Year Up: Building a Talent Pipeline & Eliminating Duplication of Work
29 September 2021
Every year, Year Up provides crucial job resources to more than 2,100 low-income students across 11 locations. Eighty-five percent of Year Up graduates are employed or attending college full-time within four months of program completion.
To meet increasing demand for services, Year Up is growing its employee base. “We’re introducing new business streams. We’re doubling employee size,” said Cheryl Carey, director of application operations and advancement at Year Up. “That’s a scary step for a young organization, especially as we knew our existing talent management systems didn’t have a strong enough infrastructure to grow with us.”
Recruiting was especially problematic. “Talent moves quickly. We were so slow. Everything was done in email or talks in the hallway, which reduced recruiting to a snail’s pace and left us without a strong talent pool,” said Carey. Onboarding was also tedious, with hiring managers distributing new hire packages manually to accommodate different state requirements.
Year Up reviewed a number of different talent management platforms prior to choosing Cornerstone OnDemand's unified talent management platform. "What drew us to Cornerstone? It's easy. We wanted to bring that same quality of care, knowledge, development and engagement that we bring to our student to our employees. Cornerstone's administration is clear. It's growing. They're continually updating based on the market's pulse," said Cheryl Carey, director of application operations and advancement at Year Up. "We also wanted a true partner. The partnership we have with Cornerstone has been nothing short of phenomenal. They're an extension of our team."
As a Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation Strategic Partner, Year Up received access to capacity-building resources and HR consulting. "The opportunity to work with the Foundation was a big plus," said Carey. "They guided us through revising our talent management process, including recruiting and performance management; connected us with other business partners; and allowed us to learn from others. We meet with the Foundation at a minimum once a month. It's been the perfect solution in helping us get ready for growth."
Built a true talent pipeline. With Cornerstone Recruiting, Year Up is building a robust talent pipeline designed to meet short-term and long-term talent needs — and ensure they can compete with the private sector for top candidates. "Cornerstone Recruiting allows us to move more quickly. We're more competitive for talent, and we're clear on what skills we need and when," said Carey.
Eliminated duplication of work. As a nonprofit, demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds is crucial to the organization's longevity. Previously, Year Up's recruiting process involved tremendous duplication of work — unavoidable yet still a waste of precious resources. "We used to have two people doing the same type of thing," said Carey. "With Cornerstone Recruiting, we've eliminated duplication of work for our hiring managers. It's so much more efficient, and as a result, our hiring managers are more engaged."
Engaged new hires before day one. Launching Cornerstone Onboarding gave Year Up the ability to streamline and automate the onboarding process, from distributing paperwork to pushing out training. "With Cornerstone Onboarding, we're engaging new hires in training right away. That's a big win for us. It allows us to bring our candidates to an employee state faster. It's also reduced the time number of tasks the hiring manager has to do to onboard an employee," said Carey. "we use the email communication library to engage new hires. We can give them direction so that they are clear on what they have to do on their first day."
Year Up can also effortlessly deliver different onboarding packages. "Our new hire packets vary by state. It used to be such a manual process, and we had an issue getting new hire paperwork done on time. With Onboarding, we've really streamlined getting the right information into employee's hands."