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Human Resources streamlines hiring process
Revamped work flow reduces steps required for hiring process, enhances user-friendliness

Sept. 11, 2007
By Anita Martin

Ohio University's hiring process just got simpler. 

Starting Wednesday, the process for hiring new employees will require fewer steps and feature more user-friendly applications and instructions. The change results from the position management redesign project announced by Vice President for Finance and Administration Bill Decatur this past spring to evaluate and improve position management processes.

Most notably, the maximum number of steps for posting a job drop from 18 to 10, and steps needed to request a search waiver are reduced from 13 to seven. Much of the trimmed red tape can be attributed to eliminating redundant approvals. For example, under the former process, the planning unit heads (deans and vice presidents) had to sign off at four steps during the process. Now they must do so only twice. 

"We first went online with our original Web-based hiring system in 2005, and as we received feedback, we heard that the process was a bit cumbersome, repetitive and sometimes confusing," said Gwen Brooks, director of staffing and records services for University Human Resources (UHR).

UHR responded by meeting with university chairs and directors to determine their common concerns. Then Brooks and her colleagues began proposing changes, which they pitched to a cross-functional team for feedback. The team consisted of university administrators, IT professionals and representatives from Faculty Senate, Administrative Senate, University Libraries, the College of Arts and Sciences, Institutional Equity, regional campuses and HR.

"The final result attempts to simplify and expedite the hiring process while providing more user-friendly information and prompts along the way," Brooks said.

The PeopleAdmin Inc. system is accessible from www.ohiouniversityjobs.com.

In addition to the reduction of steps in the hiring process, new online instructions will guide users through the process, including a letter-of-offer template, a new-hire checklist, protocol guidelines for pre-interview processes and a comments section on the "Appointment Information" form that facilitates communication with the payroll department for special circumstances.

To encourage efficiency, the revised system also will automatically send redesigned e-mail prompts to remind hiring managers, compensation employees and other important players to complete certain tasks, such as scheduling new employee orientations or confirming that job postings match job descriptions on file.

"We did not design this system, but we can re-engineer the work flow within that system to make it more efficient and simpler to use," Brooks said. "That's what we're trying to accomplish with these changes."

An HR representative will contact departments with searches in progress to discuss how the changes will impact them. System training opportunities will be made available and posted on the Human Resources Web page by the end of this week.

For more information, contact Brooks at 740-593-1226 or brooksgk@ohio.edu.

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