Case Study

Central New Mexico Community College (CNM): Driving continuous improvement with streamlined recruiting and increased learner trust

September 28, 2021

Central New Mexico Community College (CNM): Driving continuous improvement with streamlined recruiting and increased learner trust

Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) is the largest higher education institution in New Mexico for undergraduate enrollment. CNM ranked No. 1 in the nation for the number of associate degrees and certificates earned by Native American students, No. 3 for Hispanic students and No. 6 overall for all students combined.

CNM’s previous Applicant Tracking System (ATS) made it difficult to identify, track and hire qualified applicants. “Requisition templates either had outdated information or weren’t aligned with today’s needs,” said Michael Hardiman, human resources consultant for faculty contracts at CNM. “There were several thousand different versions of postings, and no connection between our management and ATS systems. Plus, all updates had to be made manually.”

The old system offered zero reporting capabilities. According to Karen Montoya Paisano, director of talent management at CNM, “There was no historical information. Once a posting was submitted and hired, it was gone. The inability to measure the success of our hires posed real limitations from a talent management perspective.”

Multiple training platforms made training equally challenging. “We had disparate, uncoordinated activities around training,” said Trish Heaton, talent development officer at CNM. “Users had to log in to multiple LMSs, and the systems didn’t communicate.”

Why Cornerstone

In 2015, CNM implemented Cornerstone OnDemand’s talent management platform as part of the college’s strategic plan. “As a community college, we’re facing decreasing public funding and student enrollment. To survive, we must make our jobs more efficient and our services more customer oriented,” said Feng Hou, CIO and chief digital learning officer at CNM. “Yet we knew HR simply could not accomplish what the college wanted to accomplish with our existing system. We needed technology that would help us function more efficiently and effectively.”

Implementing Cornerstone was also a key component in elevating HR’s approach to talent management. “Instead of just recruiting and training, we wanted to
encompass the whole talent development cycle from hire to retire,” said Trish Heaton, talent development officer at CNM. “We knew Cornerstone would enable a more holistic approach.”

The Results

Increased access to meaningful data. Previously, HR had zero access to recruiting metrics. “You can’t make process improvements without data,” said LaMonica Whittaker, director of technology projects at CNM. “With Cornerstone, we can see the data. We know what’s going on historically. And we have insight into what we need to do better.”

Enabled real-time communication with candidates. Before Cornerstone, applicants often wouldn’t hear about their status until a position was filled. “Today,
we have real-time communication with applicants,” said Heaton. “If someone doesn’t make it past an interview stage, they immediately get an email.” This
increased communication has also reduced the time it takes to hire new employees.

Ensuring candidates have a positive experience is crucial to CNM’s reputation. “Applicants share that kind of information,” said Karen Montoya Paisano, director of talent management at CNM. “The ability to communicate with them in real time has helped us create a rapport with the community.”

Increased learner trust and integrity in the training process. The lack of visibility and reporting capabilities in CNM’s legacy LMSs led to decreased trust by both learners and HR alike. “There was low trust in our previous system. People were afraid they weren’t going to get credit for learning,” said Heaton. “Cornerstone has helped us build high trust and integrity into the learning process. Employees know they are going to get registered, their progress will be tracked, and that their records are in fact in the system.”

Streamlined mandatory reporting. As a public institution, CNM must comply with numerous regulatory requirements. “When someone submits a requisition, everything they need to process that posting and hire is in the system,” said Paisano. “They don’t have to look for up-to-date information. It’s all in Cornerstone.”

Simplified hiring processes. Since implementing Cornerstone, the new hire workflow has been transformed from a “spaghetti process” requiring dozens of steps to one that requires less than 10. “Cornerstone has significantly improved the efficiency of the hiring process” said Hou.