With an estimated 470,000 residents, Long Beach is the seventh largest city in California and one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States. The city is a primary gateway for international trade, making it uniquely rich in potential. The City of Long Beach is a full-service city, providing all traditional city services, and also overseeing a municipal golf system of five courses, a waste-to-energy facility, 162 parks, six miles of beaches and, last but not least, a health department, which is unusual for a city government.
Together, this makes the city the second largest employer in Long Beach, a number that swells from 3,900 regular employees across 22 departments to 6,500 during the summer months. Most of the city’s personnel are represented by nine different labor organizations, and it is committed to fostering positive alliances between labor and management to improve employee engagement and morale. The City of Long Beach is also committed to hiring staff who either reflect or are sensitive to the wonderful diversity of its citizens. For example, the City regularly publishes notices in at least four languages—English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Khmer—and it boasts the largest population of Cambodian-Americans in the nation.
Given the diversity of the community, the City of Long Beach takes seriously its responsibility to shift the culture of local government to focus more on community engagement, innovation and results orientation, and recognizes the value of the hiring process as a significant mechanism for such culture change. In order to hire the right people with the right skills and mindset for the impact careers available in local government, the City of Long Beach must first improve the efficiency of the entirety of the hiring and onboarding process to ensure it can find and retain great talent and seamlessly navigate applicants through the hiring and onboarding process.
In order to advance this work, the Office of the City Manager of Long Beach, will partner with FUSE Corps to host an executive-level Fellow for one year to redesign the city’s hiring process into one that is efficient and adaptive to the changing personnel needs of the city. These efforts will allow the city to source the right people with the right skills and mindsets for the right jobs in a shorter period of time.
The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables that follow will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the Fellow, and FUSE staff during the first month of the project, after which a revised scope of work will be developed and agreed upon by the Fellow and the host agency.
Starting in October 2017, it is proposed the fellow will begin by conducting a thorough analysis of the city’s hiring and onboarding process, including all of its laws and policies around talent management for both civil service and non-civil service positions as well as full- and part-time staff. The analysis will include best practices from other cities along with information gleaned from interviews with all stakeholders, including labor unions, Civil Service, City Management, Human Resources, hiring managers, city agencies, and customers who have experienced the city’s current hiring process. This will require a thorough analysis of the city’s current system that can pinpoint what is working well and where, exactly, the process is stalling, and then develop a new methodology for workforce management that can withstand the long-term ebb and flow of economic upturns and recessions.
The resulting report will identify speedbumps in the city’s current processes, provide metrics for success, and create recommendations for improvements. The fellow will then begin implementing some of the proposed changes in addition to training staff managers in the importance of the hiring process.
This project will benefit from a fellow with experience in overseeing or overhauling the hiring process for a large organization, especially one that employs people in a number of different occupations, and with an ability to perform data-driven analytics. In addition, the fellow must be sensitive to the needs of a diverse workforce, be ready to work collaboratively with all of the identified stakeholders and able to connect across established silos within the city government. Finally, the ideal candidate will be excited about enacting cultural change from inside government to ensure that the city is hiring civil servants—from firefighters and police officers to health workers and municipal waste collectors—who best reflect the values of the City of Long Beach and are able to serve its residents and their needs.
- Develop a foundation of understanding – Interview stakeholders from across city government, including the city’s Human Resources Department and Civil Service Department, as well as representatives from labor unions and city management to gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges to an improved hiring process. Become familiar with the major policies and regulations that govern talent-related matters for the city and collect relevant best practices from other U.S. cities and leading private sector companies.
- Assess and report on current capabilities – Gather more detailed information about the city’s current approach to human capital management through additional one-on-one and group interviews with key stakeholders, written input from stakeholders, and a review of relevant human resource department data. Develop a workflow diagram to help assess the full process of developing positions, recruitment, hiring, onboarding, training and professional development. After analyzing the resulting information, produce a findings report that identifies critical gaps in the hiring process. The report should also include proposed metrics for measuring success against the new process, and identify immediate priorities for investment and intervention.
- Identify best practices – Research and recommend best practices on talent acquisition strategies and sustaining a culture of innovation in their employees through training and ongoing development. Identify best practices that would be cost effective and strategic for the city given the city’s fiscal constraints, talent needs, and desire to be an employer of choice.
- Develop a strategic human resource management plan – Collaborate closely with city leadership to develop a two- to three-year roadmap for implementing the proposed human resource management process. Have all key stakeholders participate in the development of this plan to ensure widespread buy in and consensus. Assess the policy implications of recommendations and develop a strategy for advancing policy changes. The roadmap should include deliverables, timelines, budgets, staff training, change management approaches, and suggestions for how those activities can be streamlined.
- Support initial implementation phases – Work with the City of Long Beach to identify a phased approach that that represent quick-win changes to prove the overall value of these new approaches to hiring and workforce management. Support department leaders and other hiring managers as they work to improve specific talent-related processes and document the results.
- At least 15 years of professional experience in a relevant field, particularly with a strong background in talent management, leadership development, operational systems development, recruitment and talent acquisition for a variety of job classifications, including both white and blue collar classifications.
- Understanding of unions and public or private sector labor negotiations a plus.
- Ability to quickly get up to speed on complex human capital processes and policies, ideally including some previous familiarity with the employee life cycle and change management efforts.
- Superior critical thinking and analytical skills; ability to synthesize complex information into clear and concise recommendations; and experience in process design/design thinking.
- Ability to relate to a variety of diverse audiences with varying interests; strong emotional intelligence and empathy.
- Excellent stakeholder management skills and the ability to use facilitative leadership techniques to influence people into action without direct reporting authority.
- Self-motivated, goal-oriented, entrepreneurial leader who is an independent worker; creatively resourceful in creating novel solutions to complex problems; persistent in obtaining information; and able to create direction and movement within potentially ambiguous environments.
- Flexibility, adaptability, persistence, humility, inclusivity and sensitivity to cultural differences.
- Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with ease in public presentations.
- Support and understanding the strength of diversity, and the need for solutions to support all regardless of race, religion, gender, immigration status, or ethnicity.