NAVAIR

NAVAIR, NAVSUP teams win Navy hiring challenge

The four teams who competed at the Navy's hiring challenge summit Nov. 7-8 tour the HSC-2 "Fleet Angels" squadron as part of a "Meet the Fleet" event. (U.S. Navy photo)

The four teams who competed at the Navy's hiring challenge summit Nov. 7-8 tour the HSC-2 "Fleet Angels" squadron as part of a "Meet the Fleet" event. (U.S. Navy photo)

Nov 9, 2018

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The four teams who competed at the Navy's hiring challenge summit Nov. 7-8 pose aboard USS Arlington (LPD-24). The teams participated in a

The four teams who competed at the Navy's hiring challenge summit Nov. 7-8 pose aboard USS Arlington (LPD-24). The teams participated in a "Meet ...

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. — Two teams from the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) won a Navy-wide hiring challenge at a summit here Nov. 7 for their innovative ideas to reduce the hiring cycle time to 45 days or fewer.

The challenge kicked off in July with 46 teams. Seven teams advanced to the final submissions phase, and four teams competed in the summit, where they presented their ideas to a panel of four judges from the various systems commands and the Office of Civilian Human Resources (OCHR).

"We are operating in a fast-moving, complex, highly competitive environment -- we need the best talent the nation has to offer in order to deliver the capability our Navy needs to succeed," said NAVAIR Deputy Commander Garry Newton, the challenge’s executive sponsor.

Newton, who gave a brief on competition and speed at the summit, said a faster hiring time is critical to the Navy’s success.

“Recruiting new talent is a top priority for the Navy,” he explained. “However, long hiring cycle times make it difficult to compete for top talent in the face of emerging global threats.”

The current hiring cycle takes an average of 90 days from the time a request for personnel action is initiated to the time an employee is officially on board.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Civilian Human Resources and challenge judge, Paige Hinkle-Bowles said, “Hiring is a team sport. It takes all kinds of good ideas. Good ideas come from everywhere, and we want to be open-minded to hear the feedback.”

This hiring challenge brought together subject matter experts from across the Navy in an effort to provide innovative hiring solutions.

“This is a great example of what small, diverse teams can do when empowered to solve complex challenges," said Newton. "They've made a lasting impact on the Navy's ability to compete for talent.”

Several common themes emerged in the team presentations:

- Accountability

- Systems integration

- Data accessibility

- Transparency

- Customer focus

Team “Let’s Go!,” comprised of 13 NAVAIR employees from China Lake and Point Mugu, California, proposed a solution using an expedited hiring agent, an Expedia-like human resources (HR) consultant to serve as one single source for the entire hiring process. This would help foster autonomy and accountability, explained team member Chris Perkins.

“The future of naval hiring is here,” said team member Richard Cracraft. “We owe it to our customers to fix this. We owe it to our HR workforce to provide absolute clarity on their role and to put them in the best possible position to succeed.”

The 16-member NAVSUP team from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, “WSS Recruitment Readiness,” proposed an automated, scalable dashboard, called the “Recruitment Readiness Dashboard,” to speed up merit promotions to 30 days and non-competitive hires to 14 days.

The dashboard is based on a concept NAVSUP already has in place, so it “uses things we have today, but in a better fashion,” explained team member Jennifer Malone.

The next step is to sift through the teams’ ideas and deploy short-term actions by the end of the calendar year. Newton said he expects hiring cycle times to begin to shift by spring 2019.

“We have to pull out the attributes of all four teams and pull out what’s actionable,” said Steve Cricchi, NAVAIR assistant commander for corporate operations and total force and one of the challenge judges. “There’s a lot of good work in here that can integrate into a hybrid solution.”

To see how their work affects the fleet, the four teams participated in a “Meet the Fleet” event Nov. 8, hosted by U.S. Fleet Forces Command. They toured USS Newport News (SSN 750), met the “Fleet Angels” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC-2), and ate lunch with Sailors aboard USS Arlington (LPD 24). The teams also participated in a seamanship and ship-handling trainer demonstration and two simulations from the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Program, in addition to meeting with Sailors from USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

The two runner-up teams were NAVAIR’s “Turbo Hiring Squad” from Patuxent River, Maryland, and NAVSEA’s “NAVSEA Team 2.”

 

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