Temporary recruiting boost to help with vacancy backlog

Help arriving soon will boost how quickly Iowa State can whittle down a backlog of open positions, a university human resources (UHR) leader told the Professional and Scientific Council Nov. 6.

Two recruiting coordinators on temporary nine-month appointments will start work next week, Dwaine Heppler, associate vice president for human resources services and strategy, said in a presentation on the progress of HR service delivery. The temporary employees join the five staff recruiting specialists on service delivery teams -- a new position created by the improved service delivery (ISD) initiative that shifted HR and finance work to specialists with the July 1 launch of Workday, the university's platform for business transactions.

Of the 544 job openings requisitioned since July 1, 265 remain open, Heppler said, a hiring crunch he attributed in part to backfilling posts that opened when staff took service specialist positions. HR coordinators assist in recruiting for faculty jobs, 72 of which are unfilled. Recruiting coordinators provide support for merit and P&S recruiting. There are currently 155 openings for P&S staff and 38 for merit, he said.

"We certainly need to get past the glut of open positions we have," he said.  

Heppler said recruiters need to reduce the number of openings to create time to fully support hiring managers in a timely manner. Feedback has been positive in instances of "full-cycle" hires, when recruiters have been involved at each step along the way, he said.

Ticket volume drops

HR and finance services joined information technology services this summer in using an email ticketing system called ServiceNow to receive and manage requests for assistance. The volume of service requests is waning, Heppler said. There were 600 requests submitted in the first week of July, immediately after Workday went live. The final week of October saw 270 requests.

However, as ISD leaders have in previous council presentations, Heppler acknowledged work remains to address struggles faculty and staff are having with the transition. Common concerns include the time faculty and managers spend navigating Workday and processing transactions, along with the effects ISD has had on departmental workflow.

Finance and HR specialists are meeting with each other and local departments to work though individual issues, many of which become easier as Workday becomes more familiar, he said. Training and user labs for departmental staff impacted by the changes also have been a focus.  

Workday budget tool

A meeting this week kicked off plans to launch a budgeting tool in Workday this spring, interim vice president and chief information officer Kristen Constant told council members. A spring implementation is expected for Workday Planning, also known as Adapative Insights. It should be in place in time to use it for fiscal year 2021 budget plans, she said.