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Robins digital technology helps improve hiring timelines

  • Published
  • By Kisha Foster Johnson
  • Robins Public Affairs

The 78th Mission Support Group credits digital technology for filling job vacancies faster at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

“Getting people on board is of significant importance to the wing’s ability to achieve its mission,” said Robert Williams, 78th MSG deputy director. “People are our most valuable resource, and we need to be able to hire, promote, and retain them as expediently and as effectively as we can.”

The 78th MSG meets virtually for the 78th Air Base Wing Hiring Wall Walk and the Warner Robins Air Logistics Hiring Wall Walk biweekly.

“We use a platform called Commercial Virtual Remote for our meetings,” said Raymond Skinner, 78th ABW Information Technology liaison. “This technology allows our team to use video and voice conferencing as well as a text chat function. In this capacity, we are continuing efforts to transform the base into a Digital Air Base Wing by incorporating a virtual component in our work.”

The group is using elements of the Art of the Possible, a methodology used at all Air Force Sustainment Center bases for process improvement and quality control.

“Prior to the present COVID-19 environment, which ushered in new safety precautions and protocols, the wall walk was an in-person meeting conducted in a conference room supported by PowerPoint, and a bridge line for audio participants,” said Stephen Wheeler, AFSC director of personnel operating location here at Robins. “The CVR platform has facilitated a smooth transition to the virtual platform with innovative functionality and more options for team collaboration.”

There are a number of stakeholders engaged in the effort to improve the hiring wall walk process, such as Air Force Materiel Command staffing and classification operating locations, AFSC Directorate of Personnel, the 78th Medical Group, the 78th Civil Engineer Group, the 78th Communications Directorate, and the 78th Plans and Programs Office.

“In the wall walk we focus on the bits and pieces of hiring and getting folks fingerprinted, drug tests, giving job offers, and setting salaries,” said Williams. “It’s a very important mission trying to fill the critical needs of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex and  other units here at Robins.”

During virtual conference calls there are some times as many as thirty people taking part or as few as five interacting.

“When we open our desktops, whoever is presenting it shows in real time what we are seeing,” said Skinner. “Before CVR, we just had slides to give out in advance of a conference call by phone. That was the extent of our presentation. Now we can have several different presenters take control of the presentation.”

The base utilizes Direct and Expedited Hiring Authorities along with USA Jobs to bring applicants onboard.

Wheeler, whom facilitates both the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex and 78th ABW hiring wall walks said, “Fill actions, whether done by traditional, as well as direct hiring authorities, are weekly analyzed by stakeholders to assess and understand where each fill action is in the hiring machine using AoP and the AFSC leadership model principles to ensure that we are continually striving to achieve the Office of Personnel Management, and Air Force 80-day and 40-day civilian hiring goals. During the machine review, work in process is scrutinized, constraints are identified and continuous process improvement tools are developed and implemented for constraint resolution.”

 The first quarter of the year is a good time to look for work at Robins.

According to Williams, base employees typically retire at the end or beginning of a new year and that spurs an uptick in job postings and hiring between late January and March.

“It’s very satisfying because we are doing important work in order for us to meet the mission requirements to sustain the workforce here at Robins,” said Wheeler.