With growing staffing needs, the Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) faced a significant challenge in filling vacant IT positions within the state. With the rapid growth in the number of IT initiatives under the agency’s oversight, including responsibility for greater transparency, accountability, security, and resource efficiency, time was of the essence in finding qualified candidates to augment the team.


ETS departed from conventional methods – word of mouth and postings on a state-sponsored job site – and turned to social media to expand their options. Apparently, their instincts were good, based on the promising results.


During the pilot project, 42% of vacancies at ETS were filled in with the help of LinkedIn


From October 2016 to April 2017, ETS conducted a pilot project with the professional social network site LinkedIn. They established a goal of filling 10 vacant positions during that time frame and began taking advantage of the site’s technology.


LinkedIn’s data-driven tools leveraged information on its 133 million U.S.-based users, targeting profiles that met ETS job specifications. By recruiting through LinkedIn, ETS increased the visibility of their openings to appropriate profiles, both in Hawaii and nationwide.


While the professional social networking platform charges to utilize its recruitment tools, ETS reports that LinkedIn’s advertising services resulted in a significantly lower cost than hiring an employment consultant.


During the six-month pilot project, ETS succeeded in hiring and assigning start dates for 13 new employees, including Hawaii’s Chief Information Security Officer. This total surpassed its goal and amounted to filling an impressive 42% of vacancies at the time. In comparison, ETS hired only six employees – or 17% of vacancies – to fill its open positions during the same time period in the year prior.


With the success of this innovative and cost-saving approach to recruitment, there has been increased interest in using Linkedin among the state’s other departments. ETS recommends departments use the service for hard-to-fill positions if their budgets permit.


Want more information on ETS’ successful use of LinkedIn? Read the GovTech article: IT Applicants Increased Tenfold During Hawaii’s Pilot Partnership With LinkedIn

State of Hawaii bolsters its cybersecurity capabilities with additions to cyber security team.

Hawaii Continues to Bolster Its Cybersecurity Capabilities

Cybersecurity looms large in the news these days, and recently, news media have reported that personal information and Social Security numbers tied to as many as 4.8 million people using a multi-state job board system were compromised between February 20 and March 14 this year. Luckily, Hawaii was not one of the states affected.

Hawaii state government has moved to thwart attacks on state systems and protect citizens’ and government information from intruders. Last year, the Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS), requested and received funding for three new cybersecurity positions to provide security for all three branches of state government. In December, ETS filled the first of these positions, hiring the State of Hawaii’s first chief information security officer (CISO), Vincent Hoang.

Mr. Hoang is putting in place cybersecurity standards for executive branch departments and ensuring that state government system operations are following best practices in cybersecurity. He most recently served as the enterprise architect for Hawaiian Telcom, where he secured infrastructure for customers and conducted network architecture, performance, security risk, and systems infrastructure assessments.

Among other responsibilities, the remaining two cybersecurity support positions will be dedicated to identifying security issues in the state government network. The focus thus far has been on perimeter security. The next phase involves the installation of endpoint protection platforms, which provide anti-malware scanning along with many other security features.


Cybersecurity beyond the state system

But what about cybersecurity threats to other institutions and Hawaii residents outside of state government? Currently, a bill is moving through the legislature to address this concern, House Bill 598, which would enable the University of Hawaii to develop a Hawaii cyber ecosystem and related aspects of cybersecurity.

If the measure is enacted, UH would lead a collaborative effort between private sector companies, nonprofit organizations, government, and individuals to strengthen protections against cyber threats to critical energy, telecommunications, and water infrastructure systems, as well as financial, tourism, military, and other important public and private industries.

SB2807 ENTERPRISE TECHNOLOGY SERVICE — Creates the Office of Enterprise Technology Services under the direction of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) by consolidating the Office of Information Management and Technology and the Information and Communication Services Division of the Department of Accounting and General Services, including all related information technology functions.

  • Update: The House Finance Committee unanimously voted to recommend passage of SB2807 by the full House. If it passes the floor vote, it will then go to the governor. 

SB2541 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY — Authorizes the State CIO to use or transfer funds, appropriated in the 2015 State Budget Act, to executive departments and agencies for projects that have been approved by the governor.

  • Update: Enrolled to governor on April 13 and became Act 11 on April 21.

HB2755 INCIDENT RESPONSE  Requires the CIO to develop and maintain an incident response plan to cyber-attacks for each executive branch department in the State. Sets out the scope of an incident response plan.

  • Update: HB2755 Failed to pass out of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

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The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has launched two new search tools that encourage recycling in Hawaii by helping residents locate the nearest Certified Redemption Center in their area. Transform Hawaii Government recently spoke with software developers McKay Davis and George Lee, dedicated volunteers with Code for Hawaii, who developed the tools in partnership with DOH, the Office of Planning and software company ESRI.

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Coalition members

Transform Hawaii Government coalition board member Robert Harrison and leadership committee member Ryan Field submitted a letter to the editors of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, jointly responding to an Insight article that highlighted the need for upgrading the state’s technology and implementing an “IT Governance” initiative to keep IT projects on time and on budget.

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Keana Point


In December of 2014, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of State Parks implemented a vehicle access permit system for the heavily used roads at Kaena Point State Park Reserve on the North Shore of Oahu. The permit system was instituted as an attempt to curtail habitat damage caused and accelerated by off-road vehicle use, reduce soil erosion and stop illegal activities.

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