CivicHR Streamlines Hiring Processes in Spartanburg County, SC

Spartanburg County, South Carolina used CivicHR to transform its paper-based hiring process into a streamlined, talent acquisition process. Today, citizens can apply for positions with the county anytime, anywhere, while Spartanburg County's human resource team is able to identify and move qualified talent through the hiring process more efficiently, saving everyone time, while adding valuable staff to Spartanburg's administration.

The County of Spartanburg, South Carolina: Community Profile

The County of Spartanburg (The County) is a southern community with a history of innovation, and a diverse culture. In Spartanburg, the County’s long history as a hub of international manufacturing melds with its population of young college students earning an education at one of the county’s seven colleges and universities. Stimulated by such career and educational opportunities, Spartanburg is growing rapidly, while still maintaining its presence as an innovative, industrial town.

The County’s population growth has created a large, diverse pool of applicants seeking civic employment. When The County's administration began speaking with CivicPlus, they quickly realized that their traditional paper-based job application workflows were hindering its ability to recruit, screen, and hire qualified talent. They realized that they needed a talent management strategy that streamlined workflows, automated pre-screening of candidates, and tools to help them more efficiently talent-match applicants to open positions.

Before CivicHR

According to Lisa Hart, Spartanburg County Assistant Director of Human Resources, when she came on-board at The County in June 2014, its human resource department was operating an entirely paper-based recruitment, talent screening, and hiring process.

“For those who wanted to complete or hand in their applications in person, they would have to physically come to our office during business hours. For many, that meant taking time off from their current job. For others, if they weren’t able to come to our office in person during business hours, they weren’t able to apply. We were potentially missing out on qualified talent, or asking a significant time commitment of some applicants who didn’t even meet our hiring criteria.”

-Tony Bell

Director of Human Resources

Spartanburg County, SC

According to Tony Bell, Director of Human Resources at Spartanburg County, the process of managing paper applications made it difficult for applicants needing to complete a paper application in person, and caused The County to potentially miss qualified candidates.

“Our office hours are weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., so we were giving applicants who needed to apply in person a very small window,” said Bell. “Plus our office is in downtown Spartanburg. Depending on where the applicant lived or worked, they may have had to drive 15 or 20 minutes just to get to our office, which meant if they were already employed, they may have had to take time off from work just to apply for a position with The County. It was not a user-friendly process for the working person.”

Beyond the inconveniences of obtaining paper applications, tracking and managing applicants though the review process between the Human Resource staff and departments was also a challenge.

“At times, a qualified applicant would apply but in the hustle and bustle of our other daily responsibilities, an application would inadvertently get misplaced or sent to the wrong department. It didn’t happen often, but with such a manual process, human error can occur. We also knew that we were losing out on qualified candidates due to our turn-around time. Our previous process took weeks to complete. We had to compile paper applications, mail them to the applicable department’s hiring manager, and from there they had to be individually reviewed. If during that time, a qualified candidate didn’t hear anything from us, even a confirmation that we received their application, they may move on to another position, which meant we were losing qualified candidates. Even for those applicants who came down to our office in person, we didn’t have a way to follow-up with them on the status of their application. It was very discouraging for many applicants.”

-Tony Bell

Director of Human Resources

Spartanburg County, SC

The Human Resource team at Spartanburg County made a commitment to transition to a talent management system that would enable The County to recruit more qualified applicants, move them through the screening process in a timely manner, and hire the right people for the right positions. This process also had to improve the application experience for interested community members. The team at Spartanburg County turned to CivicHR for a customizable talent management system that would streamline their workflows and enhance the applicant experience.

After CivicHR

According to Bell, even though the process of moving from a paper-based talent management system to an online system was a paradigm shift for both the administration and the community, the transition was well-received.

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“I was pleasantly surprised. I hoped it would be a success but I was hesitant that people wouldn’t like the idea of solely working through an online system. On the contrary, it has been a huge success. Our citizens appreciate that they can apply for open positions at anytime from anywhere. They can apply at 9 a.m., or 2 a.m., or on weekends, or any time during the hiring timeframe. Our hiring managers can look at application immediately so they don’t need to wait for human resources to collect all the applications and provide them in bulk. It’s also cut down on our lobby traffic. The transition to CivicHR has been a really, really, good thing for Spartanburg County."

-Tony Bell

Director of Human Resources

Spartanburg County, SC

During the transition to CivicHR, Spartanburg County worked with its implementation team to solve their need for a custom application for their Sheriff’s Department. The solution was to create a standard, initial application for all positions that obtains basic candidate information. After the initial application is pre-screened, only those qualified candidates receive a secondary follow-up application and are sent the required documentation as the next step in the hiring process for prospective law enforcement officers.

“The new process that we have devised for our Sheriff’s Department using CivicHR works much better than our previous paper-based process,” said Bell. “Before, we would give our Sheriff’s Department a pile of paperwork with every applicant, regardless of whether the applicant was qualified. Now, only qualified candidates are passed on to the Sheriff’s Department. It has significantly cut down on the number of documentation being reviewed for each applicant, making the screening process much easier for everyone.”

According to Hart, one of the greatest benefits of the CivicHR Applicant Tracking system from both a workflow and a citizen communication perspective, is the system’s ability to automatically pre-screen applicants, and send notifications when an applicant has not been selected for an interview. Using CivicHR’s dynamic candidate assessment feature, job specific criteria can be defined to require specific baseline criteria such as years of experience or educational accomplishments. The system can then flag those applicants that do not meet the required criteria, alleviating the need for human resource departments to manually complete this step. The candidate assessments feature is a significant time saver for positions in which hundreds of applications are received.

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In addition, CivicHR provides an automated solution that allows human resource managers to bulk notify applicants at various steps in the process, such as when their application has been received, if they have been selected for interviews, and when it has been determined that they will not be moving forward in the application process, or any other status changes the county deems appropriate.

“Before CivicHR, we couldn’t notify a citizen if their application was received, or if they were not going to be scheduled for an interview. Now, using just one tab in the CivicHR Applicant Tracking system, we can select all applicable candidates to notify them that they were not selected for an interview. It gives these citizens the information they need to move on in their job search, and provides them with a better experience interacting with our administration.”

-Lisa Hart

Assistant Director of Human Resources

Spartanburg County, SC


Top Workflow Management Tools:

  • Dynamic Candidate Assessments
  • Job Management Module
  • Candidate Communication
  • Job Alerts

Goals for the New Talent Management System

Move to a digital solution that would alleviate the need for manual, paper-based application collection, review, and processing, and allow citizens to complete and submit applications anytime, from anywhere.

Track applicants through the hiring process to ensure that no qualified candidates are inadvertently passed over throughout the process.

Improve the experience of citizen applicants by communicating with them throughout the hiring process through automated notifications.

Enable department specific applications to accommodate those departments with unique requirements and hiring processes.

According to the human resources team at Spartanburg County, the CivicHR talent management system has allowed them to accomplish their goals of streamlining their talent acquisition process, and improving the experience for citizen applicants.

“I can’t speak highly enough about the whole tool,” said Hart. “Thanks to CivicHR, we are definitely identifying more qualified talent. Ultimately, it means the hiring of more talented employees who are best suited to help us meet our goals of continuing to make Spartanburg County a great place to live and work.”


Top Workflow Management Tools

  • Dynamic Candidate Assessments  Custom job specific assessments allow human resource administrators to gather job specific applicant responses, and screen candidates for competencies that have been identified for each position.
  • Job Management Module ­­– Human resource managers can update all job descriptions and capture department feedback from within one centralized system. Using these detailed job descriptions to post openings helps to better recruit qualified talent for open positions.
  • Job Alert – Allow citizens to sign-up to receive notifications when applicable positions become available. This proactive citizen notification helps ensure interested and qualified candidates enter the applicant pool.

To determine how much your community could stand to save with an applicant tracking software solution from CivicHR, estimate your saving using our ROI Calculator.

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CivicPlus is a cloud-based solutions company working with over 2,000 local governments including municipalities, townships and counties. CivicPlus has been selected by Inc. Magazine as "One of the Fastest-Growing Privately Held Companies in the U.S." since 2011. To view more information about CivicPlus' talent acquisition management software, CivicHR, click here.

Author
Jessica Marabella

Jessica Marabella

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Rochester, and a Master of Arts degree in Advertising from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She has over ten years of experience in communications with a focus on writing in the digital marketing space.