University of Wisconsin–Madison

Looking back on 2023 and looking forward: A letter from Patrick Sheehan

With a new year underway, this is a good time to reflect on all that the HR community at UW‒Madison achieved in the past year. Working in partnership, the human resources community and shared governance have enhanced our campus in tangible ways that engage employees and support the vital work of UW‒Madison.

In 2023, UW‒Madison introduced initiatives to enhance our position as a competitive employer; to attract, cultivate, and retain a highly skilled and diverse workforce; to provide professional development and growth opportunities to employees; and to develop equitable policies, practices, and environments. Through it all, our partnership has been characterized by resourcefulness, dedication, and adherence to core values — qualities that will continue to serve us well going forward.

Here are a few examples of our collective accomplishments in 2023.

  • LinkedIn Enterprise (talent recruitment): Our divisional HR partners have embraced this new functionality by filling 77 LinkedIn Recruiter seats (at no cost to the school, college, or division) to facilitate recruitment outreach and engagement. UW‒Madison’s LinkedIn Enterprise account, which went live in January 2023, is now the #2 source of job applications for our institution. The use of LinkedIn Enterprise and other talent acquisition efforts resulted in a more than a 50 percent increase in applicant pool size and a 7 percent increase in recruitment success rate from 2022 to 2023 (based on a year-to-year comparison of the same three-month period).
  • New cohort programs, Finance@UW and Leadership in the Lab (professional development): Learning and Talent Development partnered with campus subject matter experts to launch two new cohort programs that meet UW‒Madison’s needs for professional development in key areas. The Finance@UW program is specifically designed to help finance professionals enhance their skills as operational responsibilities broaden in the coming years. The Leadership in the Lab series is a semester-long, cohort program designed specifically for early-career STEM faculty who need the necessary skills to inspire and guide their laboratory teams at UW‒Madison.
  • Standard Job description (SJD) guidance (equitable practices): Collaboration with shared governance, employees across campus, and the HR community has allowed the Compensation Center of Excellence (CCoE) to develop standard job description (SJD) guidance for titles in six job groups, with a targeted release of February 2024. This — in combination with the newly developed SJD data dictionary — is designed to support the HR community in conversations when distinguishing between similar or confusing SJDs. These resources provide a “best practice” approach across schools, colleges, and divisions.
  • Expansion of Career Counseling services (professional development): To meet the demand for free career counseling among UW‒Madison employees, the Employee Career Counseling Program added capacity by hiring additional counselors. One-on-one counseling can enhance employee engagement by helping employees prepare for career growth at UW‒Madison. In 2023, our career counselors completed more than 760 appointments for individualized career counseling, including engagements with 280 employees who took advantage of these services for the first time.
  • Expanded Workplace Computer and English training (professional development / equitable environments): Cultural Linguistic Services (CLS) has launched regular Workplace Computer Training programming for first, second and third shift. This effort is being enhanced through a partnership with DoIT that will support employee learners and increase capacity. In 2023, CLS also hired a Workplace Bilingual Workplace (English <>Spanish) Trainer, adding training and facilitation services directly in Spanish and in English for employees and campus partners.
  • Compensation delegation (operational efficiency): The Compensation Center of Excellence (CCoE) partnered with four schools/colleges/divisions to develop and test delegation resources and processes. Plans for rolling out wave two are underway and will involve an additional eight schools/colleges/divisions to refine materials before launching a broader campus rollout. Delegation will allow for administrative efficiency in operational processes related to compensation and titling while preparing for the launch of Workday.

These accomplishments (and many others) would not have been possible without the ongoing, active partnerships and collaboration among the Office of Human Resources, divisional human resources professionals, and shared governance representatives. I would like to personally thank you for all you have done to shape, support, and implement these enhancements. We’re excited to see the impact of this work unfold and look forward to continuing our partnership in 2024.

Thank you for all you do, and best wishes for the new year.

Patrick Q. Sheehan

Chief Human Resources Officer

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