Thanks to you, we made the news.

“Aaron Copeland of Alignstaffing: Advocate for yourself and your coworkers”

Thrive Global | August 5, 2021

Can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Know To Be A Highly Effective Educator?” Please share a story or example for each.

Teachers are truly remarkable, but with any career we can all evolve. Between my personal education experience and vetting thousands of qualified teachers, here are the five critical qualities that teachers require for success.

1 . Make every effort not to compare students, especially young children.

A child’s norm is their environment, regardless of its’ misgivings.

All the dysfunction, habits and societal and economic behaviors are normative, which translates to their culture, their being. Until a new environment is experienced, a child has no reason to believe home is any different from the rest of the world. Be gentle with them when they enter school for the first time. Focus on the learning instead of the performance. This will allow each student to contribute to society, not from a comparison of peers, but the exploration of the depths of their individuality.

2. Understand your biases and do your best to move past them.

As a teacher, you are the crossing guard for all the cultural differences in your classroom. Your words matter, and they will both affirm and negate realities. Do everything in your power to ensure that your students feel safe, seen and respected. The learning will follow.

3. Give the students, and yourself some grace.

Each child will bring in habits and educational priorities of their families. You will too. Give yourself the space to learn from each other’s upbringings to get on the same playing field. Be kind to yourself in the process.

4. Advocate for yourself and your coworkers.

Unfortunately, we have not yet reached a national consciousness to recognize that teachers do so much. Lean on your fellow teachers for emotional support, and consistently communicate your needs to your network and support staff. A healing and rejuvenation process is needed for you to do your best. You can’t do it all, but you can do more with the right support. Do the best you can, if you haven’t taught the best you can today, just do better tomorrow.

5. Be present with your student’s needs.

Before jumping into action for a struggling student, take a moment to pause and consider what emotional support they may need in the moment. Some days, a student won’t be open to learn, and you must be okay with that. A nurturing environment can always allow them to catch up.

The most important is to never forget the point of your position. Your purpose is to help students discover education, to define the world we live in and to lead them to question the old ways to perceive new realities to benefit humankind.

For more, click here.


“5 Things you Need to Know to be a Highly Effective Educator or Teacher”

Authority Magazine | July 30, 2021

Can you identify the 5 key areas of the US education system that should be prioritized for improvement? Can you explain why those are so critical?

Absolutely. It comes down to collective efforts between teachers, parents, and school administrators, but here are the five key areas I believe we need to address immediately.

1.Provide proven tools or training with new educational national requirements.

First, let’s acknowledge it’s been a tough year to be (or, rather, not be) in a classroom. Schools were forced to, overnight, adopt stopgap measures in response to the international crisis.

Rapidly improvised solutions trickled down through the ranks: from national government organizations to state school districts to local school districts to school administrators to parents to teachers and finally, to students.

As any good English teacher would tell us: we lost the narrative in the midst of the crisis.

As a result, we’re seeing teachers who are stretched, stressed and just plain overworked. Their jobs changed overnight, and they were told to simply “make it work.” So, they did.

Let’s be sure this doesn’t happen again. Give your teachers and staff space to have a voice, and share their honest feedback.

Ask them what’s working. What’s not working. How they are. What support they need. Then, see how you can create solutions. And repeat.

Don’t forget, you can tell them what you’re facing too. Showing vulnerability is a strength, and key to building what’s broken to get back on the same page.

2. Include lessons in stress reduction within the education curriculum.

We’ve always asked teachers to do more with less. Today, we’re asking them to do twice as much, often with no additional emotional or professional support. As a result, teachers still love teaching, but feel teaching now occupies just a small fraction of what they are being asked to do. Just as anyone wants to feel successful in their work, so do teachers.

You can’t possibly eliminate all sources of stress during a pandemic, but you can use breaks that support your wellbeing. These breaks needn’t be long: just enough to acknowledge the time sacrifice your staff is making to accommodate the new workload.

Taking the time to define the environment teachers will be facing as their school begins reopening can also reduce teacher stress. Set up processes and walk teachers through the environment they’ll be facing.

3. Troubleshoot proactively on a local level.

All problems cannot be solved nationally.

Which means, in some cases, we are solving local problems with a national solution. We need to get a better handle of where problems cascade, because how we respond to local customs geographically may have an impact on learning. Perhaps our federal leaders should establish broad regulations, but also provide consultation support to states and school districts.

In addition, embrace the idea that problems are sometimes perceived. Maybe social media makes all problems appear local. Using media, traditional or not, provide a framework for perceiving, understanding, and addressing the many problems the educational system has right in your backyard. Often, problems are a result of not being able to imagine a solution.

4. Acknowledge the challenges faced by parents and determine the effects on national policy.

While parents have always fulfilled a uniquely qualified role on the student’s educational team, this year they were asked to provide, at minimum, their child’s classroom setting, and at most, assistance to teachers by providing structure and reinforcing discipline.

As school moves increasingly away from the kitchen table and back to the classrooms, take this opportunity to engage parents and reiterate the important role they continue to play in their child’s education. While home education was an enormous burden to some, all parents learned a great deal more about their child’s learning style and what worked and did not. This knowledge, though hard-won, can be uniquely useful moving forward.

5. Learn the lessons from other industries.

Other industries experienced and survived major disruption from the pandemic as well. Can educational leaders tap into other disciplines to learn their best practices from addressing a crisis? Absolutely. Crossing industries to come up with problem-solving ideas is a great way to proactively meet change and learn how to pivot.

The pandemic was a major disruptive event in education, and we’ll be processing the lessons of its impact for years. As we emerge from the crisis, educators have more experience and response time to navigate change. If we are to have any chance conquering the challenges ahead, educators will use this time to listen and learn from its stakeholders. This approach to managing change allows us to act instead of reacting.

We’re still in this, and we’re in it together. The more empathy we can lead with, the better leaders we will be.

 For more, click here.


“Here’s how D.C.-area employees are handling hybrid”

Washington Business Journal | July 2, 2021

Savvy companies are using remote flexibility as a recruiting tool, particularly to attract those formerly out of reach — and workers are responding to those ads, or choosing not to apply if they don’t see that specified, recruiters said. Companies that can’t transform with their industries, they said, will struggle.

“If an organization is rooted in traditional philosophies, it will be tough to shift in order to take advantage of new practices,” said Aaron Copeland, founder and CEO of Alignstaffing in D.C. “More traditional organizations will likely go back to what they know, pre-2020. More malleable organizations, however, will try to read the tea leaves, figuring out what efficiencies can be incorporated post-Covid.”

While remote recruiting allows companies to pick from a global talent pool, that distributed workforce also makes employee engagement more of a premium as they compete with potential poachers with more proximity to that person. Recruiters said companies will need to spend time on building culture with the full team when you can’t walk down the hall to chat, as well as creating tracks for promotions and professional development for those employees.

Ultimately, experts agreed, it still could be some time before we know how these changes will affect the future of work. “We likely won’t see a complete shift now,” Copeland said. “The concept of remote work will morph into something else. We just don’t know what it is yet.

When recruiting

Aaron Copeland suggests these best practices for recruiting, retaining and promoting remote workers.

  • Clearly understand your culture.
  • Communicate key performance indicators (KPIs) fully.
  • Realize the mental health issues associated with extended use of a virtual platform and provide solutions to decompress — for example, suggest mid-day yoga classes or fitness-related activities to break the day up. Show that you care by being creative.
  • Create a company community.
  • Reduce anxiety by talking about meeting agendas prior to virtual meetings.

For more, click here.


“Still haven’t talked to your team about the Capitol insurrection? Here’s how to start.” DC | January 11, 2021

Our headquarters are centered just steps away from Wednesday’s insurrection. Thankfully, my team is OK, and we were able to connect virtually on Thursday morning.

This event was very personal. Feelings are raw as it involves politics. But as a leader, you want your people to understand that there is hope. That tomorrow is going to be better than today. As I met with my team, I offered space for deeper conversations.

As the CEO of a company of both minorities and majorities, we all experience this trauma differently. Incidents like these further can demonstrate how different we are.

But we must appreciate our differences, knowing that we will see the same thing unfold, but we will all have different interpretations. Leaders must be open, and not judge our perceptions.

Make no mistake: Minorities see the public’s language change in response to different events. The language is dismissive of a group’s underlying issues with the killing of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement, or Colin Kaepernick taking a knee, versus the language of praise, normalcy, or individual attributes when referring to bombing, separating kids from parents at the border, or the Tea Party revolution.

It’s important to acknowledge the difference. But, we must wing it afterward, and be open to the communication that may follow.

As a leader of a company, you should be open. Ask questions instead of offering answers. Focus on our commonalities. Know your own limitations, know your bias. Be present. Just be there.

Respect your employees to go through their healing process. You can’t do it for them. Give your people space to process, and refer them to your Employee Assistance Program.

Every leader must approach this situation differently. The way you can communicate depends on your culture, and how you’ve interacted in the past with your staff. I encourage every leader to focus on connecting on core foundations as what it means to be a citizen, and a part of our community. You must confirm that we’re still here as a company, as a community, we share that we are experiencing history together, we are confused together, and we are figuring out answers together.

For more, click here.

“Recruiters offer guidance toward a more diverse workforce”

Baltimore Business Journal | July 8, 2020

What are the biggest mistakes employers make when it comes to recruiting of diverse staff? 

Not being mission- and value-driven. It can become difficult for diverse candidates to connect with a company if there is no central mission or clear purpose. Often employers do not focus on connecting with people who share the company’s values and mission during the recruiting process. Instead, the focus is connecting with individuals similar to themselves. There is an illusion that if you look and talk like me, you understand me. If an employer is outwardly focused, then there will always be problems with recruiting a diverse staff. Employers should recognize that both shared values and developed skills are important.

For more, click here.

“Recruiters offer guidance toward a more diverse workforce” 

Washington Business Journal | July 8, 2020 

What are the first things an employer must do once it has an opening?

When an employer is ready to hire, it’s important to commit to a company policy and process that reflects the job duties, core values and its community responsibilities. In this age of hyperautomation, the hiring process is sometimes disconnected from the mission and values of the company.

An employer needs to ask, “Does our company have clearly identified core values and a culture that can be communicated?” Assuming an appropriate candidate funnel and skill set are identified, personality and personal chemistry should become less of a deciding factor. This is where we start to focus on the higher priority ethos of the business and our common values (inside-out) versus approaching diversity as an afterthought (outside-in).  

 For more, click here.

“The long-awaited cure” | June 5, 2020

I could conceptually repeat most of what I have written about COVID-19 and apply it to the George Floyd movement. In a broad sense, the similarities are: both cause death and destruction; few will benefit and the masses will suffer; the virus and movement will divide us almost to the point of being unrecognizable. They have so much in common.

However, the differences are huge. The virus will have a vaccine one day. The vaccine will have the smartest people in the world giving undivided attention to this deadly virus. Doctors, scientists, businesses, and government leaders will devote 100,000s of hours to find a cure for a virus that was identified only 12 to 18 months ago.

The movement, on the other hand, has roots that date back hundreds of years. So far, the solutions include a holiday, government programs, and speeches — comparatively a topical ointment. Still, many believe it’s all political. And for others, they can’t see or, in some cases, don’t want to see life’s inequities.

To read on, click here.


“Leaders in Diversity Award Winner: Aaron Copeland” 

Baltimore Business Journal | June 5, 2020

What is Alignstaffing’s goal?

The fundamental mission of the organization is we can help someone help someone else.

What are the characteristics you look for among those you work with at Alignstaffing?

You’ve got to be inquisitive, fun, caring, goal-oriented and focused. Those are the drivers we hope for.

Why should companies be diverse?

You come up with different answers. Different people, they see things in different ways. You need as many points of view as possible. If everybody is welcome to the table, is heard, it’s an awesome cake that you could make.

 For more, click here.


“Alignstaffing Promotes Greg Wrobel to Branch Manager of its Baltimore Office”

I95 Business | October 23, 2019

Alignstaffing, a placement firm exclusively focused on education, behavioral health and social services, has promoted Greg Wrobel to branch manager of its Baltimore location.

Wrobel previously served as a business consultant and account manager for Alignstaffing, where he successfully developed new business, negotiated contract terms, and consulted with clients. As branch manager for the company’s Baltimore location, Wrobel will be responsible for the overall revenue and production of the Baltimore office, as well as for creating business action plans to lead the team of consultants and recruiters.

For more, click here.


“Alignstaffing celebrates with annual All-White Gala” 

Maryland Daily Record | October 18, 2019

For more, click here.


“Cool Digs: D.C. staffing firm opens second office in historic post office by Penn Station”

Baltimore Business Journal | October 14, 2019

Alignstaffing has found a home in Baltimore — one that makes traveling between here and its company headquarters in Washington, D.C., a breeze.

For more, click here.


“Alignstaffing Recognized Nationally for its Outstanding Social Responsibility Program” 

Citybizlist Baltimore | September 26, 2019

Alignstaffing, a placement firm exclusively focused on education, behavioral health and social services, was recognized nationally by the American Staffing Association (ASA) for its corporate social responsibility program, AlignHearts. ASA’s national Care Awards program recognizes outstanding social responsibility programs among ASA member staffing agencies and associate members. Alignstaffing’s AlignHearts program received the honorable mention distinction.

“It’s quite an honor to be recognized by our industry peers for our dedication to the community. It is our belief that Alignstaffing’s success relies directly on the success of our community. That’s why our commitment to social responsibility is the core of everything we do,” says Aaron Copeland, Alignstaffing’s founder and CEO.

For more, click here.


“15 Common Questions Asked in a Teacher Interview (and How to Answer Them With Ease)” 

The Muse | June 22, 2019

When planning out your responses to these questions, don’t just think about what you’re going to say but also how you’re going to say it. “I always look at body language first,” says Calvin Brown, Senior Recruiter at Alignstaffing, an education staffing firm. When someone looks frazzled or caught off guard by a basic question or behavioral question—those questions that often start with, “Tell me about a time when”—he says, “I start to question, okay, can you really handle that kind of population or have you handled this kind of situation before?”

“If you have a situation or a story with a great outcome, absolutely share [it],” says Brown. Stories are also a great ways to highlight your expertise and skill set if you don’t come with a traditional background in education.

For more, click here.


“Alignstaffing opens Baltimore office” 

Maryland Daily Record | June 20, 2019

Alignstaffing, a Washington-based multi-location recruiting firm, announced Thursday it has opened its first office in Baltimore at 1501 St. Paul St. The placement firm, exclusively focused on education, behavioral health and social services, expects the new office to serve between 300 and 400 people in its first year.

For more, click here.


“Alignstaffing brings purpose-driven placement services to Baltimore”

Citybizlist Baltimore | June 18, 2019

Baltimore City is the first step in a ‘controlled expansion’ plan for the staffing firm focused on education, behavioral health and social service clients.

Alignstaffing, a placement firm exclusively focused on education, behavioral health and social services, is expanding beyond its Washington, D.C. footprint with its first office in Baltimore.

Founder Aaron Copeland expects the new office to serve between 300 and 400 people – or “talent,” as he calls them – in its first year, growing to 500 or more as the company develops.

“We want to affect lives,” Copeland says. “That’s our mission: if we can help someone, they can help their family and give back to their community.”

For more, click here