GV’s HR department revamps hiring process


GVL / Meghan Landgren

Steven Lawrence, Staff Writer

Before Grand Valley State University’s spring break, members of Human Resources (HR) and other university departments held a week-long series of meetings to help improve the hiring process for faculty and staff members. These meetings all culminated in one final event held on Mar. 4, which unveiled this new process to members of the university. 

“It took too long to hire somebody and we risked the chance of losing the applicant to either someone else or they just lost interest,” said HR Business Partner and Talent Acquisition Advisor Megan Bravo. “We’re trying to cut the time for the hiring process in half in order for us to reach a more successful end goal.” 

After the initial interviews, the current process that the university uses to hire new applicants sees a long gap between the final interview and notifying the applicants that the university is interested in hiring them. Several members of the HR department said this process caused them to lose applicants and created a long hiring timeline. 

“The goal is to decrease the amount of time from application to hire by 50%,” said Senior Wellness and HR Communications Manager Lindsey DesArmo. “After diving deep into the current process, the team discovered searches were taking anywhere from 3 to 7 months. GVSU recognized the need to speed up the recruitment process to capture top talent and stay competitive.”

The goal of this new process is to streamline hiring new applicants and break the process down into three simple first steps: define the position, evaluate candidates and hire the candidate. This streamlined approach should allow GVSU to hire more employees in less time and give the university access to more candidates. 

“GVSU recognized the need to speed up the recruitment process to capture top talent and stay competitive,” DesArmo said. “Time requirements for search chair involvement in the process has also been improved in the new process.”

This newer process contains some parts that worked in the old system and incorporates new elements that make the new process work better. This process is broadly known as the ‘kaizen’ process. The term comes from the Japanese word, which means breaking something down to its root and constantly improving it to help make it better. 

“One big thing that we’re improving upon is that a lot of the hiring process and other things that need to be done before we can hire somebody will be done before we even begin the process of looking at possible candidates,” Bravo said.  

The new process won’t have any effect on student employees. Despite the fact that these hiring changes will only affect faculty and staff, the HR department believes this is an important change for the entire university. More information about the new hiring process, including a recap of the Mar. 4 event, can be found at GVSU’s HR web page.