Success Stories

Service Experience

Here we've provided a sampling of our work all varying in scope and budget, each bringing their own set of challenges to the table. We've completed thousands of projects over the last four decades so if you're looking for something more specific, please let us know

Strategic Planning
Leadership Development
Outreach
Organizational Design
Operational Improvement

Customer Service
Facilitation
Compensation Studies
Search and Recruitment

 

strategic PLANNING

► The Water Institute of the Gulf | Driving the Application of Scientific and Technological Solutions

Challenge

State officials and key stakeholders identified the need to develop excellent science to give local, state and federal policymakers, as well as residents, the information and options they need, not only to solve a scientific problem, but to solve social challenges as well.
Approach
SSA created the conceptual model and business plan for The Water Institute, along with leading practices research on governance, funding, staffing, and programmatic elements for 29 institutes with relevant missions. SSA also conducted stakeholder outreach and spearheaded planning efforts with vice-chancellors of Louisiana universities and research directors for other organizations around the world to help ensure early efforts of The Water Institute would collaboratively enhance ongoing activities of leading practice coastal and deltaic research institutions.
Impact
The Water Institute will create science and technology in Louisiana to inform the federal and state’s coastal restoration and hurricane protection efforts, building capacity and specialism at a level that does not exist today in the United States or around the world. The economic impact of The Water Institute will be realized not only through the building of capacity in academic institutions and private industry, but through the application of such knowledge in cutting-edge technologies that can be adapted for use by state and federal agencies or commercialized to advanced private enterprise.

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► Blueprint Louisiana | Connecting Leaders to Create the State We Deserve

Challenge

Blueprint Louisiana is a citizen-driven effort to identify and implement essential changes to fundamentally improve life and economic opportunities in Louisiana for generations. Led and supported by community and business leaders from across the state, this nonpartisan effort aims to better position Louisiana for success. SSA designed the Blueprint Louisiana organizational and operational models in 2006 and currently serves as the project management organization.
Approach
SSA facilitates periodic meetings in nine, designated regions to gather input from business and community leaders. Since spring 2007, SSA has hosted 36 regional meetings, attracting more than 2,000 participants. The project team also conducts formal briefings for legislators and executive agencies on all of Blueprint’s reform platforms, including ethics, education, workforce development, health care, transportation infrastructure, crime, public retirement, and coastal restoration and hurricane protection. Additionally, SSA manages the organization’s daily operations, including maintaining Blueprint Louisiana’s financials and 3,000-plus membership database; directing subcontractors; coordinating board meetings; and facilitating engagements among key stakeholders. Among its many outreach efforts, SSA developed a speakers’ bureau that has supplied presenters, including project staff and board members, to discuss the Blueprint agenda at nearly 50 meetings and conferences.
Impact
During the 2007 election, Blueprint Louisiana secured a super-majority of support in Louisiana Legislature. Major Blueprint-backed legislation passed during special and regular legislative sessions resulted in stronger ethic laws, higher investments in early childhood education, a redesign of state workforce development efforts, higher education reform, and the implementation of a performance-based funding formula at the campus level. Moreover, Blueprint’s communication efforts produced more than 200 articles, editorials and letters to the editor published by print media across the state.

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Leadership Development

► North Oaks Health System | Accelerating the Growth of Leaders

Challenge
A period of rapid expansion and growth at North Oaks Health System led to significant internal promotions of its workforce into managerial and leadership positions. The community-based hospital organization engaged SSA to assess its current makeup of all supervisors across all levels of the organization, and to provide training and feedback to aid in the growth and development of these key executives and leaders now tasked with managerial and supervisory duties to sustain and build upon this rapid growth across the organization.
Approach
SSA worked with North Oaks to identify 150 managers and supervisors across the organization to participate in the leadership development process through which every manager completed the assessments included as part of the Hogan Leadership Forecast Series. Following the completion of the assessments, SSA conducted one-on-one coaching feedback sessions with each manager with the goal of interpreting the survey results, identifying critical leadership behaviors for the purpose of soliciting feedback, and beginning the process of creating a Personal Leadership Development Plan. To help participants develop greater self-awareness of personal strengths and opportunities for development, SSA facilitated multiple “Wrap-Around Leadership Training” group sessions that included all supervisors within the organization. In addition to individual coaching and these wrap-around sessions, SSA conducted several teambuilding sessions to strengthen cohesion among vertical natural workgroups and supervisory team members within the organization.
Impact
Upon project completion, SSA conducted a participant-wide survey with both quantitative and qualitative question sets. Findings included high levels of satisfaction with consultants’ facilitation skills, interaction with groups, instructors’ energy and enthusiasm, and usefulness of information presented. Additionally, respondents reported increased levels of awareness for personal behavior and an understanding of the importance of receiving feedback from others. Moreover, open-ended responses from program participants supported conclusions drawn from quantitative data and confirmed participants’ commitment to personal development, organizational growth and team development. Because of SSA’s work on this project, North Oaks Health System requested SSA’s support to develop a selection profile and screening tool for all new physician hires at the hospital. In addition, the organization continues to turn to SSA to assist them in profiling new hires and with many of its subsequent leadership development efforts.

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Outreach

► Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority | Creating a Sustainable Future for the Gulf Coast

Challenge
Louisiana is in the midst of a land loss crisis that has claimed 1,880 square miles of land since the 1930s. To address this crisis the Louisiana Legislature passed an act to create the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) and required it to develop a plan for a safe and sustainable coast every five years. To build upon the success of the first master plan in 2007, the state engaged SSA to manage all of the outreach and engagement efforts for the 2012 Coastal Master Plan update.
Approach
SSA coordinated all outreach, public relations, community awareness, and facilitation efforts to develop the plan, while simultaneously coordinating services among several agencies, organizations and stakeholders to gain support for the plan. In addition to driving all public and political outreach services, SSA led and facilitated multi-stakeholder decision making among various stakeholder groups to identify specific issues and challenges to address in the planning process.
Impact
SSA coordinated more than 150 presentations to civic and industry groups and 13 regional community meetings in which more than 1,500 residents, 40 state legislators and interested parties participated. The planning process generated more than 100 formal public comments during public hearings and more than 2,200 comments via email, website and mail. In addition, the plan received favorable attention from print, TV, radio and online media outlets across the nation. The legislature passed the 2012 Master Plan on May 1, 2012. Throughout the plan’s implementation, SSA will continue to work with stakeholders and community members to ensure the process addresses important issues and concerns of coastal communities.

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► Louisiana Department of Economic Development | Crafting Louisiana's Business Counseling Network

Challenge
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED) identified the need to provide services including assistance in applying for small business administration disaster loans, business planning, marketing analysis, financial analysis and general business counseling to small businesses in hurricane-impacted areas in Louisiana.
Approach
SSA developed the case management model to respond to these small business needs and worked with LED to design a robust assistance program, identify grant recipients, coordinate the scheduling and assignment of counseling resources to end users, and recruit the member economic development agencies into the Business Counseling Center (BCC) network. Once in place, the BCC network served as an impactful and successful program capable of providing free intensive counseling and education services to small businesses in hurricane-impacted areas.
Impact
Through the collaborative effort of the member agencies, the BCCs became a “one-stop-shop” for small business owners in Louisiana. In total, the BCC network provided technical assistance and workshops to more than 5,000 businesses, and procurement and contracting workshops held in nine communities attracted more than 850 attendees. Seven additional “Gulf Opportunity Zone” workshops drew more than 470 participants and nearly 900 businesses received counseling services. The SSA-designed BCC network and its framework exist today within LED, and its function remains in place as an economic tool for statewide hurricane and disaster response initiatives.

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► City of Baton Rouge, Parish of East Baton Rouge | Building the Infrastructure to Support EBRP Motorists

Challenge
The Green Light Plan includes more than $650 million in City-Parish infrastructure improvements and was voted on and approved by residents of East Baton Rouge Parish in 2005. The City-Parish subsequently engaged a program management team to oversee the day-to-day management of the program and its projects, with SSA Consultants serving as the lead firm in charge of all outreach and engagement efforts.
Approach
SSA’s role as part of the Green Light Plan program management team includes working directly with the Mayor-President, Metro Council, Department of Public Works officials, the program management team, and individual project managers to consult on public awareness strategies as they relate to the roads projects and the program as a whole. SSA is responsible for all direct media inquiries, media relations, coordination with community stakeholders and media representatives on project start dates and completion dates, outreach for major road closures, community and media relations for project public meetings and informational sessions, and serving as liaisons between the project team(s) and community stakeholders during public events and informational sessions. SSA is also responsible for the design and development of materials for public issuance, including press releases, media advisories, and both program and individual project updates to the community.
Impact
The Green Light Plan’s communications, media relations, and community awareness effort has produced and included public information workshops, news broadcasts, articles, and feature stories. In 2010, Public Works Magazine, a nationally distributed industry magazine focused on the needs of public works professionals and partners along with the needs of the communities they serve, published a cover story about the innovative nature of the Green Light Plan and the success of the program to-date. SSA project team members have coordinated more than 50 public events, including public information workshops, groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies, and community outreach sessions for program and project-specific updates. Community relations has been a strong focus of the Green Light Plan since voters overwhelmingly approved it in 2005, and this will remain true moving forward as the program continues to break ground on new projects and complete existing ones throughout East Baton Rouge Parish. 

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► Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals | Changing the Face of Health Care Through Provider Outreach

Challenge

Upon completion of designing the new coordinated care Medicaid model that was initially referred to as the “Coordinated Care Networks” model, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) engaged an outreach team comprised of SSA and two other firms to provide outreach services to develop, produce, and implement a statewide multimedia education and direct outreach campaign for providers, Medicaid recipients, and community advocates relative to the initial implementation and rollout of this new model that would become “BAYOU HEALTH.”
Approach
SSA is responsible for all provider outreach related to the rollout of BAYOU HEALTH, working with physicians and associations to educate providers across the state on these new programs, benefits, and the role they play in this new system with a strong focus on providing coordinated, preventative care to Medicaid and LaCHIP recipients in Louisiana. SSA also provide senior-level strategy services utilizing the subject matter expertise of our consultants working on the project, working directly with DHH senior leadership to facilitate programmatic outreach at all levels and foster statewide understanding of the importance of this new approach to health care amongst Medicaid and LaCHIP recipients and the providers in the medical communities that serve them.
Impact
SSA delivered 79 provider outreach and education sessions to more than 4,000 Medicaid and LaCHIP providers across the state of Louisiana, working with representatives of the medical community and relevant associations to disseminate information about BAYOU HEALTH, including ongoing programmatic and policy updates, to members of the medical community and the recipients they serve. Through this focused approach to outreach and education, State of Louisiana leadership, including Gov. Bobby Jindal and DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein, have acknowledged the implementation of BAYOU HEALTH as a successful one with the provider outreach model developed and led by SSA as one to emulate for future programs and initiatives within DHH. 

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Organizational Design

► Orleans Levee District | Restructuring Organizational Infrastructure to Realize Efficiencies

Challenge
With the recent legislative reallocation of non-flood assets from The Orleans Levee District (the District) supervision to a separate management authority, the District engaged SSA to assess its existing structure and make recommendations for an organizational redesign.
Approach
SSA conducted an organizational assessment to examine the District's current infrastructure on both an organizational and departmental level in an effort to best identify allocation of resources and personnel relative to the District's mission. The SSA project team facilitated the outcomes and observations of this assessment through key staff and stakeholder interviews, organizational chart and table of organization analyses and a comprehensive review of the District's documents as they relate to the organization or its departments. SSA conducted a high-level benchmarking study to determine a baseline for the District's operations and then compared those operations to similar agencies and levee authorities. SSA also examined other state agencies’ organizational structures to correlate staffing levels in generic departments like human resources, finance and information technology. SSA’s final task involved the development of recommendations for any activities that will ultimately improve, augment or enhance the District's operations to serve as a blueprint for proposed organizational growth and staffing level adjustments over time to reach desired levels.
Impact
Overall, SSA concluded that while the District's current staffing levels proved adequate to provide its mandated services, some personnel imbalances did exist within certain departments. SSA estimated a large amount of anticipated retirements and/ or regular turnover would naturally correct these imbalances through attrition and the subsequent freezing of positions within overstaffed departments. Additionally, the SSA project team recognized many opportunities to realize efficiencies in work process and practice movements to further help in closing the gap within overstaffed departments as staffing levels balance.

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► Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries | Designing Louisiana's Seafood Sustainability Program

Challenge
In 2009, the dockside value of Louisiana’s commercially caught seafood, estimated at $284,425,000, was one of the highest in the nation. This seafood, once processed and sold, generated an estimated $1.7 billion in total economic value and resulted in 29,185 jobs statewide. At the same time, major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Publix, and Safeway started requiring or moving in the direction of requiring sustainability certifications from commercial fisheries in order to be sold at their stores. Recognizing the need to strengthen the continued viability and competitiveness of the Louisiana seafood industry, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries engaged SSA to assist in developing a responsible fisheries management certification model to assure buyers and consumers across the United States that Louisiana seafood is sustainable.
Approach
To assist in the execution and maintenance of a credible certification effort, SSA played a key role on the “Louisiana Certification Team,” a partnership among the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Audubon Nature Institute through the Audubon Coastal Wildlife Center, and the Global Trust, an internationally-recognized expert in seafood certification and model construction. In the business plan SSA wrote, each organization was tasked with a range of responsibilities, including establishing certification criteria and creating a method to demonstrate progress in cases where fisheries fail to obtain certification; selecting fisheries for certification; certifying the targeted fisheries; and developing and executing marketing, public relations, and outreach campaigns to inform the public about responsible fishery management matters. Acknowledging fisheries are naturally at different stages in development, SSA and the team utilized a “Fit for Purpose” tiered certification program, which draws from various established standards to most appropriately assess whether or not a fishery fulfills the criteria for certification.
Impact
Since its establishment, Fit for Purpose has strengthened the support of commercial fishing in Louisiana and fisheries across the Gulf of Mexico through continued sales in major retail outlets and increased awareness of fishery management issues among the public, particularly wholesale and retail buyers and consumers.

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Operational Improvement

► Merged Group Medical Practice | Turning Around Financial Performance

Challenge
Two primary care physician practices and a large nonprofit hospital entered into an agreement to operate as their parish’s “full-service” family practice. The assets of the physician practices combined with the capital invested by the hospital provided an opportunity to create an entity that could offer the highest quality of care to its patients while also providing a substantial return on investment to its owners; however, the new organization struggled to achieve this reality. The organization engaged SSA to help reverse the negative trends in revenue and patient volume and bring its escalating costs under control.
Approach
SSA conducted a comprehensive study of the organization’s costs, revenues and staffing levels compared to national benchmarked data to identify significant opportunities to improve the organization’s financial performance. From its findings, SSA recommended cost item reductions and eliminations, and implemented a new cost control system and annual review of all expenditures. The SSA project team also reviewed all of the organization’s provider contracts and recommended the renegotiation of several contracts as a result of their analysis. To address the organizational structure, SSA analyzed the capabilities of the management team and assisted in the recruitment of additional talent.
Impact
The organization's operating income improved from a net loss of more than $1 million in its first two years of operation to a net gain. The entities’ expenses reduced by $950,000 and revenues increased by more than $1 million. Moreover, patient volume increased after two years of steady decline and the practice is now a stable, growing, profitable entity.

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► Department of Children and Family Services | Redesigning the State's Welfare-to-Work Program

Challenge
The existing welfare-to-work program did not include progressive case management processes and tools needed to develop customized plans to achieve sustainable employment. The program also lacked adequate accountability mechanisms. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) engaged SSA to develop and implement a major redesign of the State’s Welfare-to-Work program.
Approach
The SSA project team reviewed an independent assessment report describing the program’s operating results to gain an understanding of the existing program’s processes. The team also interviewed DCFS staff members and conducted national best practices research on similar programs to identify possible operating improvements. With this insight, SSA designed an improved workflow process and developed the necessary materials and tools required to support it. To introduce the program redesign to staff members, SSA developed and delivered a change management training program and provided coaching and consultation to state-level and regional-level leadership throughout the program’s implementation.
Impact
Upon completion of the program’s implementation DCFS’ program caseload decreased by 33 percent. Moreover, participating adults fully engaged in work activities increased from 34 percent to 48 percent and the number of clients placed in basic education activities nearly tripled.

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Customer Service Improvement

► Covenant Health System | Improving Patient Satisfaction

Challenge
The merger of two major Texas-based hospitals resulted in the creation of Covenant Health System (CHS), the fifth-largest health system in Texas at the time. The union of the two fiercely competitive hospitals with distinctly different cultures, combined with significant management changes, created an unsettled environment. Both organizations’ reputation for quality care and good patient satisfaction changed drastically after the merger, with CHS’ Press Ganey Satisfaction scores dropping below the 30th percentile in their peer group. In addition to low patient satisfaction scores, employee and physician satisfaction scores dropped sharply as well. 
Approach
SSA researched national best practices, and then helped CHS form a Customer Satisfaction Steering Committee comprised of various employees and hospital stakeholders. With guidance and assistance from SSA, this Steering Committee then developed a bold vision for success and four design teams to assist in the development of the improvement plan. The teams worked with SSA to create a program that addressed teambuilding, employee physician and patient respect, the patient’s awareness of a job-well-done, and CHS’ contribution to the community. In addition, SSA designed opportunities for celebration at every success point to acknowledge employees’ contributions toward overall improvement.
Impact
CHS’ customer satisfaction scores improved from the 30th percentile to an impressive 96th percentile just one year after the SSA-designed program’s rollout. Shortly thereafter, Press Ganey recognized the efforts and results of this program by awarding CHS with the prestigious Compass Award for Excellence in Patient Satisfaction, which recognizes the greatest improvement in patient satisfaction scores in the large hospital category in the nation. 

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► Nonprofit Community Hospital and Medical Center | Refining Service Excellence

Challenge
This nonprofit community hospital and medical center sought to expand its current market share and enhance opportunities for future growth, but recognized a driving force behind any expansion plans would revolve around an improved focus across the organization on customer service excellence. To make this a reality, the 193-bed, general acute care center engaged SSA to develop a customer service delivery plan to position the center as the “go-to” hospital in the area.
Approach
SSA implemented a three-phase approach to develop the center's new customer service delivery program. In the first phase, SSA formed a core service team comprised of key executives and stakeholders to champion the development and implementation of a formal customer service strategy. The core team assisted in the design and recommendations for the following items that would form the foundation to this new program: development of a revised interviewing and selection process, development of service standards, identification of service recovery opportunities, scripting for frontline staff, and development of a reward and recognition program. For the second phase of this effort, SSA worked with the center's staff to develop a skills development program, which was guided and refined through weekly conference calls with executive staff to review progress on this and other elements of the overall program. Using a train-the-trainer model, scripts, role-playing, training aids, and service recovery elements, the core team, with guidance from the SSA project team, began to roll out the center's new customer service delivery plan. Finally, in the third phase, SSA conducted additional training, problem-solving sessions, and core team and senior executive meetings to ensure the program’s success would be long-lasting and sustained.
Impact
Upon full implementation of the new service excellence program, the center asked SSA to monitor and measure the program’s results over the course of one year. The SSA project team observed a work culture and environment that fostered an understanding among all employees about the need to “own” the hospital’s new customer service delivery efforts. In addition to an increased understanding of the concept of customer service and the resulting benefits of such efforts, staff members also reported new skills and techniques they had developed to deal more effectively with the challenges and obstacles associated with delivering excellent customer service. 

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Facilitation

► The Louisiana Housing Corporation | Creating Consensus Among Stakeholders to Drive Action

Challenge
After the devastating blows dealt by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC), formerly known as the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, entered into the national spotlight as legislators and housing advocates alike demanded a fair and efficient dispersal of housing funds to expedite the state’s shortage of housing affordable to low-income families. LHC, realizing it would need a robust strategic plan to carry out its mission and target its efforts appropriately, enlisted SSA to help create consensus amongst its board of commissioners through the development of a strategic plan to support the agency’s mission and shape its future direction.
Approach
To ensure a successful strategic planning process SSA worked closely with the board and the agency’s key and administrative staff to outline expectations and define roles and relationships. At the same time, SSA also facilitated a public meeting to solicit input to guide the strategic planning process with the needs and suggestions of the people LHC serves front and center. The SSA project team compiled comments from public input received at the meeting into a written document that would serve as a critical input into the planned board of commissioners’ strategic planning retreat. SSA assisted the board to develop a vision for the future of housing in Louisiana, drafted a proposal of the agency’s strategic plan, and submitted it for the board’s approval.
Impact
The public forum served a critical input to this process by soliciting input from the people in the housing communities, resulting in key feedback from nearly two dozen stakeholders about their individual and collective needs as well as recommendations about how LHC could best accomplish its mission through the strategic planning process. With this forward-thinking strategic plan in hand, LHC Board of Commissioners were able to codify strategy into a set of LHC policies that would guide all staff efforts over the next five years, helping to bring Louisiana closer to an equitable future in which all families have a safe, affordable and desirable place to call home. 

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Compensation studies

► Privately Owned Global Steel Pipe Manufacturer | Attracting Talent with Competitive Compensation

Challenge
Like many companies in its industry, this fifth-generation, privately owned global steel pipe manufacturer found competitive pay practices to be a critical factor in attracting new employees and retaining existing talent. Recognizing this, the company engaged SSA to assess its existing pay plan for the purposes of streamlining its salary structure, improving market salary competitiveness, and enhancing its ability to hire and retain top talent.
Approach
Based on interviews with the company’s top executives and a comprehensive review of relative internal information, SSA identified 87 jobs to serve as the representative sample of the company’s positions for benchmarking. After compressing some of the positions, SSA analyzed 69 positions against relevant market compensation survey data to determine the competitiveness of the positions and the company’s pay practices as a whole. SSA also reviewed the company’s compensation manual and salary structure for market competitiveness.
Impact
SSA determined that although considerable variances existed among individual positions, overall employees’ compensation was within market competitive range for both total cash compensation and base salaries. SSA also redesigned the company’s comprehensive salary structure with updated features such as condensed salary grades, more competitive salary range spreads, and customized mid-point progressions. The project team re-slotted nearly 100 jobs into their respective job class and pay grade according to the new salary structure. SSA provided additional recommendations to the compensation administration and presented an implementation plan based on the findings and adjustments needed as a result of the study. 

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► Law Enforcement Agency | Structuring a Complex Workforce

Challenge
This law enforcement agency enforces the laws of the state and maintains the parish's prison system. As a recognized leader in comprehensive law enforcement and correction programs, this agency includes three main workforce divisions with more than 900 employees in 70 different job classifications. Recognizing its broad range of responsibilities and complex workforce, the agency engaged SSA to evaluate its current job descriptions and compensation structure for one of its main divisions.
Approach
SSA interviewed 10 agency executives to gain background and insight on the organization’s compensation objectives and its current salary structure. The project team developed a Job Analysis Questionnaire to determine the duties, responsibilities, scope, and job functions of every employee within the division, resulting in the development of 29 job descriptions. To benchmark where the agency's salary structure fell within the market, SSA collected compensation survey data of competitive practices for 35 jobs, and conducted a custom survey of similar organizations to compare pay rates for eight additional positions.
Impact
SSA discovered the agency's salaries did fall in line with the market; however, significant market variance among individual positions within the organization was prevalent. SSA recommended the agency implement a step salary structure to help standardize its salary structure and minimize confusion and disruption moving to a new system. SSA advised the agency to ease into a market-based salary structure in the future to become more market competitive.

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Search and Recruitment

► BREC | Searching for the Right Superintendent for the System

Challenge
After serving as the Superintendent for The Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC) for a number of years and having served as a staff member for over 32 years, the incumbent superintendent announced plans to retire. Seizing the opportunity to bring the community together to create a shared vision for the future for parks and recreation, BREC turned to SSA to conduct a nationwide executive search for the parishwide park system’s next top leader.
Approach
SSA conducted more than 50 interviews with BREC stakeholders and community leaders to develop the ideal candidate profile that would then serve as the basis for recruiting and screening applicants and making recommendations to the commissioners. In total, SSA received 80 resumes in response to extensive networking, recruiting and advertising the position, and ultimately identified 23 potential candidates. After conducting phone interviews, SSA identified 12 viable candidates. To determine the finalists, SSA performed a comprehensive background screen and overall job fit analysis utilizing robust personality and leadership assessments for the top candidates as well as developing a cost effective interviewing model utilizing web-based technology to reduce recruiting costs and allow commissioners to “meet the candidates.” With these insights in hand, SSA facilitated a final round of face-to-face interviews and worked with the BREC Board of Commissioners to finalize their top choice. Shortly thereafter, the board extended an offer to the final candidate who accepted, relocated and now serves as the new BREC superintendent.
Impact
SSA’s recruiting efforts resulted in a needed community consensus about BREC leadership as well as a cost effective recruiting process. The ultimate result is the placement of a highly experienced, out-of-state candidate charged with fulfilling BREC’s established vision, mission and goals, in addition to the development, direction, operation, and administration of parks and recreation opportunities throughout East Baton Rouge Parish.

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► Baton Rouge Area Chamber | Recruiting a Qualified and Impactful President and CEO

Challenge
Upon the announcement of the retirement of the Chamber President and CEO, many members of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) board determined that the Chamber needed to be more aggressive and proactive in creating change in the Baton Rouge region.  Finding this perception shared by Chamber members and the public at large, the board identified the need to revamp its image and program of work to become a vibrant organization and raise the bar for Baton Rouge and the Capital Region under new leadership. In turn, BRAC’s Board of Directors engaged SSA to assist in the national search and selection of the Chamber’s next top leader.
Approach
SSA worked closely with a 15-member search committee comprised of BRAC stakeholders to develop a formal candidate profile and job description. With this information, SSA advertised the position and began the arduous process of networking to uncover the best and possibly non-traditional candidates locally, regionally and nationally. From a base of over seventy inquiries and resumes received, SSA and the search committee selected 10 potential candidates for one-on-one phone interviews. Based on these interviews and preliminary reference checks, SSA recommended four individuals for the search committee to consider for the next phase of the search process. After interviewing each of these candidates face-to-face and facilitating an evaluation session among the search committee, SSA made its final recommendation for the board’s approval.
Impact
SSA successfully recruited BRAC’s new President and CEO. Under the successful candidate’s leadership, from 2004 to 2008, BRAC grew into a national-caliber regional economic development organization. Revenues tripled at BRAC, following the launch of “The Campaign for a Greater Baton Rouge,” a five-year, $15 million economic development initiative for the nine-parish Capital Region. Additionally, BRAC received dozens of national awards for economic development planning, marketing, communications and public policy research.

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