Optimizing Internal Talent Mobility via Stretch@KP

Rachael Espinoza’s Story

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Rachael Espinoza is a Sociology and Education lecturer at Cal State San Marcos and a Doctoral student at UCSD. In addition to teaching at CSU San Marcos, and prior to joining KP, she oversaw a program that helped develop future educators at the University. Wanting to shift her career from academia, she transitioned to Kaiser as a learning consultant on a team that was developing and launching a training program for a new billing system for our front office users. Soon after she was onboarded, the work was postponed due to other critical COVID-related initiatives. As someone who loves to stay busy, Rachael joined the Stretch@KP community in hopes of finding interesting projects for when she had downtime.


Rachael diligently completed her Stretch@KP profile by thoroughly inputting skills she had and ones she was interested in honing. Shortly thereafter, she went on maternity leave and when she returned to the workplace, she received an email from Stretch@KP about an opportunity. The email informed her about a project with the University Relations Team for which she was a 97% match - given the team’s needs and her skills/interests. “Right away I was interested, so I looked at the project write-up and I thought this sounds amazing.” She applied, had an informational meeting with the host, Julie Gallardo, and was subsequently selected to be a participant. Rachael advises other community members to, “make sure that your profile is filled out as much as you can. Those extra details will really make it so that the things that you get matched up with are really special for you.”  

There is lot of really great talent in the organization that should have the opportunity to have this type of exposure.

Rachael began the Stretch Project with the University Relations department to develop, create, and deploy a high engagement and high impact virtual Summer Internship Program for managers and interns. Rachael says, “working on this project, I was engaged and thankful that Kaiser offers these kinds of opportunities to its workforce.” Julie, the host of the project, says, “I had an employee transitioning to another department, so I reached out to Stretch@KP to help backfill that work and they made it easy for me to scope and post a project. I was impressed with the talent that applied and was fortunate to have met Rachael through the program.” When a full-time position opened on her team, Julie offered Rachael the role and they both haven’t stopped feeling like it’s a ‘match made in heaven’. 


Now, Rachael is hosting her own Stretch@KP project, recruiting coaches for the University Relations interns this coming summer. “Through Stretch@KP, I was not only able to get help with critical work I was doing, but also discovered a career path I am passionate about. Programs like Stretch@KP will keep people on for the entirety of their careers because it gives people the opportunity to continue to develop themselves and find new things that motivate them and keep them learning and excited to come to work. There is lot of really great talent in the organization that should have the opportunity to have this type of exposure and education.”

    I was not only able to get help with critical work I was doing, but also discovered a career path I am passionate about.

Julie (Rachael’s former project host and now manager) says, “Stretch@KP offers a great opportunity for my team to stretch their wings and work in other areas of talent acquisition and strategy. It is a phenomenal retention strategy for Kaiser! The work that I do is all about next generation talent and they move jobs more often than any generation that we've seen before. Keeping them engaged by exposing them to new work that lets them stretch their skillsets and expand their professional network with other areas of the organization, will keep them from leaving Kaiser. If we help them find new opportunities within KP via Stretch@KP projects, we all benefit from that. It is a fantastic way to leverage and support the internal talent we have.”