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Req Number: MQ538
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posted: 12/11/2018
Category: Government/Not-For-Profit : Not-For-Profit
Job Type: Permanent

Position Chief Executive Officer

Company First Step Staffing – http://firststepstaffing.com/

Location Atlanta, Georgia

Reporting Relationship Board of Directors

First Step Staffing

First Step is committed to providing its employees extensive training, meticulous support, and community reinvestment to provide you with the skilled and qualified employees you need.  Their mission is to end homelessness by helping men, women and families develop a reliable source of income.  They are able to accomplish the mission with two programs:  1) First Step Staffing – provides jobs to individuals who can work 2) FSS Disability Services – fast tracks individuals with severe disabilities for disability income and health insurance. 

First Step Staffing utilizes an Alternative Staffing Model to bridge the gap between men and women who want to work but have serious barriers to re-entry, with employers that are looking to satisfy their contingent/seasonal talent needs. First Step de-risks our customers hiring needs by being the employer of record, screening all candidates (including drug testing and back ground checks), providing direct/on-site supervisory/management, workman’s comp and liability insurance. To help our clients successfully re-enter the job market, First Step provides training, job coaching, transportation to work, and any necessary uniforms, tools, or equipment.  First Step has had a powerful impact on individuals’ lives and in the community. First Step was founded in 2007 in Atlanta, GA. In 2018 First Step will place over 4000 homeless men and women in job opportunities, earning close to $ 40,000,000 in wages.

First Step Disability Services was implemented to help men and women with severe disabilities access Social Security Disability Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Over 74% of homeless applications for SSI in the US are denied each year. In contrast, over 80% of First Step’s clients are approved and in an average of 120 days.  First Step Benefits has secured Social Security Disability income for over 1,300 participants and they have a combined income of over $10,400,000. 

First Step’s model is to scale our mission by acquiring existing for-profit staffing companies, converting them into 501c3s, and then repurpose them into social enterprises executing our mission. FSS finances these deals from a combination of social impact debt, Foundation PRIs, and foundation and government grants. With the support of the Vice President for Development, the CEO will play an active role in working with industry partners in the sourcing of these funds.

First Step currently has operations in Atlanta, Duluth, Nashville, and Philadelphia. First Step is currently negotiating additional acquisitions in LA, San Bernardino, and Chicago.

First Step is an organization with many customers including our employers, our lenders/donors, our client/employees, our HQ staff, and our community partners. Each is critical to FSS’s success.

Chief Executive Officer

The CEO will be the public voice for First Step, minting and forging new relationships that build the organization’s visibility, impact, and financial resources.  This person will oversee all the operations for the organization.  In addition, the CEO will play an important role helping secure the funds needed, including financed debt, grants, and government support, for the organization to continue its growth in the different markets. The CEO must be committed to the mission of the organization and ensure that First Step is helping those who are less fortunate to become self-sufficient over time.  The CEO will be tasked with the development and execution of an innovative, strategic vision and the effective administration and oversight of all operations, external affairs, corporate activities, and community services to achieve the strategic goals.

We seek an individual who will be able to help this organization put policies/procedures to help it operate at scale.  Many of the senior leaders within First Step have grown in their roles as the organization grew over the years.  Ideally, this person would have prior experience growing a business in new markets, and understands how to manage cash flow and have experience in leveraged buy outs.  He/she will help foster new ideas to position First Step Staffing for continued growth.  This person will be an advocate for the organization internally and externally.  He/she will look for opportunities to share First Step’s mission with different audiences, including but not limited to business customers, funders, civic and nonprofit leaders, and thought leaders in workforce development and homelessness services around the country. The CEO will look to expand community partnerships to fulfill the mission and grow business development opportunities.

FSS is using a for-profit business to address a serious social issue. In order to succeed, First Step must be first and foremost a best in class staffing agency. At the same time, it must never lose sight of its founding mission.  Inherently there will be conflict between serving our customers while also serving our homeless client/employee.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead the business unit in growing both earned and philanthropic revenues, increasing market penetration and improving profitability.
  • Initiate and direct changes in existing infrastructure, systems, processes and support mechanisms in order to gain near-term increases in productivity, profitability and growth.
  • In collaboration with the leadership team, develop and execute a plan to identify and develop new business and partnership opportunities.
  • Develop the core business leadership team.  Responsible for developing and retaining world-class diverse talent to support the business.
  • Build and sustain strong business relations with top levels of customer companies.
  • Initiate uniform performance standards for the operations, with a continuous focus on excellence in execution.
  • Prepare and deliver Board-level presentations and lead the resulting dialogue and commentary regarding business performance.
  • Implement and manage a strong resource development plan to support the needs of the clients of the organization.
  • Work with leadership team to develop and implement a comprehensive development strategy that includes government, foundation, corporate, and individual support to grow the organization’s mission.
  • Participate in fundraising calls and events as needed.
  • Represent, as needed, the organization at community events through speaking engagements, representation on committees and boards, etc.


  • The successful candidate will be a proven performance and results-driven business executive with a minimum of five years of senior-level business management experience.
  • Direct experience in managing a business unit or large regional P&L with 10 years of broad general management experience with a minimum of $ 50 M in revenue at $ 10 M annual SGA budget.
  • The ability to achieve the appropriate balance and focus between sales, operational performance, and mission.
  • Adept at grasping, understanding and articulating strategic business issues. The successful candidate must be an innovative, strategic thinker and planner with the ability to create and communicate a vision for the future and translate it into clear strategies and specific priorities.
  • A strong leader with personal presence.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.
  • Proven success in profitability growth execution.
  • A creative problem-solver with the ability to think strategically and develop a vision for long-range planning.


Undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is required; MBA is preferred.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to the finalist candidate.





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