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In this report

Charo L. Albarrán, Napa Valley College

Merrilee Alvarado, Hansel Auto Group

Chris Cabral, Veterans Resource Centers of America

Cara Caindec, EO Products

Bob Ficken, Touro University California

Brenda Gilchrist, The HR Matrix

Rosanna Hayden, Artizen Staffing

Linda Lang, J.D., Marin General Hospital

Katie Petcavich, Guide Dogs for the Blind

Emily Peterson, Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County (4Cs)

Aixa Santos, Ghilotti Bros.

Elizabeth J. Smith, CPA, Museum of Sonoma County

Kate E. Stefan, United Way of the Wine Country

Isis Suarez, Kavaliro

Melissa Tamagno, Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital

Jaime B. Welsh, St. Joseph Health

Lori T. Zaret, SPHR, Exchange Bank

Ursula Zopp, Solage-Auberge Resorts Collection

Tight labor markets are becoming a fact of life for area businesses, so North Bay Business Journal asked local professionals on the people side of business about their challenges and solutions.

The following are their responses to our questions. The professionals are listed alphabetically.

Charo L. Albarrán

Associate Vice President, Human Resources, Training and Development

Napa Valley College

2277 Napa Valley Highway, Napa

707-256-7100

www.napavalley.edu

Charo L. Albarrán joined Napa Valley College in February 2016 as executive director of Human Resources, and was promoted this month to associate vice president of Human Resources and Training and Development. She has 20 years of human resources and management experience in education and has provided HR leadership at the University of California, high school and community college systems. Albarrán holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and communications from Holy Names University, and a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on business administration and human resources.

She also holds a human resources certificate from Villanova University.

Albarrán serves as chair of the Solano Napa Employer Advisory Council (SNEAC) and sits on the board of the Yolo-Solano Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA).

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

At Napa Valley College our main focus is our students. Whether working in Admission and Records, maintaining the beautiful grounds on our campus or providing instruction in the classroom, our focus is our students. Our college is a small tight knit community, so we hold each other accountable to performing at our best to provide the best instruction or service to our students. Training and development is a key component to a well-functioning organization. We work collaboratively on efforts to train and inform our staff of our board policies and collective bargaining agreements.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

The college has many different positions, from accountants to professors, and the labor market for each position varies. Five years ago, the college focused on the local region for recruitment efforts, but that limited our applicant pool and didn’t provide enough diversity in background and education. The college invested in an online application program that allowed for applicants nationwide to apply for our positions.

Our recruitment staff attends job fairs to build our applicant pools and reach a more diverse population, making sure to reach target groups like veterans. We are now looking for that special candidate that is looking to work in education and add value to our community.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff?

Temporary part-time staff are so helpful when we are in-between personnel! However, employing temporary part-time staff can often hinder any momentum we might have on a project or workflow. Additionally, the time used to train and retrain temporary staff can affect departmental morale and unity.

In this report

Charo L. Albarrán, Napa Valley College

Merrilee Alvarado, Hansel Auto Group

Chris Cabral, Veterans Resource Centers of America

Cara Caindec, EO Products

Bob Ficken, Touro University California

Brenda Gilchrist, The HR Matrix

Rosanna Hayden, Artizen Staffing

Linda Lang, J.D., Marin General Hospital

Katie Petcavich, Guide Dogs for the Blind

Emily Peterson, Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County (4Cs)

Aixa Santos, Ghilotti Bros.

Elizabeth J. Smith, CPA, Museum of Sonoma County

Kate E. Stefan, United Way of the Wine Country

Isis Suarez, Kavaliro

Melissa Tamagno, Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital

Jaime B. Welsh, St. Joseph Health

Lori T. Zaret, SPHR, Exchange Bank

Ursula Zopp, Solage-Auberge Resorts Collection

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

In the past, our new hires would receive a large package of forms in the mail to complete and then meet with two to three staff members to review forms and benefits.

Two years ago, the college moved the entire process online, and a new hire now receives an email with all forms needed to be completed and only meets with the benefits officer should he/she have questions.

This allowed our new hires to onboard more quickly and ensure that we receive the relevant documentation for payroll in a timely manner. Additionally, as part of our onboarding process, we hold two new employee orientations each year. This allows our new hires to meet each other, but more importantly, have the opportunity to learn more about the history and staff of the college.

Is there a shift away from paper in recordkeeping. If so, what is driving?

The college is transitioning from the use of paper to online record keeping. In the Office of Human Resources, we have made strides in our efforts by moving our applicant tracking system and onboarding processes online. Our office is currently reviewing options for an online talent management system that would allow our staff to participate in the performance evaluation process online. The continued use of paper is not sustainable and storage is always an issue.

Merrilee Alvarado

Employee Relations Manager

Hansel Auto Group

1125 Auto Center Drive, Petaluma

707-769-2340

www.gohansel.com

Merrilee Alvarado has over 10 years of experience working with the Hansel Auto Group. She graduated from California State University Sacramento, with a bachelor’s degree in communications, and obtained a Human Resource Administration Certificate of Achievement.

Alvarado partners with the benefits and compliance manager, as well as the recruiting manager and payroll department, to manage over 700 employees.

With the Hansel Auto Group ranking 14th out of 500 top North Bay companies, she continues to shape and structure the human resources department to maintain a positive reputation in Sonoma County. Meeting with top executives to oversee the vision and values of the organization, she helps bridge the gap of communication for employees and management.

Alvarado takes great pride in the HR Department and interfaces with employees as they begin their journey through pre-employment. She’s heavily involved in employee development, especially because she has developed her career from within.

Promoted from a receptionist to the corporate human resources administrator, and eventually managing all employee relations, Alvarado encourages innovation and positivity.

“Many great ideas come from the employees themselves. It’s not always top down. That’s why it’s so important to connect with everyone. Some people are spending more time at work than they are at home. We want to make an employee’s day one that is fulfilling and that they can be proud of. Employees have the ability to shape the culture of the workplace to whatever they want, and I’m lucky to be a part of a company that allows me to help with that.”

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

Timekeeping has been a difficult problem that we continue to face each month. Our payroll department is extremely involved in notifying managers when their employees have a “hole” in their timecard; however, the challenge is the time it hits payroll’s radar, and the time it takes for payroll to connect with the employee to get it corrected.

Our employees are required to punch in their time, and the managers are responsible for tracking them. Many of our managers are very busy and are not going into the system to review inaccuracies daily. Managers often wait until the end of the pay period as opposed to being proactive and checking daily or weekly.

Managers with a large number of employees are rushing through the process at the end of the pay period, and payroll has to meticulously review the time cards, catching any errors. For a company with 700 employees, it’s extremely daunting and time consuming to walk through each employee profile and review two weeks’ worth of time cards.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

Five years ago it was an employer’s market. That has now shifted to a candidate’s market. We’re now battling other companies to hire candidates, especially those with trade skills. We’ve had to shift our strategy to show candidates how and why we are different from our competitors. Benefits are a major focus for our applicants, and having multiple options to choose from our benefits package is a very attractive option. We currently have three medical plans to choose from, including a PPO, HMO and HRA. Last year we added a fourth option through an FSA program. Not to mention our dental and 401(k) program.

In addition to benefits, we have increased our work education programs and pay for more technicians to go to training and become certified. This has elevated our employees’ knowledge and increases their worth, leading to better service for our customers. The return on investment is immeasurable.

Lastly, we updated our application system to be faster and user-friendly. It used to be a longer process for applicants but we have learned that many candidates today are applying on their smartphones, and some don’t even have computers at home anymore. The new system allows applicants to upload their resumes to prepopulate fields and quickly apply.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary or part-time staff?

A real challenge with hiring more part-time employees is with the ACA laws and the 30 hours (minimum) for medical benefits. Managers are hiring part-time employees and assigning them less than 30 hours a week. Our Benefits & Compliance Manager tracks the employee’s hours during their waiting period (to determine if they qualify) and we’re finding more often than not, the employee’s become more available (i.e., summertime and school schedules), and we in turn offer benefits to a part-time employee that we initially didn’t plan on covering, driving up the costs for benefits.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

The onboarding process has morphed into something completely different than what it was 10 years ago. We have an HR representative sit with our new hires and walk them though each policy and reviewing the handbook.

A lot of companies do much of this process electronically but we are proud to say we sit with the new hires and get to know them. We ask about their interests, take their pictures to post on our intranet, welcoming them to the company and include fun facts with their photos so others can get to know them as well.

We created a personal onboarding process that allows the new hire to ask questions and fully grasp the culture of the company, not just click a button to sign a form. We have updated our intranet to include videos and footage of employees, and keep it fresh with newsletters and information about the dealership they are joining. We realize policies and procedures aren’t always the most entertaining, but we try to make it a fun and interactive experience for the new person joining the team.

Is there a shift away from paper in record-keeping? If so, what is driving that?

In truth we’re more “old school” when it comes to personnel files and record-keeping. I do see a huge benefit in having things electronic but you can only put so much trust in technology. I’ve also been through enough power outages and internet breakdowns to know technology is great until it’s not available.

That being said, we have added a scan department to our team within the last 10 years, and they have helped immensely with scanning customer files and documents to allow all managers from different locations to access and view files as needed. That has been a major shift in archiving documents rather than holding onto boxes of old paperwork for years.

Chris Cabral

Chief Human Resources Officer

Veterans Resource Centers of America

444 10th St., Suite 102, Santa Rosa

www.vetsresource.org

Chris has over 10 years of experience in human resources in both the public and nonprofit sectors. An Ohio native, she ventured to California while serving as an active-duty member of the United States Coast Guard, and she is currently attending law school as an evening student to enhance her knowledge of local, state, national and international labor law to best support VRC’s organizational growth for many years to come. Chris resides in beautiful Sonoma County with her horse and two dogs.

Tell us some challenges you’ve had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

We have employees in three states and at least 50 different codes for allocating staff time, and the relevant laws and regulations in California are often different than those in Arizona and Nevada.

It’s rather complex, so we just have to be well-organized and ensure we communicate internally and provide adequate training. It’s also increasingly difficult to accurately capture and track what qualifies an employee as exempt vs. non-exempt.

And it’s not like the old days when employees punched a timecard at the beginning and end of each shift. Utilizing an online system for time entry has a lot of advantages, but we also have to remind employees of deadlines so they don’t come to work on a busy Monday morning and get sidetracked by their email inboxes and the needs of their own teams and clients.

What are three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

First, I’d say technology plays a much bigger role: There are so many more online recruiting platforms available today than there were even just a few years ago, which has made it easier to reach a wider pool of potential applicants. The quantity and quality of applicants we see has increased as a result. Second, as a regional nonprofit it’s increasingly challenging to match the compensation and benefits offered by other companies, particularly in California where the cost of living is so high and there are so many large, well-funded organizations competing for the same talent. And the third difference, especially as a federal contractor, is the increase in the number and complexity of regulations and reporting requirements.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff? One challenge with having temporary and part-time staff is higher turnover, although as a federal contractor we don’t rely as much on part-time employees as some companies. It can also be more challenging to train part-time staff given their limited schedules.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

Incorporating technology into the onboarding process has helped. We use an online platform that’s standardized across the company and quite comprehensive in terms of covering a number of different key functional areas.

The online system also catches mistakes that a human eye might overlook. All of our new employee training is online now, too, which makes the process easier for new hires as well as supervisors and headquarters staff. And we’ve created a mentorship program at VRC that pairs new employees with a more seasoned member of the staff, as a resource in case they have questions or run into any difficulties.

About half of our employees are veterans themselves, so the mentorship program helps them integrate back into the workforce and helps our non-veteran employees with military and veteran cultural competency.

Is there a shift away from paper in record-keeping? If so, what’s driving that?

Yes, absolutely. The increased availability and affordability of technology makes record-keeping much more efficient and accurate.

Cara Caindec

Vice President Human Resources

EO Products

90 Windward Way, San Rafael

415-945-1900

www.eoproducts.com

Cara Caindec joined EO Products in 2002 and is responsible for strategically managing the people function as vice president Human Resources. Prior to joining of EO Products, Caindec was an HR professional in consulting firms, health care, and banking. She represented EO Products on the Marin County Workforce Development Board from 2013-2016.

Cara has her bachelor of arts degree from the University of California Santa Barbara, a certificate in HR Management from UCLA, is an NCHRA member, and has been a certified HR professional (PHR) through the HRCI since 1992.

EO Products is a local manufacturer offering organic and sustainably produced plant-based body care products under the brands EO & Everyone. With a deep commitment to ethical and responsible business practices, EO Products has taken pains to ensure its supply chain, manufacturing, employment policies and community relationships are shaped by its values of sustainability, inclusiveness and equity. EO products is a certified B Corp, meeting requirements for compliance with social and environmental justice goals.

She is thrilled that the employees of EO Products have voted the organization “Best Places to Work” by the North Bay Business Journal for the last five years. It was an honor to have EO Products nominated for a Bridge Award this year to recognize its diversity and inclusion in hiring. EO Products and Caindec work hard to create a culture built on values of collaboration, responsibility, integrity and passion. EO Products started as a family business, and as a family, it takes time to learn about and meet one another’s needs. Caindec says, “We’re all in this together, we all work together, and we are stronger together.”

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

We have every intention and desire to pay our employees for all their time worked. We utilize a timekeeping system that helps us maintain accurate recordkeeping.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

It’s wonderful today to have Applicant Tracking Systems help manage the process. The candidate experience is a more important focus, and having the support of a system to communicate with candidates is a benefit for the job seeker and for us. Times have changed where we now have to sometimes be more proactive to find the right candidates with the use of Indeed and LinkedIn, among other tools.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff?

We’ve found it an advantage and a support to partner with our staffing agencies.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

This is a focus for us this year. As we’ve grown, we need to be more intentional about how we are introducing new members to the team. It used to be an easy walk around, and now we have to go through three buildings! Our list of “things to know about EO” keeps growing.

Is there a shift away from paper in recordkeeping? If so, what is driving that?

Yes, applicant tracking systems eliminate the need for paper resumes. And benefits enrollment and information is all online.

Bob Ficken

Director of Human Resources

Touro University California

1310 Club Drive, Vallejo

707-638-5204

www.tu.edu

Bob Ficken has 30-plus years of human resources leadership experience and 20-plus years’ experience working in education, both as an HR leader and as a faculty member.

He holds SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) and SHRM-SCP (Society for Human Resource Management-Senior Certified Professional) certifications.

Ficken is a board member for the CUPA-HR Northern California and Central California Chapter, where he is in charge of learning and development for all chapter members. Ficken is also a commissioner for the town of Danville’s Senior Advisory Commission.

Ficken is an expert in change management and generations in the workplace. He has presented frequently on technology and the law, and he will be presenting on generations at work in June.

Some of his prior HR roles include: executive vice president of HR at A-T Solutions; senior vice president of HR at Citizenre Solar; director of HR at North Idaho College; and vice president of HR at Century Theatres.

Colleges and universities where Ficken has taught: FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in San Francisco; DeVry University; and University of Phoenix.

Ficken and his wife have two grown children and one grandchild (while pestering their adult kids for more grandchildren!). He is an avid reader, a good tennis player, a bad golfer, and loves riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

Getting non-exempt employees to record meal breaks.

Training supervisors to schedule employees’ meal breaks and rest breaks.

Getting exempt employees to record time off on work days.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

Use of social media.

Instead of recruiting, we compete for talent.

We now use selection tools that help assess soft skills.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary or part-time staff?

Exorbitant costs.

Lack of loyalty.

Differences in culture and focus between FTE’s and PT/Temp workers.

Increased publicity about gig workers has temp workers leaving faster than they used to.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

Matching new hires’ social interests to existing employees with same interests.

Exposure to messages from senior leadership that are kept current.

Getting all new hire training accomplished in first 30 days of work.

Names and titles of all new hires are listed in Provost’s monthly campus newsletter.

Introducing new hires to their immediate supervisor and co-workers on Day 1.

Is there a shift away from paper in record keeping? If so, what is driving that?

There is a shift in some areas. For example, all time-keeping (for timecards) is done electronically. Most Electronic Personnel Action Forms are handled electronically. What is driving that is the ease of which electronic transactions can be found, and the reduction of hard copies reduces office supply costs on paper. On the other hand, we still keep hard copy personnel files.

Brenda Gilchrist

Co-founder and partner

The HR Matrix, LLC

528 B St., Santa Rosa

707-526-0877 x11

www.thehrmatrix.com

Gilchrist, a seasoned corporate human resources executive, co-founded The HR Matrix in 2006 with Gary Hochman, a recognized leader in organization development. Gilchrist’s goal was to “establish a firm that focused on quality and strategic HR solutions to help companies and their employees succeed and thrive.”

Gilchrist and her team of highly skilled consultants partner with employers of all sizes to create HR solutions tailored to each client’s needs. The firm specializes in strategic HR program and policy development, day to day HR support, audits for employment law compliance, and consulting to improve processes and workflow. With decades of combined corporate HR and consulting experience, the team is able to provide clients with insight into current trends and best practices across industries. In addition, their varied skill sets allow the team to support employers in niche areas such as compensation planning, employee engagement and development, search and recruitment, and performance management.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

A portion of our new clients come to us specifically for help with time tracking and regulatory compliance, often after experiencing complaints or legal consequences of not doing so. Since wage and hour rules are so complicated, especially in California, wage and hour violations are common. Wage and hour lawsuits can be extremely lucrative for attorneys so claims are becoming more prevalent, but these violations are largely preventable.

In many cases, we perform HR audits with clients to determine compliance levels and identify areas of risk. Most of our clients get onboard with our recommended compliance processes, but sometimes we are challenged with employers who don’t want the ‘hassle’ of timesheets, punching in/out, tracking meal breaks, etc.

Sometimes an employer will feel that compliance requirements are too strict for their business model. They might want an hourly employee to be able to work all hours or travel without overtime, so they’ll make the job salaried exempt, even though the job doesn’t qualify.

There’s so much exposure for the client in that kind of situation. Regulatory compliance may seem challenging, but dealing with labor claims and lawsuits is worse. With modern technology, time tracking is easier than ever. Employees can clock in by phone, with biometrics, online, etc. As always, it still comes down to effective management to ensure compliance requirements are met and that employees are clocking in/out and receiving their breaks.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

For us the change is more quantifiable at 10 years than five. We were on the leading edge of data-driven recruitment, as well as passive candidate sourcing. We still employ both of these techniques, though there are more options and services available to us now. We are more creative in how we design jobs and assess candidates now, and employer branding is more important than ever.

We have replaced phone screens with video chats, as they yield so much more data and enable us to make a better connection with candidates. The biggest change in the recruiting landscape in the last five years is the shrinking talent pool, so getting creative about developing and retaining existing talent is another area in which we support our clients.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary or part-time staff?

Work continuity, team building, and collaboration can be more challenging with temps and part-timers. Employers who have strong onboarding processes and well-documented operating procedures can get employees up to speed faster.

This also helps with work continuity. Proactive communication from both managers and peers helps to build teams and also supports work continuity and collaboration. Temps and part-timers can feel left out — they may miss meetings and communications or not be included in events that others attend. Making provisions to include them or finding other ways to connect them to the business can help keep them engaged.

We find use of temporary and part-time staff is a plus in many situations. Being adaptable and creative in staffing is a strategic imperative these days for employers of all sizes.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

We have the benefit of seeing literally hundreds of onboarding models and various technologies, so we can make solid best practice recommendations to our clients.

The use of HR technology platforms to gather required documents helps employers stay on top of the process and makes it more efficient for new hires.

For smaller and mid-sized employers, the use of e-Signature platforms for new hire documents is a cost-effective alternative to the more costly HR enterprise systems. Aside from the usual documentation, on-site (or virtual) integration into the company culture remains the priority.

We encourage managers to stay close during the first 90 days and ensure new hires are clear on expectations, and trained in company procedures. Training regarding the company’s mission, values and operations are critical in helping employees understand their place within the company and the meaning of their work.

We still recommend the buddy system to help with process, practice and team assimilation.

Is there a shift away from paper in record keeping? If so, what is driving that?

Yes. Employers can store data safely and inexpensively on the cloud or secure servers now, with faster retrieval and send capability. It’s green and eliminates costly, redundant printing. Almost all our clients are going digital to some degree, many completely paperless. The HR Matrix is completely paperless and we encourage our clients to leverage ATS, HRIS, and paperless storage systems.

Rosanna Hayden

Chief Executive Officer

Artizen Staffing

101 Golf Course Drive, Suite 300, Rohnert Park

707-595-5998

www.artizenstaffing.com

Hayden is the CEO of Artizen Staffing, a Sonoma County headquartered staffing and recruiting services firm. Rosanna is responsible for the activities and personnel in her Rohnert Park, Silicon Valley and Sacramento regional offices.

Rosanna has over 28 years of experience in a leadership capacity in the field of Human Resources and has been a long-time member of SHRM, NCHRA and PASCO. She has served as a board of directors member, at both the state and local chapter levels of the California Staffing Professionals, for over 12 years. She is an active member of the Hispanic, Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park chambers of commerce, Women United and Vistage. Rosanna is an alumni of San Francisco State University College of Business.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

Working with an almost entirely remote group of employees means we have unusual challenges when it comes to keeping track of employee time. It’s difficult for us to know if employees are actually taking their mandated meal/rest breaks or recording time accurately. Technology has been a key piece of addressing this issue. Our employees use an electronic timesheet that can be accessed via an app on their phone or a regular computer, so they are able to access their timesheet easily and in a timely manner and easily record their hours from any location. The system requires them to confirm that they have taken their breaks according to the requirements of the law and our policy.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

In the past, we spent more time sending emails for confirmation of activities and now we’re finding text messaging to be a great deal more effective. We utilize a cutting-edge, cloud-based applicant tracking system that allows for easy text capabilities from our system. Since most people possess a cell phone with text capabilities and receive far fewer texts than emails, it’s a more efficient tool for quick turnaround in communications.

We’ve been in a candidate-driven market for several years and now we gather significant selling points from our clients to discuss with potential candidates. Most of the candidates we speak with are employed. Candidates want to hear more details about the total package being offered and the environment in which they will be working.

When recruiting for internal team members, we also advertise what makes our firm unique and outline a clear career path, along with the corresponding earnings potential available when joining our team.

We utilize more online tools than ever before in order to obtain as many passive candidates as quickly as possible. In the past, we may have used up to two of these tools and now we’re leveraging about five.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff?

The key issue we’ve run into with increasing our use of temporary or part-time staff is their desire to continue working only part-time or temporary jobs.

Some people who accept these types of jobs would prefer to be working directly or full-time, and when that’s not an option they continue to search for employment that will allow them to do so. In our current market, the volume of full-time direct-hire jobs available is abundant, thus leading to more employee turnover and creating additional burden in recruitment activities.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

We’ve completely automated the onboarding process primarily using Docusign, and created electronic copy files rather than keeping unnecessary paper copies. Required training is all done online as well, whether that be client-specific training, skills training and/or mandatory state/federal government- required employee training.

Is there a shift away from paper in record keeping? If so, what is driving that?

Most definitely. As mentioned in the previous response, Artizen has gone almost entirely paperless for its onboarding and recordkeeping. This is partly due to the flexibility of electronic records in terms of access. When team members work remotely, in other cities or even other states, they can easily access a required file.

It’s partly due to the increased efficiency of electronic records which are easier to store, take up less physical space, and can be easily destroyed when past their retention dates. Artizen Staffing strives to take action each year to increase our environmental friendliness, and the continued reduction of paper copy records contributes to helping us reach that goal.

Linda Lang, J.D.

Chief Human Resources Officer

Marin General Hospital

250 Bon Air Road, Greenbrae

415-925-7000

www.maringeneral.org

Lang is the chief human resources officer for Marin General Hospital (MGH) and Prima Medical Foundation. Prior to joining MGH, Lang was the regional director, labor relations, Northern California, for Kaiser Permanente, where she oversaw the organization’s labor relations and bargaining strategy with a workforce of over 65,000.

Prior to joining Kaiser, Lang served as vice president, Human Resources for Millennium Hotels and Resorts. Prior to that, she was a human resources regional director at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. Linda is a graduate of San Francisco State University and holds a juris doctorate from the University of San Francisco Law School.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

It is important to us that our employees get their proper meal and rest periods. It is also a legal requirement, and it can be quite challenging to ensure compliance when dealing with emergent healt hcare situations. We employ a software-based timekeeping system to ensure we have adequate staff ratios on hand and to verify people are taking their required breaks. This helps us meet all applicable regulations while promoting patient safety and protecting our staffs’ mental health.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

Five years ago, we relied heavily on referrals from the staff and print advertising to recruit talent. Today, the job market is so robust, we need to be much more proactive in our approach to recruiting. This means tapping into online social networks, such as LinkedIn, and approaching potential candidates who may not necessarily be looking for a new position. We don’t want to wait for them to come to us, so we’re going to them.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary or part-time staff?

We do our best to limit temporary and part-time staff. We believe it is in our patients’ best interests to have dedicated full-time staff whenever possible, as it helps to build continuity and patient loyalty.

We currently work with agencies for some temporary and part-time needs, but because of the booming job market, we’re finding there are just too many choices for people and finding qualified temporary staff can be difficult.

The other reason we gravitate toward full-time staff is because we offer a rich benefits package so it’s considerably more costly for us to employ a lot of part-time staff. That said, there are certain circumstances where a particular role lends itself to part-time staff and because of that, we do have some part-time employees.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

We regularly review and update our new employee orientation. Every new hire’s first day is a full day, live presentation with senior leadership, which includes me, the CEO, COO and other chief officers.

The second orientation day is entirely devoted to patient safety, personal safety, focusing on the best ways to safeguard ourselves and our patients. We review these onboarding segments regularly to reflect any changes in personnel and leadership. New clinical staff have an additional three days of training to ensure they are properly trained on the clinical programs we’re using.

Unlike other hospital organizations that provide most of their training via online courses, we maintain a constant touch with new recruits through their first 90 days on the job. And we’re actively monitoring them to make sure they’re following the our C.A.R.E.S. (communication, accountability, respect, excellence and safety) service excellence standards and behaviors.

Is there a shift away from paper in recordkeeping? If so, what is driving that?

Electronic medical records (EMRs) are helping to drive the shift away from paper recordkeeping. Through our strategic alliance with UCSF, we are currently implementing the industry standard EPIC electronic medical record system in our clinics.

This allows us to connect with patients, providers and other partners, so patients can move from place to place without having to move their medical records. Also, we’ve adopted an online application process that has eliminated the need to retain hard copy applications.

Katie Petcavich

Vice President of Human Resources

Guide Dogs for the Blind

350 Los Ranchitos Road, San Rafael

415-499-4000

www.guidedogs.com

P etcavich brings more than 30 years of human resources experience to her leadership role at Guide Dogs for the Blind. She has enjoyed working in a broad array of industries in the for-profit world, ranging from retail to architecture to advertising, as well as in the nonprofit sector through her time with the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael.

Katie loves the passion that Guide Dogs for the Blind employees bring to its life-changing mission.

Katie is responsible for providing overall strategic leadership to Guide Dogs for the Blind’s HR initiatives such as recruitment, compensation, benefits, training and employee relations. She also ensures policies, procedures and HR programs are consistently administered, aligned with organizational goals, and are in compliance with professional standards, state and federal regulatory requirements and employment laws.

Katie and her team played an instrumental role in helping Guide Dogs for the Blind win a DecisionWise Employee Engagement Best Practice award for 2019!

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

One of the challenges has been finding a timekeeping system that meets the robust needs of our mid-sized, 24-7 organization — including being accessible for our employees who are blind or visually impaired.

Tracking time here at Guide Dogs for the Blind is cumbersome as we have lots of non-exempt employees and employees in multiple states, where different laws may apply. This all leads to the need to create custom processes and policies to ensure we pay employees correctly and remain legally compliant.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

The market is clearly more candidate/employee driven than it was five years ago. As such, we are updating and placing greater emphasis on our employer brand and ensuring it is consistent across all channels. This includes more emphasis on the careers part of our website, social media and recruitment advertising.

We are also turning to less traditional and more niche strategies. Employers must remain agile and be able to make changes and updates quickly. It’s important to constantly question and update strategies and methods and try new things.

We are also making greater use of technology and increasing reliance on multiple channels like the career section of our website, social media, text messaging, niche recruitment sites, AI.

It is also important to hire more junior candidates and provide internal training programs to bring them up to speed in job competencies.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff?

We have been fortunate to be able to hire part time and temporary staff to fulfill some of our employment needs. It has been challenging at times to find qualified temporary staff in this tight labor market, though when we do find the right staff it has really worked out well. There have been a few part-time positions that we have not been able to fill due to a shortage of available candidates in the market.

These are typically positions where there is generally a shortage of qualified candidates. This has required us to rethink how we staff in these departments, including consolidating part-time into full-time schedules. This definitely reduces flexibility and the ability to use part-time staff to fill in for scheduling gaps due to absences and vacations.

At times, temporary staff leave to accept full-time positions elsewhere before the assignment is up, requiring us to find and train a replacement.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?.

Advancements in our organization have included automation of the onboarding process, implementation of a comprehensive new-hire orientation to orient employees to the whole organization, streamlining paperwork, and using technology to expedite payroll, IT, and security set ups, and training.

Emily Peterson

Human Resources Director

Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County (4Cs)

131A Stony Circle, Suite 300, Santa Rosa

707-544-3077

www.sonoma4cs.org

Peterson joined the 4Cs leadership team as the human resources director in April 2018. She holds a bachelor of science degree in managerial economics from the University of California, Davis. She began her HR career in 2012 working in the biotechnology industry, and after returning home to Sonoma County in 2017, she joined the world of nonprofits.

As a certified Perfessional in Human Resources (PHR), she brings a wide range of knowledge and expertise to the agency, and is passionate about creating an exceptional employee experience through building a strong organizational culture. She is particularly inspired by the staff at 4Cs, and notes that their dedication and commitment to supporting the early education of children in our community motivates her every day.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

The main challenge I have encountered in helping employees keep track of their time at work while meeting all applicable regulations surrounds meal and rest break requirements. There are strict regulations around the timing of when such breaks occur, and while we want to be flexible and support employees in their preference and what works best with their schedule, we also have to ensure we are following what is required of us as an employer.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

There exists many differences in recruitment today versus five years ago. With the rise of social media, how employers recruit today has changed dramatically—we still heavily use traditional job boards, but we are increasingly using less formal tools such as Facebook in order to reach potential candidates.

Similarly, the way we communicate with candidates has evolved, with messaging platforms and even text messaging being utilized more frequently.

Lastly, with the record low unemployment numbers we are currently experiencing, the job market is favorable to job seekers, so it has been important to take a close look at recruitment processes to adapt them to cut out any inefficiencies that are slowing down the process.

One of the worst things that can happen is losing a great candidate because we didn’t move quickly enough and he or she accepted an offer elsewhere.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff?

There are two challenges I see presented in the increasing use of temporary or part-time staff: training and integration. Training, particularly of temporary staff, can present an issue with regard to how much time to invest in training an individual when he or she will only be here for a limited amount of time.

We certainly want to provide the proper amount of training so that everyone feels properly equipped to do their job, but we also want to be cognizant of the time being spent on the part of the trainer.

Similarly, when staff members are only with the organization part-time or temporarily, it can be hard to fully integrate them into our culture and have them build those social connections that we really strive to create for each member of our team.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

We have made strides in shifting the onboarding process from one focused mainly on paperwork and policies, to one that is more focused on educating our new employees on our organization and culture.

We make an effort to integrate new hires into the workforce and make them feel welcome.

We hold periodic new-hire lunches, in which recent additions to the 4Cs team join members of the leadership team over lunch to learn more about the agency’s history, culture and practices. There will, of course, always be the more traditional paperwork portion of onboarding, but we strive to make more social connections in the process and give people a better sense of the organization they have made the choice to join and the people they will be working beside day in and day out.

Is there a shift away from paper in recordkeeping? If so, what is driving that?

There does seem to be a shift away from paper in recordkeeping, which I believe is driven by the ever- increasing number of technology platforms available to house various types of data. Between Application Tracking Systems, HR Information Systems, Electronic Timekeeping Systems, and Performance Management Systems, to name a few, there seems to be a software solution available for each facet of HR that allows for electronic recordkeeping of all the related documents. Aside from the technology piece, there are obvious positive environmental implications that are driving a shift from paper to electronic recordkeeping.

There are still certain records that, by regulations, are required to be kept in hard copy format, so until this changes, I do not anticipate entirely moving away from paper in recordkeeping.

Aixa Santos

Human Resources Manager

Ghilotti Bros., Inc.

525 Jacoby St., San Rafael

415-454-7011

www.ghilottibros.com

Aixa Santos is the Human Resources Manager at Ghilotti Bros., Inc. (GBI) in San Rafael. She joined the GBI family in 2007, right before she received her bachelor of arts degree in business management with a minor in Latin American studies from Dominican University of California in 2008.

She has been working in the human resources field for 10 years and has made tremendous improvements and brought exciting new ideas to our company and culture. Along with streamlining the performance review process and onboarding orientation, she has implemented effective new ideas to our wellness culture, which have helped GBI win the ‘Healthiest Companies in the North Bay’ award for seven years.

Through the years, her hard work and determination has made her an exceptional Human Resources Manager for GBI. Aixa performs a variety of personnel functions, including workers compensation management, recruiting, training management, health benefits management, employee wellness, safety program assistance and maintaining company policies and procedures.

Being bilingual in Spanish is a great benefit she has in connecting with our Hispanic workforce. Aixa is a Bay Area native and was born and raised in San Francisco.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

Before I came into the position, this was a hot topic for GBI. Tracking employee time in both office and field can be a challenge for payroll since, we have over 300 employees at peak season to review each day.

Challenges include reporting accurate time, lunch and breaks, additional time for drivers arriving early and staying late on the job, and staying compliant with union hour regulations.

To address that challenge we instituted individual timecards, which has been a successful system in helping the employee capture their start/end time, lunches or breaks missed, and hours reported for each day with sign-off from employee and manager.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

The war on talent has gotten more competitive in our industry, so the first key difference has been the amount of effort we put into recruiting and retaining our employees.

The second difference has been expanded use of social networks to recruit employees.

The third and most valuable difference has been the effort to engage our employees to refer a qualified candidate.

We have increased our employee referral bonus because we know the best candidates are referred from within. Our employees know our culture, our industry and know what we are looking for in someone to succeed in our business. They are our best recruiters.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff

We encourage cross-training, so temporary staff is not a challenge for GBI.

A challenge we have in the few part-time staff members is making sure they stay under 30 hours of work per week, which is the threshold to refrain from making them eligible for benefits. It’s a continuous challenge to remind those hardworking individuals to manage their time accordingly.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

One of the first key strides we have taken to improve the onboarding process is developing successful roles and responsibilities and standard operating procedures for all positions. Using these documents along with an onboarding procedure folder, which has extensive amounts of information regarding the company ins and outs, like an onboarding review plan for the first three months, GBI Terminology, Benefits Booklet, Organizational Structures, Company Goals and Reference Materials has made our new employees feel better prepared for their role and successful employment at GBI.

We even take it up a notch by providing them with a gift package to welcome them to the GBI family so they can have the right gear to feel a part of the team.

Is there a shift away from paper in recordkeeping? If so, what is driving that?

A slight change has driven our benefits records to move to electronic and our field operations use new software to alleviate paper, but most of our paper recordkeeping is the result of our field workforce, vendors and unions.

Elizabeth J. Smith, CPA

Finance and Human Resources Manager

Museum of Sonoma County

425 Seventh St., Santa Rosa

707-579-1500 ext 106

museumsc.org

Elizabeth brings over 30 years of public accounting experience, along with an HR certification, to the museum.

She began her career as a Certified Public Accountant, which provided her a wide variety of experience and training in taxation, payroll and accounting. She spent the past 11 years working as a governmental accountant.

Looking to expand her knowledge of “best practices” to manage her staff, she obtained her HR certification. Having worked with many different clients and employees in many different environments, she understands and appreciates the value of good employees as well as the role of management to support, encourage and motivate them to do their best.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

Setting clearly defined and consistent work and break schedules, and clear communication to the staff of those schedules and break requirements, keeps the museum on track with regulation compliance.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff? Temporary or part-time workers may feel less committed to the company and less connected to the full-time staff. However, when we focus on giving them work that is engaging, in a supportive, inclusive environment, they, in turn, reward us with commitment and connection. Our part-time staff is a very important component of our team here at the museum, and we communicate that to them as often as possible.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

We are a small company, so our onboarding happens infrequently. However, to expedite processing the paperwork the first day, a packet of a few documents is emailed to the new employee prior to the start date. This allows them time to review some of the items before their first day.

Is there a shift away from paper in record keeping? If so, what is driving that?

Yes.

1. Document sharing is easier.

2. Document retrieval is much more efficient.

3. Document storage requires much less physical space.

Kate E. Stefan

Vice President of Finance and Operations

United Way of the Wine Country

975 Corporate Center Parkway, Suite 160, Santa Rosa

707-528-4485 ext. 105

www.unitedwaywinecountry.org

Kate Stefan is a native of Sonoma County, and a senior finance and operational professional with 12+ years of experience, superior interpersonal skills, and a record of excellence in the nonprofit sector.

She is capable of solving multiple and complex issues while upholding standards to build, lead and motivate teams that drive organizational success. She considers herself a hands-on leader with experience in reporting, analysis and implementation of processes that ensure success for organizations financially. She has a desire to help other nonprofit organizations and assist in achieving their missions’ goals and success.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

The challenges I was confronted with were employees insisting on following procedures that were set by my predecessors, who were no longer with the organization, and procedures that were no longer applicable.

I really had to analyze and observe the current situation, including the internal processes of the staff for those areas of improvement.

Once this was completed, I realized that the employees needed guidance and proper instruction. To assist and educate, I scheduled staff training sessions as a group, as well as individual settings. I verbally informed them to contact me at any time if they needed any assistance. Finally, checking in with the employees on a consistent basis and increasing the level of communication has really helped as well.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

The job market is definitely different today in comparison to five years ago. Also, Northern California has become more expensive to live here.

In addition, competition to find the right candidate has become more difficult due to higher demands within specific fields of work. Candidates are not just accepting any job to gain experience. They are evaluating many factors, such as where these jobs are located, how much it costs to live there, etc.

Five years ago, some candidates were falsely stating they had experience in areas they really didn’t, as well as taking advantage of companies/organizations. Due to these types of situations, more laws and regulations were put into motion to protect both the candidates and the companies/organizations. This has made it more challenging to find good candidates to fill needed positions.

So, in taking these things into consideration, the three key differences today in how the organization and I recruit workers are as such:

1. Discuss and consider any prior employees that might fit the open position who performed exceptionally well.

2. Connect with a recruiting firm for their assistance to bring in potential candidates, as well as screen them first before moving on to the next level of interviews.

3. Perform thorough background and reference checks for security and validation.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary or part-time staff?

Since our organization focuses on the specific functions of specialized programs, hiring temporary staff to assist with high volumes of work becomes challenging. This particular challenge presented itself during the October 2017 fires.

We needed to hire temporary part-time staff to assist with the thousands of check and donation distributions to assist those who lost their homes or were displaced. It became a juggling act between spending time on the cross-training of the temporary staff and focusing on the main task at hand.

The other challenge we face is taking out additional time to hire and cross-train a temporary staff person who’s contracted with our organization for a few months to cover a permanent employee.

If the permanent employee decides not to return to work and the contract ends with the temporary staff where they are unable to stay on for a longer period of time, then we have no one to continue with the workflow. So, we need to take more time to hire and cross-train another permanent employee.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

First off, bringing someone new into an organization is not a simple task. It is vital to ensure the new employee gets integrated into the organization’s culture and make sure they’re properly trained in the organization and more.

The key strides I instill is making sure we are prepared before the new employees’ first day of work. Before a new employee comes onboard, we make sure we prepare their workstation and set up their systems, email them all of the necessary paperwork needed in their employee packet, so they can send to me before they begin work or turn it into me on their first day. On their first day of work, the new employee is provided a schedule from their direct supervisor and taken around the office to be introduced.

Also, I meet with them to go over all of the paperwork they received in the employee packet, go over all of the benefits, performance review process, and employee handbook, as well as answer any questions or concerns they might have.

During the first few months, we continue our training, check-ins and goal setting to ensure the new employee reaches full productivity faster and continues to be engaged.

Also, we explain our systems by giving the new employee a full tour of our performance management and compensation systems. Lastly, we celebrate and acknowledge every employee’s achievements or milestones. It is extremely important to recognize and acknowledge those achievements.

Is there a shift away from paper in record keeping? If so, what is driving that?

Unfortunately, I do not see any shift away from paper in record-keeping.

It is important to have both paper and electronic copies. Some electronic copies could be deemed as insufficient data or information because information can be altered or changed at any time. So, it is very important to not only have your electronic copy, but it is vital to have a signed, scanned and saved electronic copy of the hard copy document. Some destroy the hard copy that they scanned to save on space.

However, if there is a legal matter, hard copy originals are usually preferred to present. The hard copy document(s) should be saved in the appropriate employee personnel file(s) for tracking an employee’s performance and behavior. Most importantly, these files are locked and secured away from anyone gaining access to this sensitive information.

Isis Suarez

Human Resource/Employee Relations Coordinator

Kavaliro

528 B. St., Santa Rosa

707-766-1777

www.kavaliro.com

Isis Suarez started her career in human resources over 10 years ago. Suarez joined Kavaliro in 2017 as human resource and employee relations coordinator. She is responsible for supporting the Kavaliro Staffing and Technical Services Divisions within the Petaluma branch. This includes ensuring candidates are thoroughly advised through the onboarding and separation process. She utilizes and understands relevant employment laws to avoid unlawful employment practices while maintaining the highest levels of empathy and efficiency in her work.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

At Kavaliro we believe in being transparent in our internal payroll process. Our goal is to ensure that our contractors are paid for the hours worked and on time. I wouldn’t say I have challenges to meet to help employees keep track of tracking their time. Our systems provide the necessary application to ensure that we meet multiple states’ regulations. We all work collectively to ensure that we are on top and in front of any issue.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

Interview candidates using video interviewing software.

The power of social media.

Invest in an applicant tracking system.

Explore niche job boards.

Develop a clear employer brand.

Conduct awesome interviews.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff?

Some of the challenges in hiring part-time staff is not having the ability to provide medical benefits as we would to a full-time employee.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

Kavaliro is always striving to improve the onboarding process to ensure that we can onboard all contractors efficiently and effectively. One of the biggest strides at this time is conducting all onboarding electronically to eliminate travel, printing for all of our contractors.

Is there a shift away from paper in recordkeeping? If so, what is driving that?

As we do continue to keep a paper trail, many of our records are being stored electronically. Paper can become expensive to copy, transport and store; easy to destroy; difficult to read and determine who has seen it; and the negative impact on the environment. The shift on continuing to share and store records electronically has very much helped with legibility and the ability to rapidly retrieve information.

Melissa Tamagno

Human Resources Manager

Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital

30 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa

707-576-4000

suttersantarosa.org

Melissa Tamagno is the human resources manager for Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital. She was a key partner in staff training and logistics around personnel relocation to the new Mark West Springs campus, as well as the human resources transition to a new service model.

Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital provides state-of-the-art care in its 84-bed acute care facility. Tamagno has been with Sutter Health for more than 16 years, serving in a variety of human resource roles, including recruitment, employee/labor relations and workers compensation. Tamagno served as the area business partner responsible for integrating Sutter Health’s Santa Rosa employment staff operations into a centralized human resources and payroll service center model, which is responsible for 55,000 employees.

She currently oversees affiliate HR functions, partnering with and supporting members of Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital’s team. Tamagno is a Santa Rosa native and studied business at Sonoma State University.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

Ensuring that both employees and managers understand their responsibility in the timekeeping process. Navigating timekeeping programs and rules can be complex, and frustrating without education around them. We have utilized monthly human resources meetings to educate leaders on processes, changes, and discuss challenges managers are facing to work toward resolution.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

The transition in the human resources delivery model to provide streamlined services impacted face- to-face conversations. Previously, managers would screen applicants and conduct interviews directly.

With the transition, the recruitment team proactively screens the applications and conducts telephone interviews in order to provide the most qualified candidates to the manager for interviews. Most recruitment activities are handled through technology in the current environment.

Positions are posted online in various locations with online application processes, and over time, we have seen a decrease in face-to-face interaction with an applicant when they submit a resume.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff?

Maintenance of competencies for part-time or on-call employees can be a challenge. When an employee does not work frequently, mechanisms must be in place to update or reinforce their skills and knowledge to provide quality service. This may include reorienting the employee, or arranging for specialized education.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

By consolidating all onboarding activities to a central location, as well as using an online portal, we have been able to keep onboarding activities on track. Not only will the candidate receive prompts for various activities, the team can provide direct outreach to help identify and remove barriers.

Is there a shift away from paper in record keeping? If so, what is driving that?

There has been a shift with overtime to electronic tools and databases to maintain employee information. We now have capability to assist additional locations remotely if needed to address emergent employee issues.

Jaime B. Welsh

Area Director of Human Resources

St. Joseph Health

1165 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa

707-525-5300

stjosephhealth.org

Jamie B. Welsh is the area director of Human Resources for St. Joseph Health in Northern California.

He has operational responsibility for human resources in Sonoma (at Santa Rosa Memorial and Petaluma Valley Hospital) and in Napa (at Queen of the Valley Medical Center).

Additionally, he has oversight for local outpatient facilities, urgent care clinics and surgery centers.

Prior to joining the team at St. Joseph Health, he was the corporate director of human resources at Universal Health Services (NYSE: UHS) for 19 years, where he was responsible for corporate HR operations and training and development for over 230 subsidiaries and approximately 90,000 employees.

He has a master’s degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. and a bachelor’s degree from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

Health care is a highly regulated industry. Health care providers are required to maintain all the appropriate regulatory requirements, such as licenses, certifications and competencies. Often these regulatory requirements need to be renewed annually by the employee, which has historically been a constant challenge to manage. Fortunately, at St. Joseph Health, we leverage an e-learning platform and human resources information system to track such requirements electronically. That way, it’s easy for us to determine when employees are approaching the renewal of a requirement, and to notify them before the expiration date.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

St. Joseph Health is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization. We continue to seek talented individuals who are closely aligned with our mission, as well as our vision and values. Our commitment to living our mission and embedding it in our day-to-day operations helps us attract talent to the organization in an increasingly competitive health care environment.

We have new ways to recruit that we did not have five years ago. The explosion of internet electronic job boards has transformed our ability to pursue top talent.

Now, in a matter of minutes, we can post new job opportunities and the technology links the candidate to our applicant tracking system.

Quite literally, we can post a job and have a hundreds of applicants within a day. Technology has transformed the recruiting space.

Additionally, the race for top talent in health care has required us to respond quickly and with innovative solutions, such as flexible schedules and part-time positions. If we’re not nimble with our recruitment and selection efforts, we will lose talent to our competitors.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff?

Health care organizations—particularly inpatient facilities—cannot operate without robust part-time and per diem staffing resources. Given that we operate 24/7/365, a combination of full-time, part-time and per diem staff is necessary to meet our patient care needs.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

Onboarding is a key strategic priority for our organization in 2019.

In fact, beginning in June, we will launch a new orientation program designed to improve our employee experience. This new onboarding process will be standardized across our region to ensure that new employees feel connected to the organization and our mission on Day 1.

Is there a shift away from paper in record keeping? If so, what is driving that?

Yes, definitely and still more is needed. We have converted our paper human resource and training files to electronic platforms. Given the regulatory complexities in health care, moving away from paper is critical to preparing for surveys and ensuring we can continue to provide the highest quality of care to those we serve.

Lori T. Zaret, SPHR

Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Exchange Bank

545 Fourth St., Santa Rosa

707-524-3131

www.exchangebank.com

Lori has more than 20 years of Human Resources management experience in the insurance, banking, telecommunications and manufacturing industries. She is currently the senior vice president of human resources and Development at Exchange Bank.

Originally from Connecticut, Zaret began her career in human resources in the insurance industry with John Alden Life Insurance Company in Miami. She continued her career as an employment specialist at American Express and then relocated to the Chicago area as a career development manager with Zurich Insurance Company in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Continuing in the insurance industry, Zaret joined a subsidiary of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company as director of human resources and was later transferred to the headquarters in Novato, to lead HR for a newly created team in the Northwest Region, encompassing nine offices from Washington to Hawaii.

After spending more than 15 years years in the insurance industry, Zaret joined JDS Uniphase (formerly OCLI) as compensation manager and within a year was promoted to the role as director of human resources for the Thin Films Product Group, supporting 2000+ employees in nine global sites throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S.

In 2004, Zaret joined Exchange Bank as human resources manager, and in 2010 assumed her current role leading their Human Resources and Learning and Development functions.

Zaret received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and post-graduate studies at the Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain.

She is certified as a senior professional in Human Resources and is a recipient of the Women in Business award from the North Bay Business Journal and the Excellence in Leadership Award from Exchange Bank.

Zaret has served on the board of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, the Alliance of North Bay Chambers, the Petaluma Relay for Life Leadership Committee, and the National Association of Independent Insurers HR Forum. Zaret spent eight years as board vice president/programs and workshops for the Professional Association of Sonoma County. She also has been a member of SHRM, NCHRA, the Employment Advisory Council, the HR Banking Roundtable, and the Insurance Personnel Association.

Currently, Zaret serves on the board for Cinnabar Theater, is a member of the Ceres Community Project HR Committee, the Heartsafe Community Advisory Committee and leads Exchange Bank’s Relay for Life campaign. Zaret resides in Petaluma; her son Joshua, is a firefighter/paramedic with Santa Rosa Fire Department, and her daughter Rebecca teaches special needs students in Eagle Point, Oregon. Zaret’s interests include theater, cooking, travel, sports and family.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

Tracking time and ensuring compliance with regulations is a core competency for HR and something we take in stride.

It is true that in California there is a multitude of regulations regarding time off, including paid and/or protected leaves of absence. It requires that HR has expertise in that area to guide employees who are less familiar with their options in order to ensure they can access what they need to fulfill personal and family responsibilities.

Employees who have things in order at home can be more productive at work, and society benefits when parents are able to bond with a new child, when adult children are able to care for an elderly parent and when an individual is able to donate a kidney to someone with a life-threatening condition. These are a few examples of situations we encountered in the last few months. Expert knowledge of laws regarding time off, combined with creativity to address each unique situation and sensitivity to respect the deeply personal nature of each individual, builds an effective system for managing time.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

Unlike five years ago, social media has become a key source for candidates, particularly professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.

Given the tight labor market, Exchange Bank’s recruitment process has to be faster than it’s ever been or we will lose candidates to other employers who have adopted streamlined processes.

We also need to be flexible and creative in finding ways to screen candidates “in” versus five years ago when the focus was to screen candidates “out.” Currently we are in the process of upgrading Exchange Bank’s online application system so that people can apply wherever they are using a cell phone, tablet or other device.

While much has changed, much has also remained the same. We are fortunate that Exchange Bank is a great place to work and people want to work here. Because of that, we continue to enjoy strong applicant flow, helping us quickly fill vacancies. Employee referrals continue to be a strong source of hires; great people know other great people. These things have not changed.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff?

There are clear advantages, as well as challenges, presented by increasing use of both temporary and part-time staff.

With more employees taking leave time to care for ill family members, baby bonding or other personal responsibilities, temporary staff can help fill the gaps resulting from such absences. The challenge is that they may not have the skills or knowledge needed to hit the ground running. At Exchange Bank, we have created a temporary workforce from our retirees who are happy to come in to help out, apply their skills, see old friends and earn some pocket money.

We have also held onto talent that relocated out of the area by keeping them on in a temporary capacity, creating a win-win as they are able to keep working for Exchange Bank while seeking new employment, and we are able to benefit from their skills and knowledge while we hire and onboard their replacement.

Part-time staff can also enhance productivity by allowing an employer to staff up on busy days or at the busiest times during the day; however, their cost can be high due to regulatory requirements to provide certain benefits or paid time off. Exchange Bank currently provides a full benefits package starting at 20 hours per week. This allows us to hire strong talent into our part-time roles, but it increases our costs.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

Exchange Bank has invested time and resources to create a positive onboarding experience, reworking our first day to get the new hire into his or her work group and with their team early in the day. Our orientation for new employees has changed dramatically and continues to evolve to keep up with our dynamic organization.

It involves learning about the organization, the inspiring legacy left by our founders, Manville and Frank Doyle, our core values and the important role we play serving the community. Orientation day is high energy, informational, fun, motivating and instills a sense of pride in working for Exchange Bank.

Our relationship bankers participate in in-depth training to build confidence using our systems and to equip them to serve our customers. Later this year, we will begin automating our onboarding process, making it simpler and more efficient.

Is there a shift away from paper in record keeping? If so, what is driving that?

The shift away from paper record-keeping started years back and continues to make slow but steady progress. It started with electronic pay stubs and tax forms such as W2s. Retirement plan administration systems have replaced paper forms for 401(k) plan deferrals, making investment selections and rebalancing fund distribution.

Annual open enrollment is typically done online without the need for paper forms, and automated onboarding processes are replacing the paper forms and packets that used to be filled out on day one of employment.

This year we introduced an automated feedback process for completing reviews, gathering 360 feedback, setting goals and establishing development plans. Automation is more efficient as there are no paper forms to fill out, no documents to get lost in the mail and no stacks of papers to file in employee files. It’s a win for employees and a win for those in HR who are freed up from administrative responsibilities to do more challenging work.

Ursula Zopp

Vice President of Human Resources

Solage-Auberge Resorts Collection

755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga

707-266-7531

www.aubergeresorts.com

Ursula Zopp has over 30 years of experience in human resources in the hospitality industry. A graduate of the University of Virginia, and with various roles in hospitality HR, Ursula joined Auberge Resorts as director of human resources at their flagship property, Auberge du Soleil in the Napa Valley, in 1999.

Joining a private family-owned company with a focus on personalized service and tremendous growth potential was a great opportunity for her career development. As the company grew, her role expanded to include oversight of the human resources function throughout the company. Today, she serves as Regional Vice President of Talent & Culture with oversight of Auberge du Soleil, Calistoga Ranch and Solage.

Today the Auberge Resorts Collection portfolio includes 19 hotels on three continents and a strong pipeline of future growth.

Tell us the challenges you have had to meet in order to help employees keep track of their time at work and meet all applicable regulations.

California’s extensive wage and hour laws always keep HR professionals on their toes! We believe that we can ensure compliance with those regulations by effectively training our managers and supervisors on their obligations to their team members. As well, we encourage an open-door policy that our team members know allows them to speak up if they have any concerns, whether in regards to labor regulations or any other issues they may have.

What are the three key differences today in how you and your company recruit workers versus five years ago?

The shortage of labor seems to be a universal challenge, and particularly so in the Napa Valley. In 2017, we brought on a Regional Talent & Acquisition Manager to serve all three of our Napa resorts. This allows us to dive deeper and cast a wider net for talent than we were able to in the past.

We have partnered with local high schools to encourage interest in the hospitality industry and Auberge Resorts in particular. We have created a Management Development Program that is ideal for both our internal rising stars and recent college graduates majoring in hospitality, and we have really worked hard to align our recruitment efforts with our brand values so that when we do bring on talent, they are a great fit for our culture.

What kinds of challenges are presented by the increasing use of temporary of part-time staff?

Temporary and part time staff have always been a presence in the hospitality industry. Today, we find that the more flexible we can be with scheduling, the more attractive we are in the labor market for those who may only wish to work part time or seasonally. We do occasionally use temporary staff through a staffing agency, which comes at a higher price tag and, of course, since those individuals are not our own team members, we have to be vigilant about making sure they meet our high standards.

What key strides has your company made in improving the onboarding process?

A few years ago, we refurbished our New Team Member Orientation program to make it highly interactive and fun.

Equally important was infusing the onboarding process with our brand values of ENRICH (Excellence, Nurturing, Respect, Individual, Curious, Heartfelt) and our stated purpose which is enriching people’s lives.

We aligned the learning and activities with these values, and also cultivated experiences for the new team members that were unique to each of our three resorts. In the same way we want our guests to experience what’s special about each property, we want the team members to onboard in a way that teaches them what is distinctive about the team that they are joining.

Is there a shift away from paper in record keeping? If so, what is driving that?

Yes. We are always looking for ways to eliminate paper. That is driven first and foremost because it’s better for our environment and our planet. There is so much technology available now that helps facilitate that shift both in talent and culture and other areas of our resorts. As part of our Planet Auberge program, we encourage our team members to come up with suggestions on how to reduce the use of paper on property. We also reward them if one of their suggestions is implemented.