In a time when a do-more-with-less environment has become the rule rather than the exception, human services agencies are looking to innovation and creative financing to survive. Forward thinking leaders are working to identify new ways to fund human services work in an effort to move away from the stranglehold the federal government currently has on the industry.
Human services programs have been largely shaped by the amount of federal funds allocated and the stringent rules attached to receiving these public funds. An initiative to infuse capital from private investors and jumpstart innovation has shown success in aligning incentives such as a return on investment with achieving a predefined social outcome. Job candidates who can demonstrate an understanding of how to leverage existing resources while also finding ways to infuse new funding streams will be in demand. Additionally, human services leaders should have an awareness of the growing trend of using analytics to target resources toward the most effective programs that can demonstrate proven results.
Sample of Possible Interview Questions for Human Services Managers:
What supervisory experience have you had?
What do you think makes for an effective team?
What are Social Impact Bonds/Pay for Success initiatives?
Why is it important to have a defined business model for a public benefits and services delivery system?
Discuss your thoughts on the movement to integrate health and human services.
Can you discuss examples of the private and the philanthropic sectors successfully partnering with human service agencies to strengthen programs?
What do you know about blended or braided funding?
How would you describe your professional boundaries?
What was the most difficult case you have supervised?
What steps do you take to ensure that new staff members understand how their role supports the mission of the organization?
How do you measure the effectiveness of your programs?
How do you recognize staff behaviors that are in line with the organization’s goals?
Discuss how the shift in human services to a performance-driven business model has impacted your role.
What has been your biggest disappointment working in this field?
Discuss any experience you have with private-sector partnerships.
What is your opinion about linking the use of public funds to outcomes rather than compliance with process?
What experience have you had in crises intervention supervision?
Discuss your experience with program design and implementation.
How would you encourage innovation within your organization?
Discuss your most successful collaboration with other agencies and/or the private sector in delivering services.