As associate director of campus programs and student activities, Nellie Hermanson is responsible for organizing activities and programming for more than 20,000 UI students across campus, planning major annual events and organizing grant funding for her department. But when it comes time to add a new member to her team, Hermanson is also charged with serving as a hiring manager — a built-in responsibility that, previously, could take as long as three months and add hours to her weekly workload.
To make the hiring process more efficient, University Human Resources leaders came up with a program to reduce search committees. The program — which omits search committees altogether for some positions, while limiting the number of people and increasing the skill level of those involved for others — was approved by the Iowa Board of Regents and implemented by Human Resources as part of a pilot project launched on May 1, 2015.
After using the process for a recent search, Hermanson says she’s already noticed a difference.
“I really like the new process because it eliminates the time necessary to have a large group of folks review all of the applications, as well as scheduling meetings to decide who to bring to campus,” Hermanson says. “Scheduling phone screenings for candidates almost immediately after the job posting ends has helped us move more quickly through the hiring process.”
Results from the pilot project — which involved 15 hires — show the program has helped reduce the number of days it takes to hire while also saving roughly $500 of effort for every person not on a search committee.
The new process has also allowed Hermanson to bring people onto her team more quickly, leaving more time for the other work she enjoys, such as helping to plan and strategically direct campus programs, like Dance Marathon.