Wednesday, November 28, 2007

R.I.M.S. - Part 4

A long journey culminated yesterday in the launch of the final major feature of our new RIMS, Virtual Edge. A year ago this month, I started my new job, and in the first week became involved with the efforts to identify and implement a new RIMS for the firm. We made our selection in late Spring, and after a fast-tracked and tumultuous implementation, finally went live at the end of August. When we went live however, it was with several pieces still yet to be launched. I wanted to wait until the last of those pieces was in place before I put up this post.

The implementation process was indeed a challenge for a number of reasons. The ADP-Virtual Edge merger had resulted in a large number of simultaneous implementations, of which we were caught in the middle of. We had a hard deadline to get the RIMS in place before college recruiting season began for obvious reasons. When we went live, it was with the core VE Professional product, providing us with the core RIMS functionality. Although there were a few bumps early on, we were able to get the system operational and everyone trained relatively quickly, which offered a tremendous improvement in technology for us compared to where we were before.

There was still more work to be done however. At the end of September, we trained our recruiters on VE's CRM tool, Pilot, and launched this in early October. We are still in the early stages of using this new tool, but I am convinced that our recruiters will find this to be a valuable and powerful tool to help them better communicate and cultivate relationships with our prospects and candidates.

Also at the beginning of October, we rolled out the Employee Referral functionality through our Employee Referral Intranet Portal. We have had the intranet site up since May, but the process was still relatively manual. The launch of this feature enabled our employees to access our job postings internally and easily submit their referrals directly into the RIMS for the first time. With this feature employees can also provide us additional information about their referrals, and we also have automated email notifications set up to notify referring employees as to the status of their referrals. New referral features that will be made available with VEs next release will make this feature even more powerful. On the downside, employees are still slow to take advantage of this self-service functionality. This is a major process change however, and one that we will hopefully continue to convince our employees the value of in the coming weeks and months.

The final piece of the puzzle however was launched yesterday. Up until yesterday, the process for our employees to pursue internal job opportunities was a challenging and convoluted one to say the least. The simple fact was that we did not have the ability to post jobs internally across the organization through our intranet. Yesterday, we went live with our Internal Career Center, which offered a direct link into RIMS for our employees to explore and apply for internal job postings easier than ever before. We expect that over time, this will greatly improve internal mobility, therefore ultimately improving our employee's career growth initiatives and reducing turnover. We realize that there are some cultural barriers to cross here, but this new functionality alone will go a long way to get us where we need to be.

Whew! It was alot of work to get us to this point. The key factor that delayed the launch of the employee referral functionality and internal job postings was the challenges that came along with providing our employees Single Sign On (SSO) access. Once the issues related to this were resolved, and we were able to set up/revise our intranet sites, we were finally able to get these important pieces into place. My boss, my teammates, our intranet and corporate communications teams, and our outstanding IT Project Team are all responsible for moving us lightyears ahead of where we were just a few months ago. RIMS is not the silver bullet, but this tool will make our recruiters more effective and efficient in what they do and how they do it, and we will now be able to tap into talent pools that were previously underutilized.

There is still more work to do with reporting, furthering usage of Pilot and employee referral self-service, and improving the data integrity particularly related to Source. It is a huge relief today though to be where we are. Thanks again to everyone within the firm and at VE for their efforts, we are in a much better place today than before without question.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Intern Conference Video

Check out this video of highlights from our Firm's Summer Intern Conference, held this year at the Q Center in St. Charles, IL. Kudos to my teammates for pulling off this great event!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Feet Back on the Ground

Eeek! It's been way too long since I've posted here, since the end of the ERE Conference in fact. Sorry for the layoff, but as I thought it would be, it's been a very, busy, tiring and exciting fall. Where have I been? Well, here's a quick recap:

- CareerXroads Colloquium, Oct. 22-24: Mark, Gerry and the Recruiting team at JP Morgan Chase were very gracious hosts for the latest Colloquium event. One major rule at the Colloquium is that what is said there, stays there, so I can't go into detail here. Very interesting discussions however regarding how some companies are bringing executive search in-house. Outside of the Colloquium itself and making some new friends, a highlight was Gerry returning a favor providing a tour to a few of us of Hoboken, his alma mater, Stevens Institute, and mid-town Manhattan. The view of Manhattan from Stevens Institute in particular was absolutely spectacular. Thanks Gerry and Mark once again!

- Global MBA/Masters Career Conference, Nov. 1-3: My first trip to Orlando was to help out at a recruiting event that included about twenty companies and MBA/Masters international students from universities across the country. I met and engaged with a number of highly talented students, as well as career center professionals from TCU and Willamette College. This was the first job fair/interview event I had done in over a year, and to be honest, I at first felt a bit out of shape and practice. Once I got warmed up though, I felt back in my element, and overall had three productive days. Hopefully we'll get a few hires out of this effort. I was also able to gather some info for a return trip to Disney next Spring.

- NRT Team Meeting, Nov. 8-9: The fact that the team I am on is virtual means that we don't get to see each other as a group very often. So when we do get together, we tend to be pretty lively and get alot accomplished. We've come a long way since the start of this year, but the really good stuff is yet to come.

I'm home for a full week now after seven straight weeks of travel, conferences and meetings. Add to that the completion of the first draft of a 17-page internal whitepaper about Source-of-Hire, creating the business case for a sourcing function and alumni program, building a new intranet site for internal job postings, Halloween, my son's baseball games, football and basketball games, getting evaluated for laser eye surgery (I'm a candidate! Yea!), and not alot of sleep, I hope you can understand why my energy around blogging hasn't quite been there lately. I can tell though that there are still some visitors to the site though and I have alot more to blog about in the coming days/weeks. Check back again soon for new posts on our new office, our RIMS implementation and launch, more on the source-of-hire whitepaper, amongst other topics.