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Human Resources moves into omni, adds functionality

Posted by on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 in Launch.

The Human Resources website has a new look and improved functionality to better serve employees seeking information they need to do their jobs and manage their benefits.

“This is a great first step in making information about working at Vanderbilt more accessible for Vanderbilt employees and job seekers,” Traci Nordberg, associate vice chancellor and chief human resource officer, said. “This is just the beginning – as we make changes to our service delivery model we will incorporate new information and continue to improve communications with and to HR.”

New features include improved top navigation, A-Z listings and easy sorting and searching of benefits, policies and forms information, quick links to the most requested HR resources from the HR homepage, and news from myVU.

The site search has been significantly improved, with keyword searches tuned to bring up the most relevant pages. The search will continue to improve as site administrators monitor how employees are using and searching the site and “tweak” the search engine accordingly.

Many of the design and functionality changes made were based on input from faculty and staff focus groups conducted in Spring 2010.

Next steps include refining the site’s content and finding opportunities to streamline processes using online tools.

“We will continue to develop and enhance this site to ensure it reflects the needs and priorities of Vanderbilt and its employees,” Nordberg said.

The site was designed and built by our office in close partnership with Human Resources staff (notably Travis Sawyer, Leah Cannon and Karen Rolling) using the university’s content management system, OmniUpdate.

Key Development Highlights:

  • Using jquery to provide in-place filtering of formspolicies and discounts. Users can now just start typing the information they are looking for—and those lists will auto filter down to just the pertinent items.
  • Previously, all of the HR policies were in PDF format. That content has all been migrated into regular pages – which are now easily editable, searchable, and can be viewed on any device.
  • Approximately 250 keymatches have been added to the Google Search Appliance to assist users in finding the content they are looking for.  Keymatches allow us to provide commonly used keywords for popular sections of the HR site so that, for instance, if someone searches for “holidays“—they are presented with both the Holiday Schedule and the Holidays and Personal Days Policy as the top two starred results.
    (If you have suggestions for other keymatches for the HR website—or the main VU website – please let us know.)
  • Custom print stylesheets have been added to the HR site—the print stylesheet prevents the header, navigation, right column and footer info from printing: providing a clean, simplified version of each page suitable for printing.
  • Providing links to the most popular pages within the HR site on the homepage. The Quick Lists (originally available on the myVU website) have been updated to include even more information.  The Most Requested Resources section will be updated as pages increase and decrease in use depending upon the time of year.
  • News from myVU is now displayed directly on the HR site (myVU is the resource for all news for all Vanderbilt employees).
  • Prior to the migration—every page on the HR site had the same page title tag. This led to numerous issues associated with search engines, page level analytics, etc. With the new site, each page of the site has a unique title, meta keywords and description, and is much more search engine friendly!
  • This is the largest Omni site that has been migrated so far—with approximately 600 pages of content now being managed through the Omni Content Management System.(Prior to the migration into Omni, the HR website was maintained manually through Dreamweaver.)

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