Customer Success Story: San Diego Community College District

Time savings and new integrations with a long-time partner

Andrea Gonzales, Employment Supervisor, has been working for the San Diego Community College District for 30 years, and has seen a lot of change in her department. SDCCD has been working with PeopleAdmin for a long time, and Andrea recently shared her story about working with Applicant Tracking System.

“When I first started at SDCCD, we were using an application system that was half computerized and half on paper,” Andrea said. “Applicants would fill out a paper application and then we would enter all their data into our system, so we would have it digitally. When we were looking for a new solution, PeopleAdmin just made sense. It seemed like an easier process once you built in the workflows of how applications and postings were routed. We were able to mirror the paper process, but with no paper or manual data entry.”

SDCCD is the second largest community college in California. It’s a large employer, with at least 6000 employees across four colleges (City College, Mesa College, Miramar College, and the College of Continuing Education) and six divisions in the district administrative office, where Andrea works. “With such a large system, it’s important to standardize processes across all areas,” said Andrea. “We were standardized before PeopleAdmin, but it was a lot of paper. All recruitment comes through my office. Today, whether we have a few recruitments or a large volume, things go smoothly—the workflows make the system work.”

Andrea noted that the shift to a fully online system made a difference in a lot of aspects of her work. “For me, the best part was being able to send communications from the system,” said Andrea. “Before, we would extract names and email addresses from the application database, and then copying the email addresses into the email system to send out individual notifications—for instance, a candidate wasn’t selected for an interview or for the position. It was a slow process. With PeopleAdmin, we just click to identify which applicants need to receive a communication and the system automatically sends the email—and we have control of the text of that email. It’s saved a lot of time.”

Change management for large projects like this—digitizing an entire system or process—can sometimes be a challenge in a large multi-campus community college district, but Andrea’s team had some advice for others who are tackling that challenge. “It did take a little while to get buy-in from all of our campuses,” Andrea noted. “We decided to do a tour with the system. We would go to each campus and give a presentation about PeopleAdmin and how the system was going to function. Once the implementation was done, PeopleAdmin provided user guides, and we tailored them specifically to our world and our lingo, so users would really understand everything.”

This proactive change management worked well for SDCCD—in fact, some teams embraced Applicant Tracking System right away. “TheQuote: The screening committees were happy because they didn’t have to gather around a table for hours with stacks of applications anymore. screening committees were happy because they didn’t have to gather around a table for hours with stacks of applications anymore,” Andrea said. “They were so glad to be able to do it in the portal on their own time.”

As long-time customers of PeopleAdmin, SDCCD was in a good position when schools had to shift operations at the start of the pandemic. “ATS made a big difference when we had to shut down our in-person office in early 2020,” said Andrea. “Converting our recruitment process to being completely online was seamless because we were almost fully digital anyways. Our screening committees were already reviewing applications online, and our applicants were filling everything out in the portal. I heard stories from other schools that struggled because they still had paper applications—I’m grateful we didn’t have to deal with that!”

Most recently, SDCCD has been working to implement anonymous hiring. “We’re still in the testing phase,” Andrea said. “I’m really excited about it—currently we have a screening committee doing a test anonymous search for a role, and it’s a great opportunity to get buy in from every part of our team.”

If your team is interested in saving time and paper with digitized application processes, reach out to our experts!