*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Although both agencies provide employment services through contracts with the ultimate goal of helping unemployed or underemployed low income individuals find jobs, the service delivery model as well as contracting model varies considerably between two agencies. HRA has performance-based contracts and contractors are predominantly paid for job placements and job retentions. To achieve these performance milestones, contractors use different work first strategies to rapidly attach these clients to work and provide them with work supports for job retention. SBS’s contracts are partially performance-based. Contractors are required to help employers fill their open positions at no-cost to employers. Contractors screen individuals based on the need of employers in their assigned “sales” territory and refer the most qualified candidates to employers. They also provide skills training through vouchers to bolster job seekers’ earnings. Contractors get paid for job placement and for training vouchers. Even though the goals of both agencies are the same –their contracts, performance elements and the use of performance measures are quite different.
HRA’s performance measurement system, known as VendorStat, consists of two major components: monthly reports analyzing important indicators and a monthly meeting between the vendor and senior HRA administrators to discuss vendor performance and strategies. The use of a strategic conversation allows the management of outcome focused performance based contract the discussion of process elements that could be missing without it.
SBS’s performance measurement system consists of 1) Annual Operating Plan and Business Development/Recruitment Plan; 2) Quarterly meetings with SBS and Vendor leadership to discuss performance and modifications to annual plan; 3) Monthly check-ins between Vendor and SBS leadership to discuss performance; and, 4) Weekly Dashboards highlighting performance against key metrics.
This paper compares the performance measures and contract management utilized by both agencies to manage their contracts and to meet federal mandates. The detailed analyses of both systems suggests that the targets set by agencies at the federal level, don’t have a strong influence on how local programs are developed and managed. At best, federal performance measures provide a direction for state and local administrators and programs.