Recommended Strategies for Hiring a Monitoring Field Crew
AIM positions required for a monitoring effort will include a project lead, a crew lead and 1-2 additional crew members. There are two ways that people have accomplished monitoring work: 1) through partnerships with other organizations, especially those that engage youth, and 2) with BLM employees (often seasonals).
Follow these recommendations to hire your field crew:
- Create position descriptions for crew leads and crew members (contact Emily Kachergis – firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance).
- Work with your state lead to determine if you will hire the crew members as BLM seasonals or through a partner organizations.
- Coordinate with the HR department or the partner organization to start advertising the positions.
- Conduct interviews and hire the crew lead and the rest of the crew several months before the beginning of the field season.
- Once personnel have accepted the position, immediately work with HR to begin background checks. Working quickly with HR will enable the crews to have access to BLM computers when they arrive. Computer access will enable the BLM project lead to delegate responsibilities to the crew lead and crew.
- Hire a crew lead. Field sampling seasons vary between field offices, but some have found it useful to hire the crew lead for at least 9 months to 1 year to assist with reporting. In some cases it may not be appropriate for the crew lead to work on analysis and reporting.
- For existing AIM programs, the crew lead start date should be roughly one month prior to the crew start date to begin prepping for season and assist the project lead.
- For new AIM programs, the crew lead start date should be enough in advance of the other field crew members to allow adequate time for training. Project leads should educate crew leads about office priorities, the sample design, work with them to set up a sampling strategy, and address potential hurdles.
- Previous experience with AIM, especially experience with databases, is a very valuable skillset for crew leads.
- Hire crew members that are on for approximately 5 to 6 months.
- Once the crew is on board, it is important to introduce them to the project that they will be working on. A good introduction will provide a sense of understanding and purpose for the work they will be doing and the data they will be collecting.
- Begin the crews at least one week prior to the methods field course to allow the crews to complete the pre-course training, safety training, and familiarize themselves with the AIM project.