This article was updated on July 22, 2018.
In this installment of Humans of HR, we meet Monica Baker, chief brand officer for PyraMax Bank in Wisconsin. The community-owned bank has nine branches in various cities surrounding the Milwaukee area. Monica oversees HR, marketing and retail lending and is uniquely positioned as a thought leader on all things people. During her 23-year tenure, she's seen a lot change, and much to her delight, she's managed to streamline the recruitment process to one that's paperless in that time.
In part one of our three-part series with Monica, we talk to her about how to recruit in a tight labor market and how streamlining has helped her be a more standout, courteous business.
How Have You Changed the Way You Do Business Because of the Tight Market?
We now rely on our internal referral program, so we're paying employees for referrals. Also, we're drilling down in our database contacting people who applied in the past to see if they're still looking. We leave the door open quite widely when it comes to rehires who were good employees. Sometimes, people need to make a change in their lives for whatever reason, so we leave that door open and it's worked really well for us. We also dataline our existing talent along with our partner, Milwaukee Jobs, when we're doing job postings, and we work with the high schools and colleges to recruit for part-time employment.
In What Ways Have You Streamlined the Recruitment Process?
Everything's electronic now, so that's been a huge asset. We post to @MilwaukeeJobs and on our website, and we put the links in our integrated systems so they can directly apply. Then I get an email and simply log in to the system. We set up initial interviews and are able to send our branches any second interviews electronically. Then we hire. All of our benefits end up paperless — while some still require the paper, they are then imaged. It's saved a lot of time and effort.
It's even saved time in communication with applicants. If we see an application and we're not interested, we simply choose a template in our system that lets them know. I think it's important to contact people when they're no longer being considered. A lot of employers don't extend that courtesy. But I always tell people we'll get back to them either by phone or email. That's where streamlining — and the ability to just zip off an email — has really been beneficial. And the email is housed in our system in their electronic file.
Has Streamlining the Process Reduced Mistakes and Has It Enhanced the Quality of Recruitment?
Absolutely. There's no duplication of keystrokes. It's an electronic journey for an applicant. From the time they apply to the time they're hired, it's all already keyed in. Even the affirmative action information — when an applicant applies, they complete that information and it flows over into their reports. I think from both perspectives it's vastly improved because it's a very simple process. It's very safe and efficient to hire an employee.
Any Advice for HR Leaders Who Want to Simplify Recruitment?
Take advantage of all the automation that you possibly can. Sometimes, it's a lot to set up something on the front end, but once it's set up, it's timesaving, efficient and user-friendly.