We often hear the mantra, “Gam Zeh Ya’avor” (This, too, shall pass). As the light at the end of the long COVID tunnel approaches, we are beginning to experience just that. People are gradually returning to the workplace, whether to former jobs or new jobs as businesses grow and develop once again. Unfortunately, there are still those left behind.
Aim Hire is a nonprofit organization whose intention is to go to bat and find work for qualified candidates who are unsuccessfully seeking employment. Its mission is to facilitate job placement in the tri-state Jewish community “with dignity and a friendly voice,” said Sehara Rubin, co-founder of Aim Hire. She works alongside Tzipora Grodko, managing developer.
Grodko and Rubin noticed a targeted population struggling to gain employment. Many job-seekers have been silently and illegally ignored due to their age. This was a major impetus for starting the company. “With age comes assumptions,” said Grodko. Someone youthful generally requests a lower salary, is considered to be more committed, and isn’t a gamble for a company to invest in, she noted. Ageism contributes to real challenges for these candidates, “when the reality,” she asserted, “is that rich experience speaks louder than their age.”
Consider a CEO who lost their job due to COVID or another reason beyond their control. To a recruiter, an employment gap or being let go is a red flag, and this candidate could ultimately fall through the cracks, facing financial and emotional stress. Perhaps they have a poor resume or don’t know how to navigate the employment industry simply because consistent employment never forced them into this uncharted space. Among logistical challenges, they may begin to feel discouraged despite the fact that they possess tremendous expertise and experience. That’s where Aim Hire comes in.
Aim Hire develops relationships with companies in a variety of industries, and has built their own network. It has generated an extensive network of both job benefactors who either own a company or are looking to hire within the company and job seekers who are struggling to find employment. The goal is to successfully match them up.
The process of finding employment through Aim Hire is “very personal and hands-on throughout the case,” noted Rubin. Employee candidates are vetted to ensure that they are both in need and qualified. When a candidate is matched with a potential job benefactor, Grodko works closely to tighten a resume, go through mock interviews, make sure the candidate is seeking employment in the proper field, and offer general support.
Then Aim Hire will approach a potential employer with the qualified candidate, providing a portion of the salary through an employment grant. There is then a three- to six-month probationary period, giving the employer time to train the employee, and the flexibility to ensure that the employee is the right fit. If the company is happy after that period, they can officially hire that candidate.
Each candidate has a lot to stand on, as “we work with qualified, impressive individuals,” explained Rubin. “But, this bonus incentive makes the employer feel more comfortable to work with the vetted candidate, and encourages companies to develop trust in us, and hire through our network.”
This system allows less risk for the hiring company, and “they have nothing to lose,” noted Grodko. “It sounds too good to be true, but there’s no catch. It’s important for us to maintain our reputation, and we work with stellar candidates—we’re not looking to disappoint anyone.” Essentially, it’s a “VIP ticket” to the front line of businesses that are looking to hire talent.
Grants are collected through tzedaka, whether from a campaign, a pool of donors or general donations, which are always accepted. The charity money goes into these grants which go right back into the pockets of those who need it most, explained Rubin. As Rambam writes, the greatest form of tzedaka is to help someone find employment, and Aim Hire seeks to accomplish this.
After picking up in the last few months, Aim Hire has already averaged a success rate of at least one match per week. “I always make sure to be in touch even for a ‘Shabbat Shalom’ check-in, offering hope and chizuk,” said Grodko, as they know this is a crucial part of the employment process.
Unemployment can feel like a dead end, but “we know it’s not forever,” said Rubin, “so we’ll do what we can to help our candidates get to that point as efficiently, quickly and smoothly as possible, and find the light at the end of that tunnel.”
For more information, check out www.Aim-Hire.org
Aim Hire can be contacted at [email protected] or 917-AIM-0621