Nonprofit Profile: The Ideal Candidate


We sat down with Kevin Davenport, CEO and founder of The Ideal Candidate in Chicago, to share a bit about what they do, how we're partnering with them, and what's next.

What is the primary nature of your organization, and how long have you been in operation?
Kevin: We are a self-sufficiency and job readiness training nonprofit organization that focuses on Black & Latinx Communities placing candidates in paying positions upon graduation of the program. We started 5 years ago, in 2015.
Where can people visit you (where are your locations), and what neighborhood(s) does your organization serve?
Kevin: We service the entire city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs. We have no set office at the moment and rent space for our training. In January of 2021, The Ideal Candidate will start offering an e-learning certification.
What is your role, and how does your hard work impact your neighborhood(s)?
Kevin: We teach skills not typically addressed in a high school or college curriculum. We are changing people’s lives by equipping them with the necessary life skills, no matter what path they take. Also, we place candidates in jobs directly with our partners and assist both the employee and employer in the first year of hire. We teach Ideal Candidates how to get the job, keep the job, and break generational barriers with their new financial literacy and new income stream.
Can you tell us a little more about how you will use the RiseKit software? What features do you like the best?
Kevin: We plan to use RiseKit to place more students into open positions with our partner hiring companies. I’m hoping employers on RiseKit will look to us as a valuable resource for their hiring needs. We're grateful to be a part of RiseKit’s ecosystem.
Do you plan on posting any jobs on RiseKit? If so, what type of jobs are you looking to fill?
Kevin: Absolutely. Most of our jobs will be entry-level and driven into either working in corporations and small businesses or trades. We now offer jobs in sales, admin, clerical, fiber optics installation, etc.
Are there any specific qualities you need to see in candidates to consider hiring? Is any experience required?
Kevin: It depends on the job. We are open to working with all candidates who fit a particular job description.
What is one thing you’d like our audience to know about you?
Kevin: The Ideal Candidate helps people get the job, keep the job, and break generational barriers.
What’s your advice on what it takes for an individual to rise within their community?
Kevin: The beginning of our training focuses on mindset, self-control, and self-awareness; the middle is communication skills, workplace skills, and other self-sufficiency skills. We wrap things up with a crash course on financial literacy. We need more leaders that take action and live with a purpose, and they have to have the ability to be a self-thinker and understand their finances and the economy at large. We are proud that we base our teaching on this perspective.