Talent@Iowa began as a cross-campus initiative to streamline human resources operations and improve recruitment and retention of world-class talent.
In early 2016, the UI Operations Team charged a task force with evaluating the effectiveness of central HR and compliance functions, identifying areas of redundancy, recommending organizational structures, increasing diversity and inclusion, and engaging HR in the university’s teaching, research, service, and health care missions.
The task force’s work included assessing priorities for the university’s central HR and compliance units: University Human Resources, UI Health Care Human Resources, Equal Opportunity and Diversity, and Faculty Human Resources. It complemented related initiatives such as TIER@Iowa’s focus on coordinating distributed HR staff and development of a new UI strategic plan.
The task force delivered its recommendations in August 2016. See the full report.
Task force recommendations focus on four essential areas:
- Strategic partnerships: HR professionals and UI leaders should collaborate to strengthen our talent pool, address strategic priorities, and reduce costs.
- IT systems and data: HR should foster integration, identify priorities, and oversee HR IT initiatives, but development teams should draw expertise from across the IT enterprise.
- Talent management and engagement: Hiring processes should be streamlined to attract new employees, while development, engagement, and succession planning initiatives retain our best people.
- Agility and flexibility: Standardizing policies, processes, and services can boost efficiency, but standards must remain flexible enough to meet diverse local needs.
The task force’s 24 recommendations are interdependent—they’re designed to complement each other and be implemented as a package.
Implementation began in November 2016 with the establishment of 14 committees, each charged with addressing specific recommendations and related needs.
Committees started in three phases during late 2016-early 2017. Phase 1 began in November 2016. Phase 2 started in February 2017, and Phase 3 began in June 2017.
For 2018, much of the focus has shifted to talent acquisition strategy and systems. To learn more, visit the Talent Acquisition@Iowa website.
The Talent@Iowa project is expected to continue through fiscal year 2019.
More than 120 UI staff and faculty—including 40 percent of the university’s HR workforce—are playing active parts in Talent@Iowa implementation. Their roles include:
- Committee co-chairs and members
- Co-chairs provide direction, facilitate discussions, and implement recommendations
- Advisory groups share campus input and feedback with technical teams
- Technical teams analyze data, make recommendations, implement solutions, and evaluate results
- Governance Council Executive Committee members coordinate overall implementation
- HR Leadership Fellow (Neda Barrett, firstname.lastname@example.org, 319-335-7438) works with committees to facilitate and document progress
- Communications manager (Lin Larson, email@example.com, 319-325-1589) develops communication strategy and helps committees report their progress