Multnomah County invites community input on the scope of work for Human Resources Equity Review

October 27, 2017

This document describes the consulting services the County plans to secure. The County invites community members to review the scope of work below and comment here by Nov. 24, 2017.

Introduction

Through this Request for Intermediate Proposals (RIP) Multnomah County seeks to award a single contract for consultant services to perform a detailed review and analysis of County Human Resources policies and practices, and provide specific recommendations. This review will use an equity-focused and trauma-informed lens to identify where County policies and practices may support or further institutional racism and oppression and create unjust barriers to hiring, retention, or development of employees in protected classes.

Multnomah County is committed to providing an equitable, supportive, and inclusive work environment that fosters safety, trust, and a feeling of belonging for all of its employees. In its FY 2017 – 2019 Strategic Plan Multnomah County Human Resources highlighted “Equitable and Empowering Practices” as one of four goal areas and committed to “end inequities and injustices in the work of human resources through an examination of how our policies, procedures and practices can perpetuate forms of institutional oppression.” Despite these commitments, recent employee data and testimony have revealed that county policies and practices can fail our employees in protected classes, leading to disparately negative experiences.
The awarded firm, organization, or individual will be expected to provide a comprehensive report and set of detailed recommendations for ensuring that Multnomah County is a safe, equitable, and supportive place to work for all employees, with a focus on those employees in protected classes.

The ideal firm, organization, or individual will have experience evaluating Human Resources structures and processes within large public sector organizations. The ideal firm, organization, or individual will also understand racial equity in organizations, as well as the ways trauma manifests itself in organizations and strategies for organizations to address this effectively. If a firm, organization, or individual does not have this knowledge in-house they may partner with another organization who is experienced in equity-focused and trauma-informed work.

Scope of Work

The scope of work includes a review of the following:

  • Human Resources policies and practices around the entire employment cycle, including:

    • Recruitment

    • Hiring

    • Retention

    • Promotion

    • Performance Management

    • Career and Leadership Development

    • Terminations, including a review of recent case(s)

  • Training and performance management of county managers

  • The complaint and investigation process for discrimination, harassment, or retaliation

  • The County’s Human Resources structure, which is largely decentralized

The firm, organization, or individual will have access to a recent Human Resources audit by the Multnomah County Auditor, the Central Human Resources Strategic Plan, analyses of countywide employee surveys, and recent analyses of employee data including hires, promotions, and separations from the county.

The firm, organization, or individual’s review should include, but is not limited to: review of recent data analyses, document review, interviews and/or focus groups with county staff, managers and leaders, and other evaluative activities suggested by the contractor and included in the final contract. The firm, organization, or individual will work with county staff to ensure a way for all county employees to provide feedback on their experiences, including an option for anonymous feedback. As a part of the review the firm, organization, or individual will need to understand and describe how HR policies and practices and their impacts are affected by outside factors, including labor contracts, public records law, privacy and confidentiality requirements, due process and just cause standards, and other laws and regulations applicable to county government.

The awarded firm, organization, or individual will use an equity-focused and trauma-informed lens to identify where formal and informal policies and practices may support or further institutional racism and/or create unjust barriers to hiring, retention, or development of employees in protected classes. Protected classes include race, national origin, ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, individuals with a disability, pregnancy and age. The firm, organization, or individual may also identify any current activities, policies and/or programs that support safety, trust, and belonging.The goal of the review is to provide recommendations for how the County can foster a work environment that supports safety, trust and belonging.

This project will be led by the County Chief Operating Officer (COO) and the awarded firm, organization, or individual will partner closely with the COO and other county entities, including the Office of Diversity and Equity, Central and Department Human Resources (HR), County leadership, and representatives from county Employee Resource Groups. The county will provide administrative support as needed and will make employees available for interviews and focus groups on paid time. The contractor’s work will happen simultaneous to and in tandem with the creation and implementation of the county’s Workforce Equity Strategy (anticipated plan completion Spring 2018).

Based upon this review, the contractor will make concrete recommendations for changes or improvements to current policies, practices, and structures in order to remove or combat institutional racism and promote equal employment and a fully inclusive and supportive workplace for people in protected classes.

Deliverables

The awarded firm, organization, or individual will be expected, at minimum, to provide a detailed narrative report and set of concrete recommendations, including the following milestones:

  • Draft set of recommendations and overview of findings for review by the COO, Central HR, and the Office of Diversity and Equity by April 2018

  • Final report and recommendations, in a format that is easily understood by a wide range of audiences, by June 2018

  • Final briefing for the County Chair, Commissioners, and their staff

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact Chief Operating Officer Marissa Madrigal at marissa.d.madrigal@multco.us.

The County invites community members to submit their comments on the scope of work by completing the form below.