During the planning process for Aggie Square, community members have been clear and consistent about the need for including local residents in UC Davis’ job recruitment efforts. So in March, the Aggie Square website featured the UC Davis Human Resources Leadership Recruitment and Diversity Services Team. They scheduled five job recruitment events for April in Sacramento alone, and were actively searching for local organizations that could serve as partners.
Then COVID-19 happened.
Gatherings of all kinds were postponed indefinitely, and for job-seekers, it was especially difficult. Even with an economic slow-down, there were still jobs to be had — but few places to learn what was available and how to apply.
The UC Davis’ Leadership Recruitment and Diversity Services Team quickly realized that to achieve the results they needed, they would have to work online as they never had before.
“We’ve enjoyed the challenge of translating our robust outreach efforts to the virtual space,” says Lyndon Huling, manager of the Leadership Recruitment and Diversity Services Team. “We are committed to staying connected to the diverse community of job-seekers who want to start their careers with UC Davis.”
The team quickly went about making as much information as possible available online. They beefed up the contents of the HR careers website (and continue to add updates). They published and shared a series of articles on LinkedIn about the programs and professional development opportunities they offer. They even created a live, online version of the job recruitment events that were once a regular occurrence both on and off campus.
“In May we hosted our first virtual job talk, and it was a huge success with over 100 participants,” Huling says. “We created a job talk website and packed it with resources, as well as a recording of our talk and copies of the slides in both English and Spanish.” Aggie Square published a supplemental edition of its monthly email newsletter to promote the online event.
While people are still looking forward to in-person gatherings, Huling accentuates the positive and sees the move online as valuable for many organizations. “We’re adapting to our new reality and keeping inclusion at the forefront of our efforts. We’re happy to see our community partners doing the same,” he says. “We recently attended the second annual Transgender Job Fair (in Sacramento) and conducted a career talk with a vocational program. In both instances, we felt like we were in the room with our community.”
Huling also sees a bigger role for virtual events even after the pandemic ends. “We have actually been able to expand our reach utilizing technology, and I anticipate this will be part of our ‘new normal’,” he says. “Plan on seeing many more virtual outreach offerings in the coming months.”