I am all about first impressions.
So, can you imagine my delight when I listened to speaker after speaker at our organization's HR Cluster Meeting last week and saw articulate, well-dressed, dynamic and engaging women at the forefront of the organization making things happen. VA put it's best foot forward in Kansas City last week.
Our workforce challenges mirror those of the health care industry as a whole with workforce planning at the top of the list. At the conference, we discussed workforce analysis and planning, innovative retention strategies, national recruitment/media marketing strategies, financial incentives for recruitment and retention and streamlining the hiring process. We are embarking on a national wide system redesign of our hiring systems at the local, regional and national levels.
About 18 months ago we heard that change is coming soon to an HR Department by you. VA was embarking on a multi-year effort to automate its personnel system. Automation is absolutely necessary to provide the services, information and resources our organizations need. The message from leadership then was that the support is there – not only to the tune of millions of dollars but also to the commitment to provide us with the tools and resources we have said that we need.
The message from leadership now is that the change is here. You need not go any further than my calendar to see. Next week we meet with the contractor to prepare to manifest our 1300 personnel files for shipment to a facility where they will be converted to electronic files. By the end of the year, we will be utilizing e-Class, an automated position classification system; USAJobs, an applicant tracking system; and WebHR, a system that will automate our requests for personnel action and provide personnel data at the touch of a button. We continue with e-QIP, the electronic submission of background investigations and look forward to benefiting from enhanced functionality.
I didn't need to go to Kansas City to know that change is here but I did need to go to meet the people behind the changes in HR. The face of HR is changing.
Maren Hogan said, "If you can't do it with rudimentary tools, you can't do it at all." Excel spreadsheets and No.2 pencils? Been there, done that, ready to move on and embrace the change!