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Organizational Culture

Hiring and Building an R3 Team

The “Immediate Recommendations for R3 Stakeholders” section in the National Hunting and Shooting Sports Action Plan (hereafter, “Plan”) is designed to solidify the framework on which successful R3 efforts are built. The first recommendation states, “Develop a statewide R3 coordinator position that serves as the organization’s single point of contact for R3 efforts” and while this recommendation focuses on the state-level it has also been adapted to the organizational level for any stakeholder with a vested interest in R3. Since the release of the Plan in 2016, many organizations have created R3 coordinator positions (hereafter, “coordinator”) and developed organization-wide R3 efforts.

At the core of many of these efforts is a team of employees working together on R3 strategies. This resource, created by members of the National R3 Implementation Workgroup, is intended to offer guidance to help organizations build their R3 team and select a coordinator to lead their organization’s efforts. The different sections of the content below cover some key aspects to consider as you build your team. There is also a tool you can use to create some initial job descriptions for your organization. The tool is broken down into multiple sections with information on key skills that ideal R3 team members should have based on organization goals. Sample position description language is provided with each section. This tool complements the “Statewide R3 Collaborations” document developed by other members of the National R3 Implementation Workgroup as it identifies additional key elements of successful R3 partnerships and successful organizational structures, built on both internal and external collaborations. Together, these resources can help organizations build their successful R3 strategy, starting with the people they employ to lead the charge.

Forming Your Team

The Coordinator

Across the nation, organizations have employed more than 40 coordinators. This role requires a unique skill set that complements the organization’s goals and capacity. The Plan states, “for effective R3 efforts, an organization’s capacity should include:

  • A dedicated R3 coordinator or team
  • Coordination and partnership with other R3 efforts,
  • An understanding and application of R3 models, pathways, and best practices
  • Evaluation systems that can track participant behaviors and provide data that can prove and improve R3 efforts.”

As an organization begins the search for the right fit for their first, or next, coordinator to develop capacity and lead R3 efforts, it is important to consider the organization’s intentions and goals and the skill set needed to accomplish them. For instance, if an organization is looking to increase communication with its hunters and target shooters, it might select a coordinator with a background in marketing and communications; or in comparison, if an organization is looking to improve its recruitment programs, it might select a coordinator with a background in human dimensions and social sciences. Many R3 coordinators have a bachelor’s degree of some type, often in natural or wildlife resources, and some have specialized graduate degrees in human dimensions, social science, or even marketing. The sections at the end of this document provide sample job description language to aid organizations in the development of coordinator positions.

Positioning the Coordinator in the Organization

As the organization determines it R3 goals, another step to consider in addressing those goals in the organization’s internal structure and where the coordinator position may be housed. A few common options include:

  • Reporting to the Director, with influence over all departments
  • Marketing/Business Development
  • Information, Education or Programming
  • Organization Administration (Government Affairs, Licensing, Budgeting, etc.)
  • Conservation/Wildlife/Fisheries Management
  • Law Enforcement

The placement of the position could greatly influence the success of the coordinator. In many examples, the position is hired in one department, and then as the organizations develop their strategies, they reorganize to align the coordinator position and other complementary positions, as well as elevate the coordinator positions within the organizations. To view some of the structures that have been used over the past few years, reference the case studies in the “Statewide R3 Collaborations” document.

Building an Organizational Culture Around R3

Typically, hiring a single coordinator within an organization is not enough to ensure an organization meets its R3 goals. In the Plan, there are six immediate recommendations where an organization may start to develop its R3 strategy. The first is referenced above (hire a coordinator) and the following five identify some of the first steps a coordinator should take. A defining element of the success of the coordinator in leading the organization forward lies in recommendation six of the Plan, which states, “encourage adaptive change within organizational management structure whereby the functions and responsibilities of R3 activities are embedded in work duties across programs and beyond those of R3 specialists.” Successful R3 strategies are executed by organizations where all employees understand and are unified by the importance and purpose of the R3 efforts and the expected outcomes. It is the role of the coordinator and organizational leaders to build that understanding and unification. To be successful, organizations need to provide direction, set clear and achievable expectations of R3 strategies, and provided continuous support to demonstrate that R3 is an organization-wide priority.

Starting (Or Continuing) Your R3 Efforts

Building an effective R3 strategy for an organization is a long-term commitment and may require the efforts of multiple people filling the role of the coordinator. Over time, organizations should continue to evaluate their R3 goals and adapt the responsibilities of the coordinator as necessary. With the proper organization-wide support and the appropriate skill set, the coordinator will be successful in helping to lead an organization forward. The resources provided below account for the hiring of an initial R3 coordinator and then other sections to help organizations adjust their position descriptions to select the best candidate to lead their organization forward.

Example Job Descriptions

Review the collection of example job descriptions from other state and federal government agencies, conservation non-governmental organizations, or industry partners below.