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Stories of Service

Posted on: September 17, 2019

Human Resources: If You Can’t Join Them, Beat Them

A man in green City of Allen polo shirt talks to a female employee in striped dress at a desk.

Streamlined hiring helps Allen snag top candidates before someone else does.

Economic booms, like the one rippling furiously across North Texas, give cities like Allen a lot to celebrate. Unemployment is low. Wages are up. People feel better about taking professional risks, such as starting a business or gunning for a new job.

The downside? Government jobs—including the 879 full- and part-time positions at the City of Allen—are harder to keep filled.

“If you consider factors like stability and retirement benefits, the public sector has a lot to offer,” says Monika Kretschmer, Human Resources Director for the City of Allen. “But that’s not how most people compare job offers. They want to know, ‘who will pay me more?’”

Though city salaries have grown in the last decade, they’re not always high enough to sway jobseekers with multiple offers on the table. In hopes of beating other companies to the punch, Allen invested in NeoGov recruiting software in 2018 to speed up the administrative process.

“Every job seeker knows the misery of waiting for a response. It’s a feeling of constant limbo,” says Kretschmer. “If they could end the process weeks sooner, they would—even if they were paid a little less!”

The software shaved an average of five days off the period between position vacancy and position posting. But the changes don’t end once an employee is hired. Outdated onboarding videos got the boot, replaced with an engaging tour of the city. At each stop, new employees meet seasoned professionals who embody the City’s PRIDE values: People First, Respect, Integrity, Deliver, and Excel.

“For many of our employees, this job isn’t just a paycheck. It’s their way of serving the community,” says Kretschmer.

Knowing invested employees are less of a flight risk, HR staff developed a schedule of optional service opportunities, from Big Brothers Big Sisters to school supply drives. They also added new training programs, including one for emerging leaders, to prepare current employees for advancement within the City.

“We’re changing the conversation about municipal employment,” says Kretschmer. “It’s not ‘where else could I go?’ but ‘why would I ever leave?’”

Know a good fit for our incredible team? Send them to CityofAllen.org/Jobs to browse current full-time, part-time and seasonal employment opportunities.

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