TalentShare: A win-win for departments seeking help and employees in need of work

When university travel, meetings and events suddenly became limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delainie McNeil found herself running out of things to do for work each day.

“I was apprehensive of informing my supervisor that I had few job duties while working remotely,” said McNeil. “Ultimately, I was compelled to be honest with him about my lack of duties and, together, we came up with a plan.”

McNeil, executive assistant to Dean Michael Reid in the College of Health and Human Performance, had read about UF’s new TalentShare program and decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to apply for the program and see how it worked for herself.

She reached out to UFHR and was sent a link to an application that featured a comprehensive list of talents and skills from which to choose. Within a few days of submitting her application, UFHR Talent Engagement Consultant Amy Thomas reached out to McNeil to work with her to match her skillset to a department in need.

After checking with McNeil’s college to see if any requests existed there first, Thomas broadened her search and discovered a request from the College of Liberal Arts’ Bureau of Economic & Business Research (BEBR), whose team needed assistance with conducting surveys. Stef Jones, BEBR’s office manager had submitted the request just days earlier.

“I quickly filled out the TalentShare request form the morning after I saw the email about it, not really knowing how it worked,” Jones explained. “We were just in dire need of replacements for the student assistant and OPS employees we lost when the Stay at Home Order was issued.”

Thomas put Jones in touch with McNeil and Dean Reid to work out the details of what McNeil’s work and time commitment would look like. Reid and McNeil decided she still needed to work approximately 20 to 25 hours each week for HHP, but could offer her services to the BEBR approximately 15 to 20 hours per week, once trained.

“As a supervisor, I found the service surprisingly easy to use,” said Reid. “Delainie worked directly with HR to register and arrange her new working relationship. I was kept informed and allowed to weigh in as needed.”

And so, within 10 days of Jones submitting her request, McNeil was completing her first online training module with the BEBR.

“Without the need to do the HR functions to get this person on board, the next steps were small, and she started training two business days later,” said Jones. “Of course, we are glad to help a fellow UF staff member while we needed help too. So far so good, I’d say.”

McNeil couldn’t agree more and said she is looking forward to learning new skills and expanding her knowledge of UF’s programs and services.

“I would absolutely recommend this service to others,” said McNeil. “In these times, I find it is better to put yourself out there and allow an opportunity to fall into place than to wait quietly hoping all will be okay.”

Reid said he has shared the information with department chairs and directors in his college, encouraging them to take advantage of TalentShare and to share with any staff in their areas who are being underutilized.

“As we weather this public health crisis, it’s important that we all be fully engaged in the University response and fully employed in our jobs,” Reid said. “I’m proud to have folks from HHP assisting programs in other colleges. Helping each other is what we do at UF, especially in challenging times such as this.”

To learn more about TalentShare, please visit the UFHR website.