In August, Nelson Silverio joined Robinson as our college human resources (HR) officer. In the below Q&A, find out Silverio's short- and long-term goals for the position, and how he plans to keep Robinson an awesome place to work.
What do you hope to accomplish during your first six months?
I intend to meet as many employees as possible to understand what issues should be addressed, and to let faculty and staff know I am here to support their HR needs, big or small. Through an HR business partner perspective, I aim to increase the HR unit's responsiveness and reliability. In addition, I will roll out best practices in employee recruitment, the position review process, and the onboarding checklist for new hires.
What are your long-term goals for this position?
Through a comprehensive college onboarding system, I want to do my best to make new employees feel welcome and ready to acclimate to their new positions. A couple other key initiatives include supporting Marian Higgins, associate dean of culture, equity and inclusion, as well as automating processes related to graduate assistant hiring.
Are any changes already underway?
To attract talent, I created a one-pager outlining new hires' total compensation package (salary, paid time off, paid holidays, Tuition Assistance Program, etc.). I also fleshed out our job advertisements with additional information and collaborated with College Technology Services on the HR pages within Robinson's new intranet site.
What’s the most innovative thing you’ve ever done to engage staff?
Engaging staff has been a growth area everywhere I have worked. In my last position [as division HR officer at Georgia State's library], I took on recruiting staff for college committees. I presented staff with descriptions of the various committees and any specific roles needed to be filled. I then distributed a survey and used the responses to assign staff to committees—which ended up being an efficient approach.
Also, as part of my master's research, I compared professional development opportunities across University System of Georgia institutions to three other state systems. In the coming years, I hope to create a comprehensive professional development program for staff.
What are your plans to promote job openings for faculty and staff?
As mentioned, those efforts are ongoing. In collaboration with hiring managers, I want to ensure job ads are attractive and clearly outline the benefits of work at Robinson. Marian Higgins and I also have discussed rewording ads to be more inclusive, to attract a diverse applicant pool.
What strategies will you employ to retain top talent?
Retaining top talent is just as critical as attracting top talent. We need to more quickly promote and provide salary increases to top performers. I am a staunch advocate of reducing the bureaucratic workload in central HR through building strong relationships with key stakeholders and engaging leadership.
We also need to understand the concerns and needs of our employees. I have started working with Robinson leadership to produce an employee engagement survey.
Based on your observations so far, why is Robinson an awesome place to work?
The passion of our people is apparent at Robinson. As a public university, we need mission-driven employees to best serve our students and communities. I am so happy to be Robinson's college HR officer. I am excited for the progress we will make together to ensure Robinson remains an awesome place to work.