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[How We Hire] Fulfilling the big potential in every “little”

Published on: Jan 25, 2019


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta is the largest one-on-one mentoring organization in the Southeast, serving 2,000 children annually with the help of thousands of volunteer “bigs.” Overseeing the staff that makes it possible is Atlanta native Paul Shenk, VP of Finance and Administration, who joined the organization seven years ago, and found his current position here on Work for Good.

My pitch for potential hires: You will love it here. The mission and the amazing results of one-to-one mentoring are fulfilling and life-changing for the child, the family, the volunteer mentor, and the staff. 

Something people love about working here: We’re passionate about the transformative work that we do and the children that we serve – the energy and enthusiasm for #defendingpotential.  It is a real team effort, where we help each other out, communicate, and strive for a common goal: helping the “littles” reach their potential.

What I look for in a resume or cover letter: A clear and concise resume that is free of inaccuracies, and a cover letter that reflects our mission and values as an organization, including a history of commitment to partnering with families or serving children in our community.

Something I listen for in an interview: Experience in helping enrich the lives of children or their community, and a passion for our mission paired with a commitment to growth – both personally and professionally. A hunger for knowledge is another strength I listen for.

One way jobseekers impress me: Candidates impress me when they give a strong handshake, have a positive self-image, and demonstrate knowledge of the organization and what we do.

My favorite interview question or ice-breaker: Describe an ideal work day.

My interview pet peeve: Lack of preparation. One failed interview that comes to mind: a candidate who came without any paper, pen, or resume, and had not done any research on the organization.

How an interviewee knocked my socks off: We had an interviewee who came prepared with a report folder of planned action steps for his first few months on the job.

How we capitalize on staff diversity: Diversity is a critical component of our organization. We are proud of our commitment to both recruiting a diverse candidate pool and nurturing that diversity internally. Not only does the diversity of our staff make us a stronger organization, it also allows us to better serve the families of Metro Atlanta

Something cool we do to support staff: Every Thursday we get together in a weekly huddle to update everyone on organization goals, and share moments of gratitude and appreciation for our co-workers. Additionally, we get real-time feedback from our CEO, Kwame Johnson, on any overarching questions.

Since 1960, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta has provided life-changing one-on-one mentorship experiences for more than 75,000 Atlanta children. You can learn more by visiting their website, or following them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.