At this year’s Oracle HR Users Group (OHUG) Conference, I had a chance to catch up with Lara Yeats, Human Resource Manager at Mt. Hood Meadows, a leading winter sport destination located just outside of Portland, Oregon. As a seasonal employer in a very rural location, her story is about finding innovative ways to attract a unique group of people who want to spend some time in their lives living in one of the most beautiful and pristine places in North America.
Each year, Mt. Hood Meadows, a resort for skiers and snowboarders in Oregon, faces the daunting task of finding and hiring enough staff members to service the annual onslaught of eager winter sports enthusiasts. The resort is located in a pristine but very rural location, making it a major challenge to find and hire seasonal employees in a compressed time frame. Mt Hood Meadows had been using an ADP offering to recruit, but that wasn’t finding enough good prospects—applicant levels were just a third of total hiring requirements. With a new season approaching, Mt Hood Meadows decided it needed a different solution.
What the resort needed was an affordable system with flexible, hands-on customization and process controls. After considering its options, Mt. Hood Meadows decided on Oracle Talent Acquisition for Midsize. Lara Yeats, the resort’s human resources manager, was a major proponent, winning the confidence of other department heads. Yeats had used the Oracle solution at a similar resort location with very positive results. She found the system to be easy to use and efficient and ADP to be more expensive, slow, and inefficient. Oracle Talent Acquisition for Midsize is the #1 solution for small and midsize businesses, worldwide.
Results: Better, Faster, More Cost-Effective
Since bringing the recruiting function in-house and streamlining processes with Oracle Talent Acquisition for Midsize, Mt. Hood Meadows has achieved dramatic results, cutting costs associated with new hires more than 70%. More important, applicant pools were greatly expanded and the time to hire and onboarding employees was cut in half.
Mt. Hood Meadows uses the flexibility of the system to speed and simplify the job application process, increasing the size of the applicant pool. A limited number of standardized “evergreen” job postings are used to hasten the process and broaden the number of applicants. The resort even chose not to use multi-tier prequalification questionnaires that might have been used to identify credentials required for ski instructors and health professionals. The result is a streamlined process that’s fast and simple.
Simplified Hiring and Onboarding
To save time and fill the many open positions available at the start of each season, the hiring and onboarding process is designed to move people through as quickly and efficiently as possible. Once hired, employees are encouraged to move to other positions that open during the season. A big plus for Mt. Hood Meadows is the ability to track employees as they move from one position to another. This data used to be tracked in multiple manual spreadsheets. Today, HR uses numerous standard and custom data fields and easy online list views to track both where employees are working and what positions remain unoccupied. HR always knows who is where, and what positions are left open that need to be filled.
Delivering on a Key Employer Value Proposition
A complimentary season ski pass has been a big employment draw for the resort. In the past, new employees felt disappointed if they didn’t get the free pass on their first day. Missing I-9 and W-2 forms could also interfere with new hires receiving timely payroll checks in their first week. Today’s streamlined process ensures that all employees complete the required paperwork and orientation training on their first day. Employees get their promised free ski passes and everyone gets paid on time. Mt. Hood Meadows saves time and cuts frustration, while ensuring that employees get a much-loved perk.
Add Modules for Extra Functions
Mt. Hood Meadows is now exploring modules for Mobility and Social Sourcing. Most seasonal applicants use mobile devices, and the mobile Career Center would allow the resort to stay in touch with them during the off season, with automated employer messaging and job alerts. Sourcing, an online tool to provide incentives for employee referrals through social networks, also is a strong potential source for seasonal hiring.