Erin Fitzgerald, Creative Coordinator, Student Life Marketing and Design

As a Creative Coordinator, Erin Fitzgerald oversees a team of graphic designers who create products that help promote various events and initiatives across the University of Iowa campus. But when it comes time to add a new member to her team, Fitzgerald says finding a candidate who will be a good fit in a timely manner is paramount to preserving her team’s success, productivity, and creative process.

Unfortunately, coordinating schedules to review applications with a search committee and getting candid feedback from references can be a lengthy task. So lengthy that, before changes implemented on May 1, 2015, to reduce the use and size of search committees on campus, the hiring process took an average of 16 hours of effort for every search committee member.

But thanks to TIER initiatives drawn up by University Human Resources leaders across campus and approved by the Board of Regents, the average number of days to hire has been reduced, and the university is saving roughly $500 of effort for every person not on a search committee. Improvements like that give hiring managers like Fitzgerald more time to focus on other important tasks.

Part of that newfound efficiency comes from the use of SkillSurvey, a product that speeds up the search process by quizzing a candidate’s references on their strengths and weaknesses.

“I felt like I learned a lot more from the online reviews of the candidates than just speaking to their references over the phone. I think people are more honest sitting behind a computer ranking specific qualities about a candidate then just answering a few questions over the phone,” Fitzgerald says of SkillSurvey. “By having access to a candidate’s weaknesses and strengths, I was able to review areas where I could help them grow, or attributes they already possessed that could positively affect their experience and influence while working on our team.”

With much of the front-end work removed, Fitzgerald says it will likely be easier to put a hiring committee together and get new team members on staff.