Boot Camp for New Temporary Employees

By Lauren Riebs
February 22, 2016

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Group photo of TES staff.

The TES team (left-to-right): Diana Zhang, Megan Tetreault, Karen Huezo, Derek Sanders, Elise Miller, Leana Quant-Faragasso

The first day of work for the average temporary employee can be an exciting experience. Arriving in a quick-paced environment with new faces, learning to use a variety of programs and tools, and catching up on current projects with the added possibility of changing positions at a moment’s notice is a thrilling challenge.

To ensure temporary employees feel fully prepared for whatever they may face at their first day(s) on the job, Human Resources recently launched a boot camp of sorts for its Temporary Employment Services, or TES.

UC Davis employs over 280 temporary employees in fields such as administrative assistant, computer resource specialist, technical assistant, maintenance service provider, and analytical project manager. Employees are typically hired when a department needs temporary support. And many temporary employees end up securing permanent jobs through their experience. In the first half of the current fiscal year, 93 temporary employees were hired into career positions and another 12 earned contract appointments.

Since the number of temporary employees often fluctuates, TES is constantly hiring and training new candidates for positions on campus. Currently, new employees access training online through videos and interaction modules. But to provide a more interactive, constructive learning environment, Leana Quant-Faragasso, TES Manager, and her department established a three-day, in-person “Boot Camp” program.

In February, 11 new temporary employees attended the first boot camp.

“We were all the same standing in an atmosphere that was safe to ask the questions that we might not have been able to upon starting our first assignments,” Mark Rich, a recently hired and trained temporary employee, emphasizing the benefits of training in-person rather than online.

The boot camp covered topics such as administrative support, email and phone etiquette, and how to be an effective and supportive colleague, which many new employees indicated was a nice refresher. Employees were also able to complete their mandatory cyber security awareness training during this time.

“I appreciated that the class helped me to expand my knowledge on certain administrative tasks,” remarked Krystal Sweat, an administrative assistant for the specialty pharmacy. “I was really able to hone areas I could improve and be more effective.”

Boot camp students also were oriented to many of the campus financial and administration systems, including Kuali Financial System, the universities purchasing system, and MyTravel, an online tool to book travel and request reimbursements.

“Our goal is to provide departments with employees who have working knowledge in popular systems on campus,” Quant-Faragasso explains. “Most departments will assist in training new employees but having a background knowledge makes the transition smoother and more efficient.”

Mark Rich added that his training helped him feel confident on the job. “I felt a sense of pride and a feeling of being knowledgeable,” Rich expressed. As of now, ten of the 11 boot camp participants have already been placed on assignments.

In addition to the presentations and interactive training modules, the new employees were given a tour of campus and provided information about campus resources.

“The training program made me feel at ease knowing that I wasn’t going to jump into a job assignment without first being trained,” expressed Mayra Sanchez, who is currently the Payroll Coordinator at the Shared Services Center, after completing her boot camp training. “I feel confident in myself that I can take on any assignment and do well.”

Due to the success of the first boot camp training, Quant-Faragasso hopes to put on approximately three every year, one every four months. For temporary employees hired that are unable to attend one of these Boot Camp training sessions, TES continues to provide training modules that are easily accessible online.

For more information on Temporary Employment Services, visit their website at hr.ucdavis.edu/recruitment/tes



Lauren Riebs is a student news editor for the UC Davis Division of Finance, Operations and Administration.