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Berkeleyan

eRecruit to transform campus employment process
Applying, hiring for jobs will both be much easier, thanks to new online system’s improvements

| 23 July 2003

Pursuing a job at Berkeley can be a tricky and confusing process for the more than 100,000 people who seek employment here every year. And it’s a labor-intensive endeavor for those trying to fill positions in their departments. But a new online employment system should significantly reduce the frustrations associated with applying and hiring for jobs on campus.

“Applicants told us it was difficult to sift through our listings to find the positions they were most qualified for. And after they sent in resumes, there was often little or no communication about the status of their application,” says Kimberly Miller, director of Workforce Development in the Office of Human Resources. “And the paperwork required for selecting prospective candidates put a huge burden on hiring departments.”

In the past, the employment office made copies of every application received for a particular position — sometimes 500 or more per listing. Hiring departments then had to pick the copies up and lug them back to the office. After deciding which applicants would be interviewed, departments had to make new copies of their resumes for each member of the search committee. The sheer number of applications, and the cumbersome process used to disseminate them, left little time for departments to contact those not selected for an interview.

“External applicants were feeling like their applications were getting sucked into a black hole, because they rarely received any follow-up contact from us,” says Miller. “It gave the impression that the university didn’t want them, or only hires from within its own ranks.”

Now, outside applicants will use eRecruit (jobs.berkeley.edu) to apply for jobs online.

Use Blu to make key HRMS changes yourself
A new Employee Self-Service feature has been added to the Human Resources Management System (accessible under the “People” category in Blu). Using this tool, employees can establish, change, or cancel Direct Deposit of their monthly paycheck and update personal information, such as name, mailing and e-mail addresses, phone number, and emergency contact information. To use this and all other services featured on Blu, employees must visit calnet.berkeley.edu to enable their CalNet identification number.

They can search for jobs using a variety of criteria, including keywords, job category, or full-time or part-time positions. While in the past, applicants had to send in separate resumes for each position they were interested in, they now can apply for multiple jobs simultaneously by clicking a box next to each listing. The applicant’s resume will automatically be attached to every job they’ve selected. Those without a resume can fill out an online form. eRecruit employs “shopping cart” technology, so applicants can track the status of any job they’ve applied for using a log-in and password system. They can also modify their resume as needed.

Applicant information will be sent to hiring departments electronically, and they can then forward electronic copies to all members of its hiring committee. eRecruit can also be used to schedule interviews and record notes from each interview for the committee to review. To ensure timely communications, the system will automatically generate e-mails to prospective candidates throughout the process: when the application is received; when selected or rejected for an interview; and when rejected or selected as a final candidate for the job.

Those without access to computers, or lacking the necessary computer skills, can call the customer service line at 643-4443, or visit the employment office (7G University Hall) for assistance.

A true ‘Blu’ employee portal
Current staff who want to search and apply for open positions on campus will access eRecruit through “Blu,” a new online portal that puts several essential business systems in one convenient place. (Both eRecruit and Blu experienced some technical difficulties after their debut on July 14, but those problems have been largely resolved, say system administrators.)

Before Blu, employees had to figure out which departments performed which functions in order to get things done, says Amanda Bardin Leathern of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services (BAS), which sponsors Blu. The portal, she says, puts all these functions in one location, and categorizes the information according to the service offered, not who provides it.

“This portal represents a new, innovative way of doing business on campus,” says BAS Vice Chancellor Horace Mitchell. “In the past, it was a challenge for employees to navigate our business environment, but Blu will provide them with a format that is both easy to use and convenient.”

To use Blu (blu.berkeley.edu), employees will need a CalNet ID and passphrase (calnet.berkeley.edu). This will give them access to all the various applications available on Blu and reduces the need for multiple log-ins and passwords.

Currently, Blu contains two categories: “People,” which includes eRecruit and the Human Resources Management System (HRMS), and “Buying,” which provides access to the Office Depot and furniture purchasing sites, mail and printing services, and more.

“Blu is meant to be a one-stop resource for Berkeley’s 13,000-plus employees,” says Tessa Michaels, chief technology officer for BAS. “The categories will grow over time as we meet with each of the campus’s service providers to help design and prioritize which services are offered. Eventually, we hope to add financial, technology, transportation, safety, health, and travel categories.”

The portal is also customizable, so employees can tailor their “My Blu” homepage according to their needs and interests. For example, Leathern has included the campus NewsCenter, “People Finder” directory, and CalAgenda calendaring system on her Blu homepage, as well as “My Links,” a page allowing employees to add their own important sites.

“As discussion forums and other interactive functions are added, we hope it also creates a sense of community on campus,” says Leathern. “How the portal develops will be guided by the input we receive from users, so we encourage them to click on the portal’s feedback button to let us know what they think.”