Celebrating 10 Years of Service..
The Human Resources Department is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year! On this occasion, I would like to share with you a personal anecdote, good memories, and some of the accomplishments of ten years at IC.
It was May 2006 but I still remember my first visit to the President’s office. I was impressed with the welcoming and professional attitude of the staff while I waited for my interview with former President Johnson, former President Charles, and late VP for administration Kurban. Following that visit was a couple of panel interviews with board members and an outside consultant. The entire process spread over 6 weeks. My interviewer asked me at the end of, what now I know was, the final meeting if I had any other questions for them and I said: “Yes, what is the timeline for next steps?” He smiled and explained that the process has reached its final stages. I received the offer letter the next day.
I joined IC in August 2006, immediately after the war. I still have vivid images of the place that was allocated to me to set up an office: A large room where IB students used to sit for exams, with just a chair, a modest desk and no other furniture except some old filing cabinets. It looked shabby but my excitement filled the empty space with colors and a large motto that says: “will strive to provide the best customer service to IC faculty and staff”. I believe we lived by that motto and I hope to continue to live by it in the years to come.
Building a HR department from scratch was not an easy task. However, with the support of all IC constituencies we managed to build a solid reputation of integrity and respect. Our values were and still are transparency, communication, and excellent customer service. We pride ourselves on offering a warm and pleasant welcome to all those who walk through our door and on maintaining a positive outlook even when the going gets tough. We will continue to solicit your feedback and invite you to share your concerns with us. We listen, we care, and we will do our best to respond to your needs and meet your expectations. Even though we don’t have a magic wand, sometimes doing little makes a big difference.
Although it seems like yesterday but looking back, I know that we have come a long way. The HR team grew slowly to include 4 members today. Systems, processes, and programs have been developed to organize all HR activities. Many functions have been automated to maintain the integrity and security of the data and to optimize the service response time. Confidential files of non-current employees have been scanned and archived to preserve all information in an electronic format and scanning of existing employees files is underway. A Human Resources Information System has been designed and developed to collect and process all employment-related information. This system is constantly evaluated and updated to respond to the increasing and changing needs of the College. Recruitment needs are posted internally and externally for transparency purposes and because IC believes that employee referrals proved to be a rich source of potential hires. Candidates may apply online and résumés are collected and stored in a centralized database for easy retrieval according to needs. Applicants may also follow the IC careers page on Facebook to stay informed about arising job openings. Other sources of applicants might include graduates from renowned universities who respond to job advertisements posted on their job boards. The orientation program of new local and international faculty and staff has been reviewed and modified to include social functions as well as detailed information sessions about all employment aspects relevant to new comers. Compensation and benefits are two major activities of our daily operations. Programs and salary schedules are evaluated on a regular basis and salaries and benefits are benchmarked against others in the Lebanese and International market. Pay guidelines have been devised to ensure consistent pay policies across the board. For all employment matters, HR liaises with the legal counsel, auditors, and other experts to stay abreast of new employment laws and regulations and to keep IC compliant with laws and personnel policies. Two years ago, we launched our wellness program to bring the IC community together and improve motivation. At the beginning, we offered a couple of activities and participation was modest. Today, we are proud to say that we are running 8 activities on both campuses and that participation increased to 25.4%. And last but not least is our constant endeavor to provide you with the best customer service. To achieve a quality service, we had to keep information flowing and use all communication channels available to share information with you. Many publications saw the light and are now available online for ease of reference. The monthly newsletter and regular announcements communicate changes and information updates and provide reminders about entitlements and important deadlines. The HR website, now fully revamped with a fresh look and user-friendly interface, provides plenty of up-to-date information and makes a good resource for faculty and staff to consult. We try to liaise with all IC constituencies in order to get feedback as well as share new information. We have a good rapport with the IC Teachers’ Association as we all strive to accomplish what is in the best interest of IC and teachers.
To IC faculty, staff, and administrators I say thank you for your loyalty, your trust, and your continuous support and belief in us. I appreciate all the commendations I have received over the years. They are the best rewards we could ever have and the challenge that drives us to improve and thrive.
We reflected on the past but we also have an eye to the future. HR tomorrow will be very different from HR today and I look forward to sharing this journey with you.
Happy 10th Anniversary!
Director of Human Resources