4P2 Recruiting, hiring and retaining employees
How do you recruit, hire and retain employees? How do you orient all employees to your organization? How do you plan for changes in personnel?
The recruitment and hiring of employees begins with a well-defined job description that clarifies essential duties and responsibilities. Up-to-date job descriptions and vacancy request forms assist HR staff in recruiting competent and qualified applicants. Job vacancy announcements are promoted using a variety of electronic postings such as the SFCC Web site and the Missouri Job Bank. Targeted mailings, ads in higher education periodicals and postings in local/regional newspapers are additional venues depending on the position that is being filled. Employees are hired based on required skills, qualifications, certification (if applicable), and references, as well as the talents the individual brings to the position and organization. All qualified applicants being considered for employment must be personally interviewed.
Once hired, orientation for new nonteaching employees is currently the responsibility of the supervisor. Payroll/insurance paperwork is the responsibility of HR staff. Every new employee has access to the college’s policies and regulations, the strategic plan and other significant documents via the employee tab on mySTAR or on the college’s Web site. SFCC does not have a formal orientation for new nonteaching employees. However, all new employees are introduced during convocations; given a tour of the campus; and provided many informal activities and opportunities to be assimilated into the campus community. New employee orientation includes a newly-developed training tree that establishes specific training requirements by position.
An institutional priority for a system improvement is a more structured and focused orientation process that is not limited to short-term activity but one that provides ongoing support for new employees. This priority has been assigned to HR as a system improvement initiative and will be reported in subsequent Systems Portfolios.
A more formal orientation process has been created for full-time and adjunct faculty. Orientations are conducted during the week of fall convocation. Sessions are held in small groups and in a format that meets faculty needs and concerns.
A three-year mentoring program pairs new full-time faculty with experienced faculty to ensure a successful classroom experience for both faculty and students. Upon successful implementation of the full-time faculty mentoring program, the administration plans to implement a similar service for adjunct faculty.
As stated earlier, the college does not presently have a formal succession plan. A well-structured succession plan would ensure the continued effectiveness of college operations; provide uninterrupted services to students and stakeholders; provide time for the college to review replacement options; and provide professional development that supports in-house advancement and promotion. The succession plan is being developed and will be reported in subsequent Systems Portfolios.
In 2004-2005, HR conducted a compensation and benefits survey that compared SFCC to other local employers, Missouri community colleges and similar-type service organizations. This type of comparative analysis, in addition to providing a safe, healthy and beautiful work environment, has supported strong employee retention and minimized turnover. Additional factors include:
- competitive benefits package;
- generous time off for personal/life situations;
- pooled sick leave policy;
- availability of health and wellness programs;
- state-of-the-art technology support and services;
- 55 days of vacation, personal, holiday and sick days;
- tuition benefits (credit and noncredit) for employees and families;
- grievance processes for dispute resolution;
- 35-hour work week;
- bookstore and food service discounts;
- professional development;
- career advancement opportunities; and
- degree completion incentives.
In order for the administration to plan for staffing changes, college policy requires that employees who plan to apply for the college’s retirement incentive plan must provide a nine-month advance notice allowing the administration to realign, fill or eliminate the position. Similarly, faculty contracts must be signed prior to graduation ceremonies in May. Professional staff must sign contracts prior to June 30. Classified staff are expected to provide a two-week notice prior to leaving the college’s employment.
Additionally, the program review process is critical in planning for necessary personnel changes, especially in terms of eliminating or adding programs related to faculty retirements or replacements.
There is a strong sense of community that contributes significantly to employee retention. MySTAR shares information regarding employees and their families. Birthday celebrations, ice cream socials, holiday parties, Roadrunner Roasts and food fests hosted by building groups are a favorite tradition and contribute to the “personal touch” as it relates to employees and the strong sense of family that is shared by everyone who works and learns at SFCC.
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