Talent Flexibility - Equal Opportunities for All
The Talent Flexibility Team supports the University’s Academic Division, Medical Center, University Physicians Group, and Foundations/Associations. It provides recruitment and hiring support for all temps, students, staff wage and faculty wage employment types. In addition to individual requests, it supports pan-institutional initiatives with targeted pipelining efforts for sourcing the right talent, meeting hiring deadlines, and providing a full-service experience for our business partners.
The members of Talent Flex are talented HR professionals who bring a diverse array of experience from the private world and within UVA (Parking and Transportation, Facilities Management, Arts & Sciences, UHR Consulting Services, School of Medicine, and Medical Center). Many members of this team began as temporary employees themselves, so they know first-hand how impactful the work really is. The team is committed to hiring the most qualified candidate for each position while ensuring an equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals.
We caught up with Janet Turner-Giles, Manager of Talent Flexibility, and her team to learn more about their work supporting employees and its impact on UVA. Here's what we learned.
Please tell us about you and the Talent Flexibility Team.
Since my tenure here at the University, I have had the pleasure of serving in several roles, all within University Human Resources. As the manager of the Talent Flexibility Team, I take the responsibility of shaping people’s lives seriously. My management philosophy is influenced by one of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou, who once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Is there one project Talent Flexibility has been working on that you’re most proud of that directly benefited the UVA community?
There are a lot of small wins that we could state here; however, our proudest accomplishment is having continued to provide support and guidance to the University community during this unprecedented time. During the hiring freeze, when most departments were halted from bringing on new salaried staff, they turned to Talent Flex for wage staff to fill those gaps.
We are especially proud of the temporary hiring we have done to support COVID screening, testing and vaccination efforts across Grounds and the Health System. We have hired over 200+ temps as Front Door Screeners, Lab Technicians, Access Associates, and for various clinical positions.
What is the most challenging part of your job? What is the most rewarding part?
Brandi Shifflett: Challenging: Managing the influx of faculty and student hiring that occurs prior to each semester and those last minute "we forgot, but…" Rewarding: Working with such a great group of knowledgeable / experienced professionals and the opportunity to partner with all our schools on their hiring needs.
Candy Perry: Challenging: Not always being able to place a candidate as quick as you would like. Skill sets vary and we may not have a specific request at that time that will be a good fit for that individual. Rewarding: Working with the amazing Talent Flex team and HR colleagues. Also, just knowing that you’ve made an impact on a candidate and to have them tell you how much your efforts are appreciated.
Emma Slonim: Challenging: Being new on the team and getting to know my colleagues via Zoom, though they overcame that with “fun-Friday” Zoom events, birthday PowerPoints, and secret Santa. Rewarding: Being a part of this team; I feel included, supported, and needed. During a time of separation from friends and family, it has been rewarding to feel connected with my work team.
Jen Krahn: Challenging: Keeping track of all the needs and nuances of all the schools and units. Rewarding: Having the opportunities to work with people in all the different schools and units through the Academic side of UVA.
Katharine DiResta: Challenging: Not having enough hours in the day! With an increasingly high volume of candidates and open positions, it can be difficult to get everything accomplished in a day. Rewarding: Getting to work with my wonderful team members. Despite the distance and unique challenges of this past year, we have grown even closer and stronger as a team. I am so grateful to be part of such an amazing team!
Keith Johnson: Challenging: Trying to help everyone that comes to us for things that may not belong in our control. Rewarding: Working and partnering with people across the University to help them with their recruitment needs.
Monica Petrich: Challenging: Anticipating the hiring needs of the University and making sure we have enough vetted and qualified candidates ready to go at any one time; this can be a bit of a moving target. Rewarding: Working together as a Talent Flexibility Team. We truly enjoy working with each other and have so much respect for and fun with one another.
Taylor Dean: Challenging: We want to be able to help and place everyone who applies but there are more candidates than there are openings, so it is not always possible. Rewarding: Hearing from temps we have placed who become full-time employees with UVA. I love to see the direct impact we can have on individuals and how what we do can help change or shape an individual’s future.
How does Talent Flex contribute to the University’s Racial Equity Task Force’s recommendations for greater racial equity in representation of faculty, administration, and staff, including a more inclusive faculty hiring initiative and hiring historically underrepresented groups for leadership staff positions?
In order to be better stewards of the recruitment and hiring process, and advocates of a more inclusive recruiting initiative and hiring historically underrepresented groups, we must first educate ourselves. We must learn about our past before we can shape the future. One way that we have done this is with several of our team members participating in dialogue series hosted by EOCR titled “Remembering for Our Future,” which focuses on the history of race, racism, and racist ideas at UVA and the Charlottesville community.
We pride ourselves on supporting equal opportunities for all individuals and continue to promote diverse applicants for our open positions. We partner with various community organizations, such as the Virginia Employment Commission, and participate in regular job fairs and community events to ensure we are reaching as diverse candidate pools as possible. We fill a broad range of positions across the university and can be a gateway for full-time employment for candidates of all backgrounds.
What are some takeaways you would love your UVA colleagues to know about Talent Flex?
Talent Flex is a family. And, although we may all come from different backgrounds and work styles, this team shares a common goal and that is to provide exceptional customer service to ensure that we take care of the needs of our clients, partners, and the University community. This team comes together and supports one another through the good and the bad, both professionally and personally. As the manager of the Talent Flexibility Team, I could not be more honored to work with such an amazing group of dedicated professionals that I’m proud to call my family.