STORIES
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HCDE Human Resources Depends on Virtual Resources to Serve Current, Future Employees

COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on the human resource landscape. Status quo processes like in-person hiring are a thing of the past. Shared technologies have streamlined HR processes. Platforms like Indeed, LinkedIn and Facebook are used instead of in-person recruitment fairs. HR recruiters meet candidates virtually through online platforms like Zoom. “Virtual recruiting has enlarged or changed the applicant pool to extend beyond the Texas borders,” recruitment coordinator Roxanne Torres said. Online trainings are expanding as school districts protect employees and make HR services more efficient. All staff will have the opportunity to view returning staff orientation at their leisure through a new learning management system being implemented by HCDE. “We will be using Blackboard as the platform to provide HCDE Returning Staff Orientation and future new employee orientation sessions,” Patty Menard, assistant director said. “This learning management system will allow us to track who has completed the survey without the employee having to submit proof to us.” HCDE employees are now receiving and signing documents electronically. Instead of sending mounds of papers, new employees get a general benefits overview list. HR benefits representatives Regina Johnson and Candy Sosa send back the employee’s check-listed documents.
“We are creative and continue to learn new things for efficiency,” Menard said.
The traditional HR communications pipeline has been the physical human resources office, says HCDE Human Resources Executive Director Natasha Truitt. The pandemic and social distancing has changed that practice to protect employee health. For example, questions about the switch from insurance company Aetna to Blue Cross Blue Shield will be handled this year through email and phone. Employees may request appointments with benefits staff through Zoom or Teams. Menard said HR continues to assist HCDE staff with individual needs during the pandemic, providing documents such as service records and employment verifications. HR personnel provide scheduled, on-premises services at Irvington. As the new school year approaches, safety and security for the approximate 1,200 employees is nonnegotiable.
“We have been working with Facilities on our pandemic re-entry plan and look forward to another productive year serving the districts and our education public as we make a positive impact on education,” Truitt said.
2020-2021 Human Resources Contacts for Employee Services: Executive Director: Natasha Truitt, ntruitt@hcde-texas.org Workers’ Compensation issues: Patty Menard, assistant director, pmenard@hcde-texas.org Benefits, health and wellness: Regina Johnson, rjohnson@hcde-texas.org and Candy Sosa, csosa@hcde-texas.org Employee recruitment: Kris Duke, kduke@hcde-texas.org, Laura Nilon-Williams, lnilon@hcde-texas.org, and Roxanne Torres, rtorres@hcde-texas.org Service records and employment verification: Ashley Barker, abarker@hcde-texas.org General questions: Monse Witine, mwitine@hcde-texas.org and Aleyda Lopez, alopez@hcde-texas.org Source: HCDE