Campus News Campus Spotlight

HR assistant director is here to help others

Baileigh Barnes is assistant director for transaction services for University Human Resources. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

Baileigh Barnes guides employees through HR processes

Baileigh Barnes is here to help others.

“I’m directly helping employees, and I love that,” she said. “We’re here to serve people so that we can further advance UGA’s mission. We’re helping behind the scenes to make that happen.”

In her position as assistant director for transaction services for University Human Resources, she gets to do just that.

Barnes received her degree in accounting and finance from North Georgia College and State University, now the University of North Georgia, and then began her career in public accounting. Eventually, she decided it was time to make a move from a private firm and accepted a position in benefits accounting with University Human Resources.

That was just over eight years ago, and she hasn’t looked back since. Barnes began doing benefits reconciliation, including health insurance and retirement plans. After a few years as a senior financial accountant, she was asked to serve on the OneSource project, helping the university transition to using OneUSG Connect. The group Barnes worked with joined UGA’s legacy payroll and HR operations with OneUSG Connect, integrating them with that shared platform.

“It was an awesome experience,” she said. “I’m very thankful that I had this opportunity and I learned a lot.”

As part of that project, Barnes worked with a variety of people to update and modify the university’s business processes where needed. It was her first time in project management, and Barnes said she learned a lot that continues to inspire her. She went on to become the absence management lead, where she helped implement new processes and procedures for absences during the COVID pandemic.

“We had to come up with a way to capture those requests and process them quickly,” she said.

University Human Resources now has Centers of Excellence for each of its functional areas, and Barnes now leads the transaction services team of 21 people with Hanna Willingham. They work closely with all of the other teams to help process UGA employees from the very beginning of their time with UGA to the end. She particularly appreciates the opportunity to work alongside people with different backgrounds and experiences.

Barnes said the experience gained in each of her roles has helped her along her own career path, and she continues to learn each day. In fact, she also earned an MBA from Georgia College and State University in May 2023.

Barnes understands the importance of her role and doesn’t take it lightly. She and her team strive to make HR processes as simple and straightforward as possible. They know they’re dealing with real people in real situations and put emphasis on attention to detail to ensure accuracy in processing.

“We are here to try to help make faculty, staff and students’ jobs a little easier by helping them navigate through various human resource functions,” she said. “Our goal is to streamline processes as much as possible. We come in every day and try to do a good job to better serve our units.”