12/5/2013: State HR Division continues to evolve
State Human Resoruces Division has changed significantly over the past year. In a recent presentation to HR Managers, Assistant Director Glen Christopherson outlined the organizational structure
and described its functional areas
. Christopherson was appointed Assistant Director of the division on Oct. 16, 2013.
8/28/13: Veterans reach out to veterans
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate among military veterans discharged after September 2001 is 9.9 percent. The national unemployment rate is 7.4 percent.
Gov. Jay Inslee recently issued an initiative supporting recruitment of veterans into state service.
In June, a group of state-employed military veterans called the Veterans Employee Resource Group (VERG) organized a career event at South Puget Sound Community College. Aptly named “Veterans 4 Veterans,” the event was not a typical job fair where potential employers set up tables and talk with participants about job opportunities and career benefits.
VERG tapped the Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s transition assistance program and state communications professionals to promote the event. Several pre-event workshops designed to share essential cultural and skill-based perspectives were provided for both veterans and state recruiters.
The event drew about 300 participants – and nearly half have submitted applications for employment with the State of Washington. By early August, 82 applicants had been referred for job openings, with seven landing state jobs.
Don Chavez, a state recruiter who works for the Department of Enterprise Services, said the number of hires is likely to increase in coming months.
“The warming economy and retirement of older state workers are likely to boost the number of state job openings in the coming months,” Chavez said.
In August, Robert Humes, a statewide planning and strategy specialist with the Office of Financial Management issued a report concerning the Veterans 4 Veterans event.
Hume recommended that the state continue to sponsor similar events, noting that the partnership between veterans, the community college and state agencies helped eliminate overhead costs.
He also recommended that future events should be held in locations across the state. VERG was created in 2012, partly in response to the state’s efforts to expand recruitment of military veterans and partly because its members have been there and want to help.
6/24/13: Temporary layoff info for July 1
Note: Note: Budget agreement was reached. As of June 24, the Legislature had not yet reached agreement on a budget, so OFM instructed agencies to begin notifying affected employees of a potential temporary layoff.
4/12/13: Enterprise Services creates online workshop for employees facing layoff.
If there is any one word heard in the workplace that is guaranteed to send a chill down the spine of an employee, it is layoff. In recent years, both the public and private sectors have used layoffs extensively to meet the demands of tight budgets and a changing business climate.
Rhonda Bell works in Enterprise Services' Statewide Recruiting Office, but her key focus in the past five years has been providing those facing a layoff with tools to help them through the transition.
The centerpiece of her efforts is a layoff workshop. This is a multi-agency collaboration that helps employees understand the layoff process. It also connects them with programs that can help them search for jobs, get benefits for which they qualify, and cope with a stressful situation.
"Since 2008, we've provided 140 workshops for about 2,500 attendees," said Bell.
That's an average of about 18 attendees at each workshop. But, according to Bell, the rate of attendance can vary greatly.
"We've had workshops where the room was near bursting, and we've had sessions with only a couple of attendees. And, there's always a number of people who do not have the time or means to get to a scheduled workshop," she pointed out.
In March, Bell teamed up with coworker Terry Springer from the Enterprises Services Training Office, to make the workshop's content available online. Together, Bell and Springer produced a video walk-through of the workshop's presentation slides with voice commentary by Bell. The video provides 24/7 access to a program that has helped many with a difficult transition.
"Persons using the online workshop can view it from end to end, or pick and choose among the subject areas offered," said Bell. "Contact information for all participating programs is included."
Whether you're a state employee facing a layoff, or you're simply contemplating a separation from state service, you'll find the tool very helpful. Go to the workshop web page and watch the video
3/18/13: Nominate a state employee for the 2013 Governor’s Leadership in Management Award.
Gov. Inslee is pleased to announce the nomination process for the Governor’s Awards for Leadership in Management. Please join him in supporting performance results by nominating managers in your organization who demonstrated extraordinary leadership in 2012. Please take this opportunity to recognize excellence in management by nominating our most effective state managers.
He seeks nominees who have set priorities and achieved results, managed risk and modeled leadership attributes. Please note I have updated the criteria with a greater focus on utilizing continuous process improvement principles. The attached information provides more details on the nomination process. All nominations are due by Wednesday, May 1, 2013.
Instructions and Timeline
Gov. Inslee’s memo to Cabinet
01/24/2013 Recruitment Team helps Governor find candidates for staff positions
On Nov. 15, 2012, members of the Enterprise Services Recruitment Team met with a group from Governor-elect Jay Inslee’s Transition Team to discuss the advantages of using the state’s Online Recruiting System (OLRS) to support the incoming governor’s staffing efforts.
In two months, Inslee would take office in Olympia. He would need an expert staff of leaders, administrators, and communicators to help him lead the government, interact with law makers, and deliver his message to citizens.
The staffing challenge was aggravated by the short timeline. How could the team manage the anticipated flood of mailed, faxed, and emailed applications in an orderly, efficient way and still maintain confidentiality? The Recruitment Team outlined how it could assist in organizing and tracking applicants by developing custom candidate pools based on advanced filtering techniques that are available in OLRS.
The team determined the appropriate job categories, and the most effective application process. Enterprise Services released the “Job Seeker Interest Repository” announcement on Nov. 20.
“Within a few days,” said Don Chavez, the lead recruiter on the project, “we had over 240 applications categorized into 12 unique areas of interest. “
“The next step,” Chavez recalls, “was training the transition team to use the Online Hiring Center to assess the candidates against staffing needs, and to manipulate the system to meet special requirements.”
This training proved invaluable as the candidate pools grew and the skill levels of hundreds of candidates had to be reviewed.
“Each day, we managed the incoming applications, filtered them accordingly and forwarded them to the transition team for assessment,” said Chavez. “We created customized reports to aid in determining locales and levels of interest.”
By the end of December, the team had received and assessed over 850 applicants using the OLRS.
To date, the transition team’s “job seeker repository” has logged nearly 11,000 hits and produced 1,050 candidates.
The candidates are categorized into 12 unique job interests.
Learn more about the Enterprise Services Recruitment Team and the work they do
Check out job opportunities in state government at Careers.wa.gov.
Last updated: 8/7/13