Boston College: Creating a Positive Candidate Experience, While Reducing Manual Work for Managers
June 19, 2017
Founded in 1863, Boston College is a private Jesuit Catholic institution located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Known in higher education as an excellent place to work because of tuition opportunities for employees and their families and generous retirement contributions, Boston College never lacks job applicants. Yet an antiquated legacy system made evaluating candidates a time-consuming, highly manual process, especially for managers.
“For many people, working at Boston College is a dream job. We receive 150-175 applications for each position,” said John Bogdan, director of employment at Boston College. “Our challenge was how to manage that many applications. We needed to make it easier for managers to sort resumes, highlight credentials and identify those with experience.”
Applicants also found the legacy system aggravating. “We’re teaching our students how to be cutting edge, but our system was so antiquated that applicants were often timed out,” said Bogdan. “We may be the best around, but if you make the application process frustrating, that applicant is going to go somewhere else.”
Why Cornerstone applicant tracking system
The search for a more efficient, streamlined system was jumpstarted by new leadership. “We had some very innovative leaders join us, and our new VP began conducting town meetings,” said Bogdan. “He discovered that while our department was working well—and we had a strong reputation— managers, employees and applicants found our application process very frustrating.”
During the review process, the college vetted several leading applicant tracking systems. “We asked other higher education institutions for recommendations. Four or five companies made presentations,” said Bogdan. “After hearing Cornerstone’s presentation and doing a reference check, we felt Cornerstone was the right choice for us.”
Ease of use was a critical factor in the college’s decision to implement Cornerstone’s Recruiting, Learning and Onboarding solutions. “What stood out for us was how easy Cornerstone was to use, for both applicants and managers,” said Beverley Sobers, associate director of employment at Boston College. Added Bogdan, “It’s been fantastic. I can show someone how to use Cornerstone quickly and then they can just start using it.”
Positive candidate experience
The college’s previous application process was time consuming and confusing, often leaving applicants wondering if they’d even applied. Today, candidates can submit applications in a few steps using MAJC, the college’s Management/Applicant Job Center, built within Cornerstone Recruiting.
“We call it ‘magic,’ because that’s how we feel about it,” said Bogdan. “It has LinkedIn features, as well as other surprises. Candidates can complete processes in one screen, and because there’s a trail, it’s easier to backtrack to where they were.”
Feedback has been positive. “Applicants tell us it’s much easier to apply now,” said Sobers. “A recent hire told us that he found Cornerstone very user friendly from an applicant perspective.”
Reduced manual work for managers
With Cornerstone, managers no longer have to download, print, sort and review 150-175 resumes for every job opening. “Cornerstone has made the process so much more efficient for managers,” said Bogdan. “They embrace the process now, as opposed to spending hours reviewing and printing resumes. Now, it’s a cup of coffee in the morning and they dive right in.”
Reduced applicant complaint volume
The legacy system didn’t just consume managers’ time; it also required the college to spend valuable resources responding to calls from frustrated applicants. “By switching to Cornerstone, we’ve reduced the number of complaints,” said Sobers. Added Bogdan. “Nobody has to wonder if they applied for a job. With Cornerstone, they know.”
Better communicated the college’s culture and values
Cornerstone Recruiting also enables Boston College to better highlight its culture. “When you visit our splash page, you immediately get a feeling of what kind of institution we are,” said Bogdan. “We’ve been able to add videos, descriptions and other features that really communicate who we are.”