How did London Business School implement an international faculty recruitment and hiring system that is optimal for both applicants and administrators?
London Business School had been using a manual process that slowed down their academic recruiting and hiring efforts. We met with Sian Smith, Assistant Director, Faculty, to discuss London Business School’s adoption of Interfolio and hear how their experience led them to become the first international school with a full faculty information system.
Improving the administrative processes created a better experience for their applicants
When asked about initial challenges, Smith cited manual workflows, endless spreadsheets for tracking candidates, and inconsistent submission of application materials. Originally, in 2014, they were looking for a system that could work for both administrative staff and faculty—but quickly realized that they needed a separate, more specialized system for academic staff.
Smith, part of the central office for faculty affairs, collaborates closely with London Business School’s seven departments for faculty hiring. With Interfolio, both Smith and her counterparts have drastically reduced the time spent on paperwork–making the process more efficient and transparent. Says Smith, “I used to receive a massive pack of all the documents in the internal mail, which was very time-consuming for the different subject areas. Now I just hop on the system, and I can download the CV it if I want and take a look before I go into the interview.”
Before Interfolio, faculty candidates were confused about what documents were required for their application. This lack of clarity resulted in incomplete applications and “email attachments flying around the place,” as hiring committee members had to track down documents, with much back and forth, causing extra time to be spent on the application process.
After implementing Interfolio for faculty hiring, the candidate experience is a smoother one, and the candidates’ documents are more accessible to committee members now that they are in a centralized, online location. When asked about the submission of required documents, Smith responded, “Now applicants can’t move forward in the process without doing those things. […] The experience of the applicant is really straightforward and clear.” As importantly, Smith mentions that the system is intuitive for staff to use as well.
Addressing faculty diversity and reporting
“We use it for hiring, annual review, and the performance review process, and we also use it for promotion to tenure and full professor and for PhD recruiting,” states Smith. London Business School adopted Interfolio’s Review, Promotion and Tenure module shortly after they implemented Interfolio’s Faculty Search. In 2019, they began implementation for Interfolio’s Faculty Activity Reporting module to become the first institution with a full faculty information system outside of the United States.
When asked the benefits beyond hiring, Smith responded, “We struggled to do diversity reporting before Interfolio. We had paper-based monitoring forms that we then transferred into a spreadsheet and created tables. Now we just download a spreadsheet of that data and adjust it into the template needed for the Equality & Human Rights Commission annual reporting.”
London Business School also plans to use faculty activity data for streamlining the accreditation process in a similar way. States Smith, “It’s very helpful for accreditation. Reporting for AACSB can be confusing. Now, we can run reports at the touch of a button versus doing manual spreadsheets.”
With the faculty information system being implemented shortly at London Business School, Smith is optimistic for the strategic results their institution can realize now that “we have everything we need in one place.”
Siân Smith is the Assistant Director, Faculty HR at London Business School.
Learn more about Sian Smith and London Business School’s journey to the full faculty information system in the full webinar.