The University of Illinois at Chicago employs approximately 6,000 Civil Service employees who serve across almost 600 job classifications. Hiring for Civil Service employees is administered through UIC Human Resources’ Employment Services unit.
A very busy area in Human Resources, Employment Services has 17 staff members. Four Extra Help and six permanent Civil Service recruitment staff members handle all Civil Service hiring for approximately 20 Colleges and Administrative Units. On average Employment Services fills approximately 800 Civil Service vacancies and 700 Extra Help/temporary agency requests per year. This annual hiring demand produces over 10,000 applications to review, 4,800 examinations and credential assessments to administer, 2,400 interviews to conduct, and 400 new hires to process for onboarding.
Starting in May 2012, UIC Human Resources embarked on a process improvement initiative aimed at decreasing hiring cycle time for Civil Service employees. Over the course of 12 months, a multi-disciplinary team of professionals from UIC Human Resources and various Campus units identified 34 possible process improvements.
The following process improvements have been implemented:
Meetings with all Campus departments were conducted between June and August 2013 to gather information about hiring needs and challenges. Colleges and Administrative Units identified the following needs:
In response to these needs, it was determined that the Employment Services area would be restructured. Work processes and communications would be redesigned toward the ongoing incorporation and accomplishment of three key customer service goals: responsiveness, accuracy, and partnership. With these changes UIC Human Resources seeks to create a more customer-centric approach to Civil Service hiring.
A customer-centric approach is founded on the principle that the customer ultimately determines the effectiveness and success of any service they receive. This determination is typically based on customer experiences and how that experience impacts their ability to accomplish tasks and goals.
Employment Services exists to serve the hiring and employment needs of a multitude of Campus and healthcare customers. When any change is being proposed or considered, the first consideration must be how the change will be perceived, received and affect customer operational needs and service goals. Any significant changes will be implemented only after incorporating customer feedback and input into the final design.
Currently, the service delivery model is designed so that specific sets of classifications are assigned to each Employment Officer. In this model, the hiring unit may utilize several different classifications, meaning they work with several different Officers at any given time. This approach often results in inconsistent customer experiences and confusion about the hiring process. Additionally, the improved model further lends itself to a focus on executing transactions, rather than collaborative planning.
Hiring Officers serve several units at once, each with different needs and points of contact. The current model limits opportunities to learn the departments’ operational needs to any significant degree, negatively affecting their ability to better qualify applicants and develop consistent or long-term relationships with any of the hiring departments.
The Chancellor’s recent approval to hire four additional staff members will significantly improve the unit’s ability to more effectively manage volume and provide the requested level of personalized service. In the new service delivery model, the Officers will be assigned to Colleges or units rather than to classifications. This client-centered approach should serve to provide departments with one point of contact, ensuring consistency of information, dedicated customer service, and a more stable and measurable customer experience.
A central component of the new model will be to transfer certain aspects of the hiring process to the Colleges and unit. Transitioning key elements of the hiring process to the departments will enable recruiters to add value in other ways.
Allowing departments to create job postings will provide more subject matter expertise in how position needs are described. Recruiters will continue to provide assistance with identifying required and key posting elements and targeted external sources for ad placement to attract a larger pool of qualified candidates. Departments will schedule and manage interviews, extend job offers, and perform onboarding, increasing their input in all aspects of the hiring process. Recruiters will continue in their support roles, serving as liaison and troubleshooting whenever needed.
System and website enhancements have been designed toward hiring process improvements. Starting in February 2014, numerous system-related process improvements will be piloted for custom titles, including:
During the first half of 2014, additional improvements will be implemented. January saw the hiring of four new Human Resources Associates within the Employment Services specifically dedicated to the implementation of the new service delivery model.
In February the new model will be introduced to Campus leadership in the DDDH email and other appropriate forums. Recruiters will be assigned to departments, and a new working title of ‘Recruitment & Staffing Partner’ (aka Recruiter) will replace ‘Officer’ titles. Departments will be contacted to schedule meetings with their assigned Recruiter to discuss hiring needs, partnership goals, and communication expectations. An overview of the new model will be provided to hiring managers in the Hospital and Health Sciences units, with subsequent training in Civil Service hiring procedures to follow.
Full rollout of the new service model is targeted for Monday, March 3, 2014.
Through the changes outlined above, UIC Human Resources will streamline communication, build partnerships, and customize service to the unique needs of every unit. It is anticipated that the new service metrics will improve transparency and accountability. Transitioning key elements of the hiring process to Colleges and units should improve job postings, expand the pool of available talent, and accelerate onboarding. Technological enhancements will further modernize the entire hiring process, improving monitoring, eliminating redundancies and easing bottlenecks.
With the implementation of this new service model Human Resources will move toward greater efficiency, transparency, and grant greater staffing and budgetary control to hiring units.
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