When Facilities Management (FM) was looking to fill an open information technology position, they turned to a new service that aims to improve applicant pools, streamline search processes, and enhance the experience for hiring departments and job candidates alike.
Based out of the Office of the Chief Information Officer, the IT recruitment specialist service launched as a pilot project in 2016. So far, it’s helped FM and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics conduct successful IT searches.
“IT positions can be hard to fill,” says Kim Kuebrich Yordi, a senior HR specialist with Information Technology Services (ITS) who’s lending the service her expertise. “We’re challenged to compete with corporate salaries and build the networks that attract strong candidates.”
The project grew from TIER@Iowa efficiency goals in both HR and IT, says Dave Ambrisco, senior human resources director for ITS.
“The idea of having campus recruitment specialists started on the HR side,” he says. “On the OneIT side, we’d established a parallel hiring project, so we decided to run a pilot focused on IT positions.”
The service works like this: When non-health-care units create requisitions for IT positions, Yordi automatically gets added as a search administrator. That lets her connect with hiring departments up front and offer whatever assistance they might need.
“Some are looking for ways to make searches more efficient and more closely monitor the applicant pool,” she says. “Others want help writing job descriptions, measuring competencies, managing interviews, or drafting recruitment summaries.”
For Athletics, Yordi provided counsel and coordination on the department’s search for a director of information technology.
“Her help was instrumental during the search process,” says Greg Davies, assistant athletic director and chief financial officer. “She communicated with candidates and coordinated arrangements for interviews. It made our process more efficient.”
Departments decide where they need help and retain full responsibility for hiring decisions. There’s no charge for the service.
“I think it’s especially valuable to units that don’t do much IT recruiting or are seeking a niche skill set,” says Cathy Koebrick, FM’s associate director for human resources. “OneIT is constantly engaged in the IT labor market, so they aren’t ever starting a search cold.”
“I appreciated Kim’s assistance in developing interview questions, as well as her general advice on handling technical interviews,” adds Steve Sawyer, FM’s associate director for information technology. “With her help, I believe we conducted more rigorous interviews.”
Integrating IT searches is good for promising candidates, too. Yordi can point applicants to other open positions that might offer a good fit. Over time, she and colleagues hope to see more consistent search processes and more consistent job requirements per classification applied across the UI.
Established hiring practices may make units hesitant to adopt the service, but Ambrisco encourages campus IT leaders—and HR colleagues—to consider how it augments their in-house capabilities. The initial pilot has become an ongoing service, providing a potential model for recruitment specialists in other job classification areas.
“Bottom line, we want to hire the best candidates,” Ambrisco says. “If we can improve the process for job-seekers, too, all the better.”
Units interested in learning more about the IT recruitment specialist service can reach Yordi at 319-335-6242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.