Create a one-stop shop Human Resources HUB dedicated to Member, committee, and leadership (MCL) staff.
Due to the inherent complexities of bringing together many independently operating offices under one “human resources umbrella,” this recommendation is one of the most comprehensive passed by the Committee. Committee Members believe that attracting and retaining a diverse and highly qualified workforce requires competitive benefits for staff. And unfortunately, staff—and those managing them—are too often unaware of the benefits and services offered by the House because they don’t know how to access them.
This is in large part due to the lack of a centralized, one-stop shop where managers and congressional staff can go to find information related to benefits and policies, get guidance on hiring, get answers on how to handle management issues, and access training and professional development opportunities. And because they are starting from scratch, freshman offices tend to be most impacted by the lack of human resources infrastructure in the House.
The Committee believes that centralizing resources under a single human resources department will vastly improve the ability of congressional offices and staff to determine the range of benefits and services available, seek advice and make choices that best serve their needs. A centralized human resources HUB builds efficiency in House systems, saving staff time and frustration.
The Committee recommends that the “one-stop shop Human Resources HUB” be led by an HR Deputy Director and comprised of existing offices and staff of the House. The office will be responsible for assisting MCL offices to improve the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce, develop best practices that can be utilized by offices, regularly survey staff, and provide recommendations for competitive compensation and benefits to House staff.
The HUB will physically exist in a centralized location convenient to Member offices. A virtual version of the HUB will be structured as a board led by a new Deputy HR Director for Congressional Staff and comprised of representatives from the following House offices:
- Office of Employee Advocacy
- Office of Congressional Workplace Rights
- Office of House Employment Counsel
- Office of Employee Assistance
- Congressional Staff Academy
- House Wellness Center
The Deputy HR Director for Congressional Staff will be overseen by the Chief Human Resources Officer for the Chief Administrative Officer of the House, and will guide and delegate efforts to recruit and retain a diverse staff including, but not limited to:
- Developing a tool kit for best practices for hiring, promoting, and managing a diverse staff;
- Improving diversity recruitment by implementing best practices for actively seeking out candidates of various backgrounds and compiling into the House resume portal (for example, outreach to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), community colleges, organizations for individuals with disabilities, etc.);
- Reevaluating current MCL office staff benefits (for example, capacity and costs of the House child care center, student loan benefits, etc.) and develop recommendations for new benefits to improve recruitment and retention (for example, telework, flex schedules, returnship programs, sabbaticals, etc.);
- Conducting the biennial staff survey as well as offering an optional exit survey to MCL offices;
- Transforming the existing House resume bank into a user-friendly, searchable portal where MCL offices can select a range of criteria to narrow the candidate pool;
- Improving and managing the House Vacancy Announcement and Placement Service (HVAPS); and
- Providing Members-elect information on the full range of services offered to their staff in an easily understandable and organized format immediately following the certification of their election results.
The Committee also recommended that when the various representatives of the HR HUB convene, representatives of the Majority and Minority of the Committee on House Administration should be present to serve as advocates for MCL office staff. Additionally, the House Committee on Ethics should be consulted as appropriate to ensure that staff benefits and best practices are in line with House Ethics rules.
The Deputy HR Director for Congressional Staff will also deputize or hire a Deputy Director of Staff Outreach and Marketing responsible for advertising services to staff and creating a more outward facing HR HUB. Finally, the Committee on House Administration will evaluate the effectiveness of the HR HUB no later than three years after its establishment.