Colorado’s HR system has a long way to go
Denver, CO — The HR system at the University of Colorado, Denver is a far cry from the one that made its mark in the tech industry in the 1990s, when it was one of the first companies to offer human resources consulting services.
That is, the HR department was a place where HR pros could sit down with prospective employees and advise them about the most effective ways to do their jobs.
Today, Colorado is home to one of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech hubs: Boulder, home to the University System of Colorado.
But HR has not lived up to its billing, and the state’s HR department, which is part of the University, is struggling to get up to speed with new tech advancements.
One of the biggest hurdles that the HR system faces is a shortage of qualified employees, according to a recent report from the University and its HR division.
The report notes that a recent survey by the Denver Post found that just 23% of employees who are eligible for the state-funded job search service have applied.
While there are plenty of people who are willing to fill HR positions in Colorado, there are also some companies that have gone under the knife in recent years, including one of Colorado’s largest tech firms, Google, which has faced significant scrutiny in recent months over its handling of sexual harassment allegations against its former chief executive, Susan Fowler.
In August, Google hired a former assistant to the CEO, who has since been fired, as well as a new HR manager.
Google’s HR office, as part of its efforts to recruit new talent, is also looking for new hires who can help with hiring and retaining the company’s growing workforce.
But the lack of qualified candidates has not been enough to keep some from looking for work in Colorado.
Many have also taken the job hunt elsewhere.
One reason why the state is struggling with a shortage is that it does not have enough qualified workers, according Mark Anderson, the chief operating officer of ColoradoCare, a public-private partnership that is tasked with expanding healthcare access to low-income residents.
The state is also one of only a handful of states that does not allow employers to provide workers with paid sick leave, Anderson told the Post.
As ColoradoCare expands its coverage, it is working to hire more qualified people.
The Colorado Department of Workforce Development is developing a program to help the state recruit and hire more workers, Anderson said.
And the state recently hired a software engineer, who will be the first person in the state to learn the new language, to help with the software development and training process.
But while ColoradoCare’s hiring drive is encouraging, it still needs to ramp up its workforce and hire enough qualified people, Anderson says.
“We’ve got to fill these vacancies,” he says.
“ColoradoCare is not able to do all the things that are needed, including training people and hiring the right people,” Anderson says, adding that the state still has to do a lot more to create more jobs.
The HR department at ColoradoCare has not had any vacancies since the beginning of October, Anderson estimates.
“If we had 20 or 30 positions open, we would be hiring people,” he said.
ColoradoCare and other state programs that have hired qualified workers have been criticized for not giving enough financial support to those who can’t afford to get a job.
Anderson said that, while he understands that the program is a challenge, the department is also trying to find ways to get its employees the best training and job placement opportunities.