Series 1 | Chicago

Our first client was YearUp Chicago. YearUp is a national workforce and education nonprofit that help high potential young adults overcome the opportunity divide.


YearUp asked CivX to explore new approaches to recruiting top candidates for its program. While they received tremendous initial interest across a wide referral network, many of those potential candidates dropped out of the process. They wanted CivX to help them capture more of that interest in later stages of their application and selection process.


The CivX team began by interviewing YearUp's staff. They spoke to leaders and front line employees to understand how candidates perceive the program and what process they must navigate to get selected. With that foundation, the team went out to the field. They interviewed a half-dozen organizations that partner with YearUp including after school programs and social service agencies. As the team conducted it's analysis the picture became clear.

There were two important bottlenecks in the recruitment process that were negatively affecting candidates. With those insights the CivX team--now with members of YearUp onboard--split into two groups and built two prototype solutions. One for internal use and the other for YearUp's partners. On Day 5, the CivX team took the prototypes back to the organizations to run a validation study.


After the validation study was complete, each prototype showed promise. The new prototypes resolved confusion and built confidence both for candidates themselves as well as the frontline staff who make referrals into the application pipeline. All indications were that implementing similar solutions into the yearly process would have an impact.

A year later, the organization reported that the CivX recommendations had been so successfully implemented locally that they were shared with YearUp's national network. So in only 5-days, the CivX team had improved the efficacy of workforce development programs in 15 cities nationwide.