and Labor Relations [employee handbook; communication programs; issues resolution; discipline; recognition/special programs]
  • Performance Management [performance review process; corrective action; coaching]
  • Succession Planning [succession planning process; individual and department development plans]
  • Training, Development, and Orientation [training and development programs; orientation and on-boarding process]
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance [FLSA; FMLA; EEOC; Workers’ Compensation; ACA; ERISA; required postings]
  • Recordkeeping, Administration, and Systems [personnel files; medical files; HRIS and payroll system, etc.]

We conducted a Human Resources Operations Review for our client, a petrochemical services firm in Long Beach, California.  To perform our work we spent several days on-site reviewing HR processes, documentation, and compliance. We interviewed Human Resources staff and those deemed key customers of the HR function: line management, Finance, Safety, and other departments. Conducting a perception analysis of those who use HR services is important for ensuring that Human Resources is acting as a true business partner and meeting their needs.

Our project partner was the Chief Financial Officer. He said:

OA was recommended to us by one of our other partners that provide HR services to us. We were grappling with whether we had set up our Human Resources function correctly to meet the needs of our growing business that now had locations in several states.


We had developed out Human Resources department out of our Payroll function. While we were sure our administrative processes for orienting, onboarding, and getting new employees set up for pay and benefits worked well, we were not sure the function was adding more value than that.


OA spent nearly a week onsite in our offices, learning our business, understanding the current Human Resources function, and meeting with key management and staff who interact with Human Resources or receive services from them. They provided a very thorough report and an action plan that we were able to implement immediately. This helped us improve the Human Resources function and better meet the needs of our employees.

Want to learn more? Other Human Resources Operations Reviews can be found here, and other client success stories here. This is just one of the many services we offer as part of our Human Resources Consulting practice.

If you think it’s time to ensure your Human Resources activities are efficient, effective, and meeting the needs of your organization’s internal customers, contact us!

OA will be at the Ohio Association of Public Treasurers Training Program

Posted by on Jun 14, 2021 in Blog, Government and Public Sector, Presentations and Conferences | Comments Off on OA will be at the Ohio Association of Public Treasurers Training Program

OA will be at the Ohio Association of Public Treasurers Training Program

We are excited to be presenting our workshop The Non-HR Professional’s Guide to Managing HR to the Ohio Association of Public Treasurers on Tuesday June 15 2021 at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio.

The Ohio Association of Public Treasurers was established to promote the general and professional interest of the public treasurers in their respective communities, to obtain a higher standard of efficiency, to improve service with allied institutions, and to inspire friendly and fraternal relationships among its members.

OA works extensively with public sector organizations, from municipalities, regional agencies, and public libraries, among others.  We frequently work with fiscal officers and finance directors, and this conference is a great way for us to interact with them and learn more about their responsibilities as their organizations’ top finance leaders.

If you will be at the conference, we’d love to meet you!  We can share how we have helped many of Ohio’s public organizations with Human Resources consulting, recruiting and talent acquisition, and fractional HR services.

Can’t wait until the conference?  Contact us and check out our updates for more information.

What Is workforce planning and why is it essential?

Posted by on May 19, 2021 in Best Practices, Blog, Talent Acquisition | Comments Off on What Is workforce planning and why is it essential?

What Is workforce planning and why is it essential?

By Ryan Sheehan

As Human Resources professionals, it is all too easy to get mired in our day-to-day work issues and duties. Most days there are multiple fires to put out, too many calls to make and “priority” emails to respond to, and other various, competing demands. During these times, I often pause and reflect on what one of my best managers taught me – organizations that do not make time to look forward and plan for future may not have future.

In our ever-changing economic climate, workforce planning is not only advisable but essential. Yet, when we conduct Human Resources audits for our clients, we discover than many do not have a strategic workforce plan in place.

What is workforce planning?

Workforce planning is simply the process by which an organization assesses its current and future workforce needs based on its business goals and objectives. It involves a system-wide review and analysis of its human capital and the development of an action plan that an organization will need to meet its targets. At a top level, this includes identifying both the quantity and the quality of the employees needed [in terms of their knowledge, skills, abilities, and cultural fit] but contains many other elements.

What is the purpose of workforce planning?

For most companies, their workforce is their single largest expense [accounting for 70% of operating expenses according to a recent EY study]. It only makes sense to analyze and optimize spending, usage, and maintaining these ‘resources’ like any other materials or operating costs. There are other indirect benefits to implementing a solid workforce plan as well.

What are the basic elements of workforce plans?

Although there are several approaches to strategic workforce planning, and the strategies and metrics included in workforce plans will vary [based on an organization’s structure, size, industry, and goals], all effective workforce plans should:

  • Align workforce requirements directly to the organization’s strategic and annual business plans.
  • Develop a comprehensive picture of where gaps exist between competencies the workforce currently possesses and future competency requirements.
  • Identify and implement gap reduction strategies.
  • Make decisions about how best to structure the organization and deploy the workforce.
  • Detect and overcome internal and external barriers to accomplishing strategic workforce goals.

Where do I start?

To have an effective workforce strategic plan, you need to have a formal, well-articulated business strategy. If you do not know where your organization is going, how can you identify the people with the knowledge, skills, and abilities [KSAs] you will need to get you there?

The next step is a conducting a comprehensive, rigorous workforce assessment. An impactful workforce planning assessment is not limited figuring out if you need to hire new employees or determining appropriate staffing levels. Understanding your current employees’ individual aptitudes and talents is key to developing effective strategies to get the best performance out of them and to help align them for individual and shared success.

Next steps

Once the assessment is complete, you will need to develop an action plan. This step involves the designing strategies to close gaps, plans to implement the strategies, and choosing measures for assessing strategic progress. These strategies could include such things as recruiting, training/retraining, restructuring departments, contracting out roles, succession planning, technological enhancements/automation, and other activities.

Then you will implement your action plan by making sure that human and fiscal resources are in place, assigning and explaining the roles to key participants in the plan’s programs, and ensuring the necessary internal  communication, marketing, and coordination is occurring to execute the plan.

Finally, you will need to monitor, evaluate, and revise your plan. This phase involves monitoring progress against milestones, adjusting the plan to make course corrections, and addressing newly occurring workforce issues on a regular cadence [annually or semi-annually is common].

Hopefully, we have given you some inspiration and insights on how to begin (or reboot your) strategic workforce planning. If once you start upon the path you find you need expert advice and support, we can help. Contact us today.


Ryan Sheehan is a colleague and friend of OA and has led a number of successful talent acquisition projects for non-profit and public-sector organizations with us. He is an accomplished Human Resources and talent management professional with a solid track record of aligning people and business strategies. Across his 18 years of career experience, he has developed, implemented, and improved Human Resources programs, processes, and tools/technologies. Also, Ryan is adept at directly matching top talent with esteemed employers and creating strong talent acquisition strategies, trainings, and teams.

Client success story – LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

Posted by on May 13, 2021 in Blog, Non Profit, Success Stories, Talent Acquisition | Comments Off on Client success story – LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

Client success story – LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

Organizational Architecture has had a relationship with the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland for over a decade.  It has been our privilege to work with his terrific organization and its leadership…and to have seen it grow into the major community resource it is today.

Since 1975, The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland has been serving the needs of the LGBT+ community in Northeastern Ohio. The Center has had multiple places that it has called home over the past 40 years. Today, you can find them in the heart of the Gordon Square Arts District in their beautiful new building. Their mission is to enrich the lives of the diverse LGBTQ+ community through advocacy, support, education, and celebration.

Our work over the years has covered many areas, from drafting employee handbooks, to serving on boards, and being part of the strategic planning process.  We have also been involved with helping The Center select its Executive Directors.

Phyllis Harris is the Executive Director.  She said:

Organizational Architecture has supported The Center for many years.  They have been a valuable resource when it comes to helping us with matters related to our staff and management. But one of the biggest areas they have assisted us is in the selection of Executive Directors.  I can speak to this from my own experience of having been part of this process myself.


OA worked with us in 2010 when the previous Executive Director was selected.  Guided by OA, The Center developed a process to source candidates using several sourcing strategies, from the internet to publications that candidates would likely view.  They facilitated the screening process by helping us develop meaningful criteria to review candidate qualifications and selecting community stakeholders as participants whose input was necessary. This process helped The Center select a great candidate.


When the previous Executive Director moved on, I was a Board member. I felt I was ready for the opportunity to lead The Center and submitted myself as a candidate.   Again, OA worked with the rest of the Board, staff, and community stakeholders in the screening and selection process. Happily, I was selected as the new Executive Director, a role I have held since 2012.  The experience I had as a candidate was a good one, and OA made sure the screening and selection process was robust and fair.

We are proud of our relationship with The Center and the work we have done, especially in helping them with key hiring decisions.  If you want to support The Center, you can donate here.

Our diverse experience in Human Resources includes non-profit organizations, as well as public-sector entities and private companies. We serve our clients in many ways:

Want to know more?  Contact us and check out other success stories to learn more.