University pilots simplified employee appointment process

13 December 2021

When the university has selected a candidate to hire and is ready to generate an offer letter and add them to our employee database, the process is called employee appointment. The process for extending an appointment is "reappointment".

As part of the HR discovery work in the Service Excellence Transformation (SET) program, this process was identified as a high priority area for improvement for a number of reasons:

  • The appointment process took more than a week due to inconsistencies in letter templates and errors
  • The letters were produced manually and required handwritten employee signatures, taking additional time
  • There was no visibility/tracking of requests once the process was initiated, causing lack of transparency, uncertainty, and frustration for hiring managers and initiators
  • Appointment details were vetted/reviewed at the stage of uploading into the employee database, after the contract has been signed by all parties. When corrections were needed, the process had to start at the beginning.

We realized the process could be streamlined and centralized to reduce the workload for HR Service Partners and faculties/units. The overall process was significantly improved through a combination of process redesign, digitization of documents, and automation of workflows. The new system allows for details to be reviewed and approved before a contract is signed to ensure accuracy and prevent delays.

In November, Shared Services and SET piloted a redesigned employee appointment process automated with electronic signatures and digital forms. At the beginning of the pilot, it took an average of 10 days to complete an appointment. Faculties, units and Shared Services adjusted to the new process, and became faster and more agile. By the end of the pilot, in week four, we completed appointments in an average of 0.5 days! Over the course of the month, teams asked fewer and fewer technical and process questions, which helped us refine the system and be proactive about problem-solving and FAQs.

Nine faculties piloted the new process, and their feedback helped identify some areas for improvement. They also indicated the new process was streamlined and efficient. They appreciated the new initiator dashboard, which provides transparency into the progress of the processing.

Throughout December, SET and Shared Services will continue to collaborate to make improvements and enhance the user experience. In January, we will roll out the new process—including reappointments—and provide training. Once fully implemented, we expect the new process to help hiring managers and initiators with an easy process, reduced manual work, greater consistency, increased transparency, streamlined automation and integrated quality control to prevent errors. The new process also offers us data collection so we can continue to innovate our service.



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