Part I of III
By now, you have probably heard that Trump is POTUS and he has picked his cabinet nominees. Those nominees are now in various stages of confirmation hearings by the Senate. Shortly after the election, Trump nominated Elisabeth “Betsy” DeVos for Secretary of Education. And all hell broke loose- see here.
To try to be as fair and balanced as possible, I decided to look at this nomination from a recruiter’s perspective and to answer this very fundamental question, does Mrs. DeVos meet the minimum requirements for the position of Secretary of Education? In this three- part series, I’m going to explore 1) the essential functions of the role, 2) the minimum requirements of the position and 3)the candidate’s qualifications and my recommendation.
So, if I’m going to declare myself a recruiter and also use this post to determine the qualifications of others, it behooves me to outline my own competencies so that you know I’m speaking from a place of experience and not relying on alternative facts.
I have 13 years of HR experience, and of those, about 11 of those years have been dedicated in whole or in part to recruiting responsibilities. I have sourced and recruited for staffing agencies and private industry, from entry-level manufacturing employees to skilled professionals and technicians to C-Suite Executives. Each role required a custom-designed sourcing and recruiting strategy to find the best talent available that met the skills, knowledge, abilities, general competencies and soft skills required for successful execution of that position. My hiring recommendations have always been based on a detailed analysis of the position, it’s responsibilities, the skills and knowledge required of the position and the skills, knowledge and abilities of the candidate based on thorough and deliberate vetting process.
The Essential Functions of the Secretary of Education
There is no publicly available job description for Secretary of Education. After reading the Overview of the U.S. Department of Education, I was able to make some educated (no pun intended) guesses.
The Secretary of Education is required to:
- Manage a department that has over 4,000 local and remote employees.
- Manage a budget of approximately $50-$60 billion dollars.
- Manage a department that has over 200 separate programs.
- Establish policy, administer and coordinate Federal assistance to primary and secondary schools totalling over 150,000 schools with 55 million + students.
- Establish policy, administer and coordinate Federal loan, grant and work study programs for millions of undergraduate students.
- To advise the President and Congress on matters of education policy, programs and activities.
- Oversees education research to analyze data for trends that will identify effective teaching techniques and education best practices.
- Enforces Federal statutes that prohibit discrimination and adverse impact in education and to ensure equal access to educational opportunity for every individual.
- Promotes public understanding of the department’s mission, goals and objectives.
- Refrain from establishing schools, refrain from establishing curricula and refrains from setting enrollment or graduation requirements.
Now that we have set the foundation for what the Secretary of Education’s charge really is, stay tuned for my next post detailing the minimum requirements we can probably all agree would be reasonable for successful execution of this role.