The Human Resources Department at Centralia College is another recent recipient of the Faculty/Staff Innovator Award. They are a four person team consisting of Vice President of Human Resources & Legal Affairs, Julie Ledford (Huss), Assistant to HR Director and Benefits Manager, Tammy Remund, Executive Assistant to the VP of HR, Candi Fetch, and HR Consultant, V’Ann Kostick. They are being recognized for their conversion from RainShadow to PeopleAdmin Human Resources job management software, making Skype interviewing a possibility for interviewing potential employee candidates, and starting to automate forms.
When the choice came up to make a change from the older job management software, huge sighs of relief were heard all across the web space from job applicants to search committees to the managers of the management software. The migration to PeopleAdmin software has definitely improved the overall process of posting, applying for, and reviewing of job applications. There are less phone calls from applicants and search committee participants on how to use the software or problems interacting with it. Comments received from committee members, as well as applicants include that it’s “easier to read” and “easier to use.” In addition it takes less time from HR staff for having to scan in documents, close positions and answer help calls. Taking less time and less support means it’s also saving the college money. More cheers!
It can be difficult to manage interviews when an applicant pool is vast and geographically diverse. It can be practically impossible for a screening committee to narrow a search down to only 3 to 5 applicants without having a little extra information or interaction to determine who might be a better fit. In the past, HR would set up phone teleconferences where the committee could all gather around a phone and ask questions of the applicants. This interaction has its limitations from connectivity, lack of personal connection, etc.
Centralia College’s HR department decided to expand the possibilities to connect to applicants. They created an HR Skype account, which allows for screening committees to virtually interview candidates. This service helps to narrow down an applicant pool without added expense of traveling to campus. This can be extremely helpful with candidates from all over the country and even international candidates. Using Skype has opened up options for applicants who might not have been able to travel for an interview because of money and/or time limitations. It also gives the screening committee an opportunity to see how someone interacts, their body language, eye contact, etc. that isn’t afforded over a phone. It can also speed up the process of hiring with fewer scheduling issues.
HR departments have traditionally been very paper-based. Lots of files, lots of data, lots of…paper. This is also very labor intensive, inefficient, can make it very difficult to easily retrieve data, and can be full of entry errors. To start combatting some of these issues, Centralia College’s HR department is looking to automate. They started automating with this year’s annual fall conference. Normally, a word document is sent out across campus via email for employees to fill out and email back or print out and hand in. Then, one person in the office would have to organize the data from the documents into a manual spreadsheet, then print name tags. This whole process took unbelievable amounts of person-power to complete with many opportunities for errors. This year, they made the form into an online Google form and only accepted submissions that way. These submissions were automagically populated into a spreadsheet that could then be manipulated. Countless hours were saved! In addition, a lot less copies were made, a lot less paper was used, so it was more environmentally sustainable as well. The conservation of paper was “almost more of a driver than the time savings” said one member of the department. It also made the whole process, including response time, faster!
Another efficiency the department introduced was stream-lining the process of stipends, which saves on confusion and time to pay employees.
The department would like to automate more processes and branch out into eSignatures to increase efficiency, decrease time used to process paperwork and increase effectiveness across campus. Be on the lookout for more ways you can optimize your paperwork processing.
We’re very excited to give this award to these ladies and are sure looking for even more amazingness from this extremely hardworking group!