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Nonprofit HR’s Blog

Nonprofit HR’s Talent Acquisition team places hundreds of candidates in positions each year. This story features a recent placement who is making incredible impacts in the social sector.

Jeanette Whitman-Lee
Current Organization: National Association of Social Workers
Current Title: Director of HR

Nonprofit HR: What lead you to a career in the nonprofit sector? What skills do you think you bring to the sector?

Whitman-Lee: What led me to the nonprofit sector was really looking for a mission-oriented organization and one where I felt that I could contribute more directly to the mission. I have a lot of skill sets that were honed over time in the for-profit space, which was really driven by a very strong passion for results. I think that when you work in an environment that has so much structure, it lets you appreciate more when there are fewer parameters. But at the same time, I worked for organizations that are best in class when it comes to HR so I was able to bring a lot of skills and knowledge to the nonprofit, which I believe has benefitted from my expertise.

Nonprofit HR: What drew you to your current organization’s mission? What do you love about it?

Whitman-Lee: My passion for social justice and for having, as a professional association, care for the membership for the individuals to make sure they are the best in their craft. For me, that aligns very closely with HR. As HR professionals, we work really hard to make sure that all of our employees are delivering to the best of their capabilities on the mission.

Nonprofit HR: What do you love about the culture of your new organization?

Whitman-Lee: It’s extremely collaborative. There is a lot of work that is done through committee and through consensus which limits opportunities to operate in a vacuum. You really have to collaborate with others and I really enjoy that.

Nonprofit HR:: What excites you the most about your new role?

Whitman-Lee: One thing that really excites me is that there are opportunities to bring up to date a lot of internal policies & practices. It is a chance to revise, edit, and reinitiate programs to make them current and vibrant, not only for the employees but ultimately for the members.

Nonprofit HR: What impact do you wish to have in your new role?

Whitman-Lee: That’s a really great question. I would say initially, I would like to establish a reputation as someone who is a trusted thought partner for others within the organization; someone who helps get things done.

Nonprofit HR: What advice would you give jobseekers looking for their next dream role in the sector?

Whitman-Lee: I would say to really think about and get in tune with the passions that excite you as an individual. Ask yourself the question, if I had any job what would it be? Then think about those qualities and attributes and how you would bring that into the situation.

Nonprofit HR: What was the most valuable part of the direct hire process? What should we keep the same?

Whitman-Lee: I thought that Yvonne provided a really high-touch interaction. When I reached out and first applied for the job, her response was really quick. She responded right away and kept me apprised of the different phases that we were going through with selection. She also helped to coach me to understand more clearly with what the employer was looking for.

Nonprofit HR: How has the team exceeded your expectations while working with us?

Whitman-Lee: I would say that it’s definitely the follow-up and the follow-through. Yvonne was really fantastic when I was going through the selection process. And after I got the offer, she still did a few check-ins with me to ask how everything was going and how the move was going. About a month after I started, she did a check-in to see how the new job was and I thought that was really, really special.

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