‘We teach them how to navigate through the system, how to select the applicants and how to hire them’
Like many higher education institutions, Aims Community College partners with off-campus employers—known as community partners—to expand their work-study program.
“We’re closely tied to our community partners here in Greely, Colorado,” said Ranae Covel, HR generalist at Aims. “We reach out to libraries, museums, government organizations, and other employers in the community that have limited hiring funds to see if they’re interested in hiring work-study students.”
To streamline the student hiring process, Aims encourages community partners to post available positions in PeopleAdmin’s Applicant Tracking System—the higher education-specific applicant tracking system used to hire all employees at the community college.
“We set up a division in [ATS] called ‘off-campus work-study employers,’ and we gave the financial aid director access as the division rep for that division,” Ranae explained. “Then each employer is set up as a department, so they can create their own postings.”
This makes it easy for the financial aid office to oversee and administer student hiring.
“The feedback from our financial aid has been very positive,” Ranae said. “Our financial aid director is able to keep tabs on everything. She knows where students are in the process, and she offers help if hiring managers need any. It seems to be a very simple process.”
To prepare community partners to use ATS effectively, the financial aid director provides one-on-one training with additional support from HR. “Community partners get the same training as our internal supervisors,” Ranae said. “We teach them how to navigate through the system, how to select the applicants, and how to hire them.”
This process empowers Aims to give community partners some freedom when hiring work-study students, while still ensuring a fair and defensible hiring process. “As far as HR is concerned, we just ensure that the background checks are done, that the person is appropriately hired, and that the necessary paperwork is done,” Ranae said.
Ranae credits ATS with streamlining the student hiring process for human resources, financial aid, and community partners—and remembers how difficult it was to process student applications when using another system.
“It was not the smoothest process,” she explained. “It’s much simpler now.”