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Improving the Hiring Process for Chesapeake IT Consultants (CIC)

Improving the Hiring Process for Chesapeake IT Consultants (CIC)

  1. Strategic Use of Technology

CIC is an IT consultant firm that provides innovative information technology and business solutions to businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Anticipated growth of the company due to plans to increase the number of contracts as well as scour other market niches particularly in foreign nations has created a real challenge for the organization. The current manual system of recruitment will not be adequate to meet the personally needs of the organization going into the future. To gain competitive advantages and ensure superior service delivery to customers, the organization needs to implement creative IT solutions to improve the hiring process. This report entails an analysis, system requirements, and recommended IT solution.

  1. Organizational Strategy

Organizational strategy is an umbrella term that is typically used to refer to all the different actions that companies intend to take in order to achieve their long-term goals and objectives (Alkhafaji, & Nelson, 2013). CIC organizational strategy is to best position the company for continued success in the future by clearly identifying core competencies, moving with agility and flexibility, and delivering consistently high-quality service to customers.  An applicant tracking system will effectively support this strategic position. The system will ensure a ready and continuous pool of qualified professionals to fulfil present and future contract needs.

  • Competitive Advantage

Competitive advantage refers to a superiority that a given organization attains in the market through the provision of better and greater value to their customers as compared to other organizations. Establishing a competitive advantage is one of the most essential aims of any business as it is a precursor to success (Wagner, & Hollenbeck, 2014). CIC operates in a competitive environment that contains large IT consulting companies as well as numerous smaller organizations each with unique market niches, skills set, and established client bases. The new hiring system can be used to increase the company’s competitive advantage by ensuring efficient recruitment and quick application processing. Therefore, the company will be able to snap up talent before competitors do ensuring that CIC stays ahead in delivering the best and most reliable customer service. 

  • Strategic Objectives

CIC has four primary strategic objectives within its strategic plan that are to be accomplished if success is to be attained and sustained. However, to be implemented, strategic goals have to be converted into strategic objectives which are clearer and more specific statements. The table below outlines corresponding objectives for each strategic goal and provides an explanation of how the new hiring system will aid in the attainment of the objectives.

Strategic Goal  (from case study)Objective (clear, measurable and time-bound)Explanation (2-3 sentences)
Increase CIC Business Development by winning new contracts in the areas of IT ConsultingCompetitively bid for 15 request for proposals from organizations and government agencies in foreign countries within the next six monthsTo enhance its niche to other countries across the globe, CIC should recruit qualified personnel within these new regions. The hiring system will streamline the hiring process ensuring that new talent can be easily and quickly scouted, evaluated, and acquired
Build a cadre of consultants internationally to provide remote research and analysis support to CIC’s onsite teams in the U. S.    Increase international recruiting efforts and employ 5 research analysts in the next 12 months.The new hiring system would allow applicants from around the world to apply online, increasing the number of international applicants.  It would enable the recruiters to carefully monitor the applications for these positions, identify the necessary research and analysis skills needed, and screen resumes for these key skills.   Recruiters could quickly view the number of applicants and identify when additional recruiting efforts are needed to meet the objective.
Continue to increase CIC’s ability to quickly provide high quality consultants to awarded contracts to best serve the clients’ needsEnhance the organization’s recruiting efforts and employ six new HR staff armed with the necessary skills to assess the job market and company needs and hire needed consultants that are ready to work when needed The new hiring system will both help in the recruitment of the new HR staff as well as enable the recruited staff to identify and recruit competitive consultants and other personnel
Increase CIC’s competitive advantage in the IT consulting marketplace by increasing its reputation for having IT consultants who are highly skilled in leading edge technologies and innovative solutions for its clients  Provide professional development opportunities for 50 new graduates showing high promise in IT consultancyThe new hiring system will be vital in helping locate promising individuals to be enrolled in the professional development programs which will later form a ready pool for recruiting new and highly qualified employees

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  • Decision-Making

The ability to react to changes quickly by making the right decisions is important for business success and profitability. Good decisions and dynamism is dependent on the availability of relevant and appropriate information. The three levels of decision-making within the organization are; strategic level, managerial level, and operational level. Different forms of information are required at each level of decision-making. The table below outlines specific decisions at different levels supported by the hiring system

RoleLevel as defined in IS Course ModuleExample of Possible Decision Supported by Hiring SystemExample of Information the Hiring System Could Provide to Support Your Example Decision
Senior/Executive Managers (Decisions made by the CEO and the CFO at CIC supported by the hiring system.)Strategic levelOpen acquisition centers based on areas where the best talents are locatedInformation on current business needs and requirements within the IT environment
Middle Managers (Decisions made by the Director of HR and the Manager of Recruiting supported by the hiring system.)Managerial levelDecisions on the individual pay structure and allowances for each employee  Information on the cost comparison between hiring or outsourcing
Operational Managers (Decisions made by the line managers in the organization who are hiring for their projects supported by the hiring system.)Operational levelDecisions on whether to hire full-time internal employees or rely on outsourced staffInformation on the qualifications, skills set, performance, and productivity of the employees
  1. Process Analysis
  2. Hiring Process

Hiring and recruitment are one of the most essential processes for any organization as they facilitate the acquisition of highly skilled and competent talent. It is the process through which organizations locate applicants for employment and evaluate job applications to ensure that only those individuals who are the best fit for the organization have been selected. It is therefore important that organizations establish a formal process, that includes a series of systematic steps, for the recruitment of new employees (Trevor, & Cable, 2014).  The utilization of technology to automate the hiring process also holds great potential for improving organizational outcomes (Nikolaou, & Oostrom, 2015). The table below discusses the steps in the CIC hiring process, states who is responsible for each step, discusses how the system will support the new process, and the business benefits of the improved process.

CIC Hiring Process
As-Is Process     (Part 1)Responsible CIC Position   (Part 1)To-Be Process – How the System Will Support the New Process (Part 2)Business Benefits of Improved Process   (Part 2)
    
Recruiter receives application from job hunter via Postal Service Mail.    RecruiterReceive application via on-line submission through CIC Employment Website and store in applicant database.More efficient submission process decreases time needed to receive and begin processing applications. This will present a positive image to potential employees and help CIC compete for top IT talent.
2.  Recruiter actively seeks out active candidates via LinkedIn and other avenues to complement passive recruitment via job posts by reaching out to potential candidates who are not actively seekingRecruiterFilters applicants on potential job sites based on organizational needs and available job positionsEfficient and faster access to a wider pool of potential candidates
3. Screen the job applications based on the established criteriaRecruiting staffJob applications arrive by email through the application tracking system and compared to pre-determined criteriaThe applicant tracking system is faster and efficient as it arranges cover letters and resumes in a manner that is
4.Select qualified applicants whose CV’s and resumes meet the required criteriaRecruiting staffRank potential candidates so that only the best can be selectedThe business benefits accrued are reduced time wastage in applicant selection
5.Conduct screening interviews with the selected applicantsHuman resource assistantEnter feedback and ratings in the system.A more effective and efficient process that is quicker and cost-effective
6.Conduct in-person interviews with the selected candidates to evaluate their suitability The HR manager and RecruitersSystem provides clear yet concise summaries of relevant candidate info and proper interview questionsA more effective and efficient process that is less time-consuming
7. Conduct talent assessments for the applicants during and after the interviewsManager of RecruitingSystem provides standardized tests to assess talent, personality type, emotional intelligence, and physical suitability for the jobThe system saves time by allowing for a quick consolidation of test results
8.Carry out comprehensive background checks on the candidatesRecruiterSystem avails information related to criminal records, credit status, criminal records, and employability eligibility and historyOffers a more cost-effective and a less time-consuming way to access relevant information pertaining to candidates’ backgrounds
9. make decisions on the best candidates for the jobThe Hiring ManagerSystem avails summarized information regarding candidates’ interview performancesFacilitates a quick and accurate evaluation of candidates thereby saving in time and ensuring the acquisition of the best talent
10.Conduct a secondary  candidate selection to provide a backup pool to cater for any emerging recruitment needs HR manager and RecruittersSystem avails summarized information regarding candidates’ interview performancesFacilitates a quick and accurate evaluation of candidates thereby saving in time and ensure a highly qualified and skilled backup pool of talent
11.Conduct reference checks for the selected candidates for the various job positionsAdministrative assistantSystem avails relevant contact and other details necessary to verify reference informationEnables for a quick and accurate verification of employment details, including job strengths, performances, and weaknesses
12. Ted prepares offer letter based on information from recruiter and puts in the mail to the chosen candidate. EXAMPLE PROVIDED – (Retain text as #12 but remove this label and gray shading in your report)Administrative AssistantPrepares job offer letter by selecting information needed for specific candidate; system completes the template with stored information, and Ted reviews and emails to candidate.More efficient offer process presents positive image to applicants and decreases time needed to prepare offer letter, and enable CIC to hire in advance of the competition.
  • Expected Improvements

An evaluation of the CIC case study reveals that there are numerous manual processes, overwhelming paperwork, difficulty scheduling interviews and many other challenges that are direct consequences of the current manual hiring system. These challenges are important as they negatively affect the organizational outcomes and hinders the attainment of proper competitive advantages. The table below provides examples of issues from the case study and how technology solutions can be utilized to foster adequate and sufficient improvements in these areas.

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AreaCurrent Issues (from the Case Study)Improvements (due to use of technology)
Collaboration:      The Hiring Manager states that he isn’t as responsive to HR as he could be since recruiting is only one of the many areas he is responsible for.  Therefore, he depends on Recruiters to stay on top of the recruiting process.   An efficient system with all information in one place, easily accessible and updated in real time could make his recruiting job easier; and he could devote time to effectively working collaboratively and proactively with HR on his staffing needs.
Communications: Explain how a hiring system could improve internal and external communicationsThe recruiters noted that they are usually the middle people in the process which requires communication and coordination with both the applicant as well as the HR manager and others involved in the process. However, competition with other job responsibilities makes communication a real headacheThe automated system will provide a platform where all entities in the recruitment and hiring process, including the anxious applicant, can communicate and interact in real-time to ensure that things are moving smoothly, efficiently, and quickly, and that everyone if in the loop
Workflow: Explain how a hiring system could improve the CIC hiring process by providing a consistent structure for each participant to perform his/her part in the hiring process.The administrative assistant noted that there is a lot of paperwork and long processes involved between the screening and selection of the candidates, receiving feedback from the hiring manager, planning for the interview, scheduling and conducting the interview, collecting team feedback on the best candidate, and coordinating paperwork and payroll for new hiresAn automated system will help to considerably improve the efficiency of the organization by making workflow more effective and appropriate. By eliminating the paperwork and integrating communication, the system will ensure improved coordination and enhanced efficiencies in organizational workflow thereby saving on costs, time, and duplicate processes and steps
Relationships: Explain how implementing an enterprise hiring system could foster stronger relationships with applicants/potential employees.The CIO pointed out that the success of the organization is dependent on the ability to satisfy the requirements of the clients and maintain a reputation of high reliability, credibility, and security. However, such is not possible with the current manual systems in place and this blocks an important avenue for boosting relationships between the organization and the potential employeesThrough improved communication, collaborations, reliability, and security, the clients will be influenced to hold the organization in high regard and so there will be increased trust which will eventually transform into better, meaningful, and more fulfilling relationships
  1. Requirements
  2. Stakeholders’ Interests

Human resource projects within any organization impacts on more than just the employees and managers within the organization. Virtually all individuals and entities that the organization has a connection with are stakeholders for the human resource department. The success of any human resource project depends on how well the company involves, engages, and integrates everyone within the organization to participate towards the attainment of HR as well as overall business goals (Vanhoucke, 2015). The table below details the interests and objectives of the new hiring system for the primary stakeholders listed based on their organizational roles and case study information.

RoleSpecific problems related to the hiring process How a technology solution to support the hiring process could address the challenge
i.       CEOHaving the right people at the right place to fulfill contract requirements and be able to quickly hire talented staff to fulfill future contractThe system tracks potential candidates who are a fit for the organization thereby providing a ready pool of employees as and when the need arises
ii.      CFO              How to reduce the bottom line as much as possibleThe new hiring system will improve cost-per-hire by automating tasks thereby reducing the number of required human hours to fill a job position  
iii.     CIO               Ensuring proper system interoperabilityThe new hiring system will be integrated within the existing architecture and systems and can be quickly deployed thereby allowing the organization to leverage industry best-practices
iv.     Director of Human ResourcesAdequately meet the organization’s hiring and staffing demandsThe new hiring system has been designed to simplify, automate, and fasten the hiring process
v.      Manager of RecruitingTo recruit effectively and efficiently so as to beat competitors to the best talents availableThe ne hiring system greatly reduces the time-to-hire, allows for quick access to highly qualified individuals, improved the quality of hire, and improves the efficiency and productiveness of the hiring process
vi.     RecruitersQuickly screen resumes and forward bets applicants while keeping the potential candidates in the loopThe system provides concise summaries of resumes and includes applicant portals for quick feedback and other communications
vii.    Administrative AssistantProperly coordinate paperwork and other activities with other entities in the hiring processAutomation reduces the need for paperwork while stakeholder integration and better technology tools facilitates quick and easy coordination
viii.   Hiring Manager (Functional supervisor the new employee would be working for.)Have well-qualified and sufficiently motivated employees to fulfill contract needsAn electronic dashboard with relevant information on job openings and qualified applicants will ensure the manager stays on top of all HR issues

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  • Defining Requirements

When undertaking the project of selection and implementation of the new human resource hiring and application tracking system, it is important that CIC take into consideration the functional and non-functional requirements that should be met. Functional requirements specify what the system should do while non-functional requirements specify how the system should perform particular functions (Adams, 2015). The following are the functional and non-functional system requirements based on information from the case study.

Functional requirements

  1. The system shall improve current hiring processes as well as future functionalities
  2. The system shall help improve the bottom line by promoting lean-and-mean organization and support processes
  3. The system shall receive online application submissions from relevant applicants
  4. The system shall summarize interview performances for all applicants
  5. The system shall avail criminal records for all applicants
  6. The system shall provide clear yet concise summaries of job applications including candidates

Non-functional requirements

  1. The system shall integrate with existing organization architecture and systems
  2. The system shall allow applicants to create portals where they can log in using their credentials
  3. The system shall only allow authorized personnel to access the hiring information
  4. All users will be satisfied with the usability of the new hiring system
  5. The system shall improve the efficiency of the hiring process

References

Adams, K. M. G. (2015). Nonfunctional Requirements in Systems Analysis and Design. Cham: Springer International Publishing: Imprint: Springer

Alkhafaji, A., & Nelson, A. R. (2013). Strategic Management: Formulation, Implementation, and Control in a Dynamic Environment. Routledge Publishers.

Nikolaou, I., & Oostrom, J. K. (2015). Employee Recruitment, Selection, and Assessment: Contemporary Issues for Theory and Practice. Psychology Press

Trevor, K. Y., & cable, M. D. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Recruitment. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press

Vanhoucke, M. (2013). Project management with dynamic scheduling: Baseline scheduling, risk analysis and project control. Heidelberg: Springer

Wagner, A. J., & Hollenbeck, R. J. (2014). Organizational Behavior: Securing Competitive Advantage. Routledge Publishers.

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