Innovating recruitments with Lean at the San Francisco Public Library

San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) employs approximately 900 staff. On average, hiring a librarian takes about six months, and SFPL can have as many as 90 hiring processes in progress at any one time. A long hiring process causes roles to remain empty and results in fewer library staff available to assist patrons.

SFPL partnered with the City Performance Lean Team to reduce the Library’s time-to-hire. Human Resources staff partnered with the Library’s Research, Strategy and Analysis unit (RSA) and other divisions to develop solutions to streamline the hiring process, including new data that allows SFPL leadership to monitor hiring performance in real time.

Some of the results they were able to achieve were:

  • Hiring data is now available to leadership on-demand and the HR team can monitor their progress toward time-to-hire goals in real time.
  • Simplified position packets by removing unnecessary forms, developing standard templates, and adding a new identifier to help track each request.
  • HR analysts prepared grab-and-go “kits” with day-of interview materials, and improving ways to schedule interviews for multiple positions.
  • Speeding up reference checks by creating a bank of standard questions, reducing the number of mandatory questions, and providing clearer instructions to candidates.

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