The City of Red Deer

  • Improved communication across regions
  • Reduced time for Human Resource personnel
  • Real-time data for negotiations
  • Levelled playing field for governments
  • Complete ROI in the first year
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The Story

The City of Red Deer spearheaded an initiative that would forever change the way municipal Human Resource departments in Western Canada worked. The concept was simple: "We want a way to find out how much other communities are paying their employees." Although salary information is available to anyone for public sector positions, getting this information is time consuming and difficult, so it is rarely used by HR departments.

The challenge grew beyond that, and the Western Cities HR Trading Post Steering Committee was formed, and took responsibility for the focus and requirements of the project. The new challenge would be to create a portal that would allow HR Departments for municipalities in Western Canada to compare contracted salaries, share documents, communicate with each other, and stay up to date on current events.

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As with most projects, budget was a considerable concern. This project however was somewhat unique since the site was being created with public sector resources and this was not going to be a revenue generating project. Because of this, a fixed budget was defined and some of of the requirements became second phase enhancements, while the core functionality was refined to a perfect understanding.

To help with the human resource and salary survey component of the portal, we worked with The Wynford Group, a human resource consulting firm who specializes in salary data reporting. The Wynford Group was able to work with the steering committee to fully define all requirements for the salary survey section and also help with documentation of the system for members.

A clean and simple design that incorporated the "Trading Post" theme was used bring the site to life. A login was provided on the main page so that users with different security permissions would only see the links and data that they had access to, while other links were hidden and secured. The steering committee was given full access to alter the content in various sections, by implementing a content management system (CMS), so that they could keep the site "fresh" with the latest news and current events, as well as provide new subscribers with their various access levels.

A website forum was created to provide a managed communication mechanism within the community keeping members up to date, promoting participation and regular use of the site. A document library was also developed to centrally manage important documents and has become a vital part of the portal. As a requirement of membership, municipalities must post certain documents to the document library. This ensures that municipalities do not just "leech" off the system but instead become active contributors. The salary survey, which was the key component of the site, was created with the concept of ease-of-use in mind. Members are able to work with a restricted Excel spreadsheet to upload their salary data following a strict set of guidelines to ensure data integrity. A custom reporting engine allows members to produce Excel reports with as much of the data as they desire allowing for quick and easy manipulation or integration into their individual systems.

The Result

The launch of the Western Cities HR Trading Post website occurred at the Annual Western Cities Human Resources Conference held in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The head of the steering committee received a standing ovation after finishing the public demonstration of the site, solidifying its acceptance in the HR community. Since that day, membership and activity has continuously grown with more municipalities participating than ever expected. Members have been able to use the information on the website to compare contracted salary rates quickly and easily, making the HR Trading Post an invaluable asset.

The additional membership fees collected have allowed the steering committee to look at new features for the website and continue to change the way municipal human resource departments do business in Western Canada.

Our Locations

Calgary Office

Calgary Office

Suite 4064, 918 16th Ave NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2M 0K3
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Kelowna Office

Kelowna Office

Suite 202, 2041 Harvey Ave,
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, V1Y 6G7
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