How Los Angeles County is Modernizing Management
Los Angeles County has 110,000 active employees in 38 departments, each of which manages its own personnel files. In the past, paper files, containing an average of 300 documents each, were stored in filing cabinets and distributed via couriers and HR staff. To access the files, an employee would have to go to a facility in a 4,000 square mile district and meet with someone in HR to review them.
“As you can imagine, HR staff spent a lot of time processing and reviewing employee records,” says Los Angeles County Human Resources CIO Roozan Zarifian. The documents also took up scarce storage space, posed compliance and security risks, and were not conducive to responding to document requests in a timely manner, she adds.
It’s just one of many ways HR functions have been hampered by the county’s manual processes. In 2017, in partnership with the County Registrar/County Clerk, the Department of Human Resources used the TextNow platform to create an automated central repository to store digitized records and provide secure, real-time access to employees, supervisors and HR staff throughout the county. It also simplified the onboarding of new employees through electronic forms with the ability to e-sign.
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Even before that, the county moved to automate business processes when it updated its appeals process, which allows job applicants to challenge the reasons they were denied jobs. In the past, about 4,000 complaints received per year were submitted by mail or fax.
“There was no online solution where you could file an appeal and get confirmation of a successful filing,” Zarifian says. The new automated system filled that gap and allowed applicants to submit supporting documentation in an online application, reducing the amount of time it takes to organize and process an appeal.
The human resources department also worked with the county Board of Supervisors to review its investigative case management system, which is used to investigate employee complaints. Instead of searching through disparate reporting systems, the OpenText platform provides automated, centralized, secure access to case information, complete with an audit trail and protection against data loss, Zarifian explains.
“It creates a central platform for collaboration and equips departments and other stakeholders with the tools needed to process and complete investigations in a timely, thorough and efficient manner,” she says.