Estimate staffing needs and resources for scaled contact tracing.
1.a Core contact tracing staff
Contact Tracing Team Leads
1.b Additional workforce needs
Cluster Outbreak Investigators/Field Epidemiologists
Social Supports/Care Resource Managers
Data/Information Technology Managers
Isolation and Self-Quarantine Monitors
High-Risk Medical Monitors
“Runners” to deliver care package materials
Assess the current workforce available to fill contact tracing roles.
Understanding the human resources already available to support the surge contact tracing workforce will inform hiring needs.
The workforce can come from a variety of existing sources and will depend on available budget and hiring authority. Consider:
Public health professionals working in other areas of the health department or in other private or organizations or public agencies may be available to support
Local, state and federal employees may be available for redirection
National guard or other volunteers may be interested in willing to support contact tracing
Match knowledge and skills of individuals with key contact tracing roles and provide training can support workforce expansion. In addition to specific health public experience and expertise, look also at transferable skills when recruiting to scale up contact tracing workforce.
3.a Identify the best personnel mechanism and recruitment processes to use for filling each type of position (e.g., permanent employee, part-time employee, contractor, volunteer).
Partnering with a private organization, such as a local university or non-profit organization, to manage hiring and/or workforce operations may be quicker and easier than doing this through health department mechanisms.
If working with a network of volunteers, ascertain their commitment to ensure a reliable workforce; if reliable, consider leveraging their existing infrastructure for personnel onboarding and management.
Consider how to handle staffing when contact tracing needs change, for example using hourly wages and reserving the right to reduce or scale hours as needed.
3.b Identify or develop descriptions and qualifications for each position; write job descriptions.
3.c. Identify or develop processes and tools for assessing applicant qualifications and rating applicants.
Where available, adapt existing processes and tools.
3.d. Work with human resources to develop mechanism(s) for processing applications.
3.e. Implement recruitment processes.
4.a Identify or develop materials and processes for contact tracing staff orientation.
Include orientation to the organization, contact tracing in general, and to the contact tracing program.
4.b Identify training needs to develop knowledge and skills required for each type of contact tracing position.
Workforce training should explicitly include privacy protection training.
4.c Identify or develop training methods, curricula, tools and materials for each type of contact tracing position.
Establish management system for contact tracing staff.
5.a. Identify or develop protocols for each type of contact tracing position.
5.b. Identify or establish criteria, measures and expectations for evaluation of workers in each type of contact tracing position.
Virtual coaching and mentoring are suggested to provide opportunities for continuous quality improvement.
5.c. Identify or develop methods and systems for collecting data and producing reports for worker evaluation.
Ensure the selected metrics are available for export and reporting in the tools adopted for the contact tracing workflow.
Organize core contact tracing staff into teams, as appropriate. A maximum of eight team members plus a team leader is suggested.
Size of team recommendation is based on best practices for productive work group sizes and to enable necessary oversight and support for contact tracing team members.
Confirm that contact tracing staff have protections of civil servants including liability protections, insurance and/or indemnity clauses.
Sample contact tracing staff orientation and professional development materials
Sample contact tracing staff evaluation criteria, measures and expectations
Sample management materials (supervisory checklists, activities, indicators)
Sample scope of work for service provider contract