Launching Electronic Offer Letters at Portland State University
Portland State University, a longtime PeopleAdmin customer, was an early adopter of digital human resources and talent management systems—PSU’s HR and IT teams are a cutting-edge group. It’s not surprising, then, that Portland was also one of the first HigherEd institutions to implement PeopleAdmin’s electronic offer letters feature to further streamline and digitize their application and onboarding processes. Christina Kraus, PSU’s Director for HR Employment Services, told us more about this implementation.
Electronic Offer Letters
“We did a bunch of brainstorming here at PSU with users across campus and HR, considering our workflows from a technical and a practical standpoint,” said Christina. “Because the offer letter process was decentralized, it was almost impossible to avoid errors on offer letters that came into HR.” The unique requirements and position types in the different schools within Portland State University meant that each school created and approved offer letters internally, before passing them on to the human resources office through the internal HRIS. This gave schools a great deal of autonomy to make sure the offer letters worked for the specific goals and needs of their managers and employees. Unfortunately, that autonomy also resulted in small compliance errors that needed correcting in the HRIS, adding to the administrative burden of the HR team.
Since PSU was already using PeopleAdmin’s platform for recruitment and hiring, adding PeopleAdmin’s electronic offer letter feature was a simple solution to this challenge. By moving the entire workflow into PeopleAdmin, the offer letters were connected to the hiring proposals, and HR gained insight into the entire process while individual schools maintained their ability to shape the requirements and goals of the offer letters.
“Electronic offer letters have made the process easier for everyone,” Christina says. “Departments still build the hiring proposal and rout it through to their internal team for approval, as they used to, but now that the offer letter is connected to the hiring proposal, they get approved at the same time by the same folks. Connecting the two took away a step, so HR gets the letters in a timely manner and the team makes fewer corrections.”
Christina noted that electronic offer letters have made a big difference for HR compliance purposes, easing the burden on all members of the team. The next step is to roll out these new offer letters to more employee groups, including faculty, so processes are standardized across campus.
Tips for other customers
As a long-time PeopleAdmin user, Christina had had a tip for other customers. “Be creative with your workflows,” she commented. “We’ve gotten pretty creative over the years and it allows us a lot of flexibility to move things around.”
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