Oregon State University (OSU) engaged the international consulting firm Baker Tilly to review OSU’s delivery of human resources services. They conducted one-on-one interviews and focus groups with over 150 people across the university as well as an in-depth review of policies and procedures. Baker Tilly identified a set of challenges that included concerns with the organizational structure, information systems, several specific transactional processes, and a lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities.

The review by Baker Tilly identified the student recruitment process (from initiation of the student posting → recruitment → hire) as inefficient and cumbersome, utilizing too many resources and having unacceptable cycle times. A project team was identified and assembled to restructure and streamline the student hiring process. As a result of their work, a long-term IT solution was proposed to further reduce the workload and improve efficiency while increasing transparency, consistency and communication. Through stakeholder outreach efforts, and increased collective bargaining agreement compliance issues, the business need to expand the scope of the IT solution to include Graduate Assistants became clear. Adding this population to the long-term IT solution will greatly benefit student, staff and faculty, while providing a basis for a system that will expand to other appointment types and processes in the future.

Business problem

OSU hires and processes approximately 8,330 student appointments and 2,660 graduate student appointments each year. Current systems and processes have brought feedback that recruiting and hiring both hourly student employees and graduate assistant appointments is overly difficult and time-consuming. Specific issues and concerns are:

  • Time from notice of the need to hire a student employee to integrating the new student employee into the workplace, including new hire paperwork and orientation is too long
  • Inconsistent processes across colleges, units, and programs. Too many people needed in the process
  • Highly manual process with high level of error rate in offer letters and appointment setup
  • Too many steps in the process

Proposed solution- IT appointment database system

The appointment database system is an IT solution that will support the following components of the recruitment and hiring process:

  • Position request input from the supervisor or designated representative
  • Routing for budget approval and HR or department liaison to create recruitment system posting
  • Upload of applicant information from recruitment system
  • Hire request information following the recruitment and selection process
  • Eligibility and restricted list verification
  • CHC/MVHC indicator that prompts distribution of email and forms using DocuSign followed by manual entry into the system of results to prompt next steps
  • Creation of offer letter and work assignment form that can be routed and signed via DocuSign
  • Welcome email and hiring paperwork using DocuSign
  • Real-time integration with Banner and OnBase
  • Enable visible tracking and dashboard displaying the status of hires for all stakeholders.
  • Phased growth and approach starting with student hourly appointments and graduate student appointments with subsequent phases being classified and unclassified appointment types

Project objectives

The transition team will convene stakeholders across the university, including representatives from colleges/units, human resources, information technology, and payroll in a project team or subject matter expert work groups. These groups will complete the following project objectives:

  • Create and provide feedback on a process map that demonstrates a diagram of processes, systems and stakeholders involved in the system and the workflow associated therein
  • Create a system that will reduce the number of systems a user has to interface with in order to complete the recruitment and hiring process
  • Allow for a dashboard for stakeholders to review the status of a recruitment, identifying next steps and approximate process time expectations
  • Develop a plan which includes testing, real-time feedback and builds in a process improvement cycle, as well as detailed communication plan for implementation to various stakeholders
  • Present new system capabilities, projected cost and resources, communication and implementation plans to Project Sponsors (Mike Green, Toni Doolen, Donna Chastain, Lois Brooks and Tammy Jennings)
  • Build the initial system with the capacity to expand to additional appointment types and functionality
  • Final plan and system development to be completed and ready for implementation by Spring of 2018 to go live for Summer 2018 appointments