Getting a government job can seem like an uphill battle and the application process can be brutal and bureaucratic. But now the people at Vision Internet have created a tool to help streamline the process for local governments. Ashley Fruechting the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Vision Internet.
She told me during GovLoop's State and Local Spotlight interview that the Job Application Manager tool evolved from the notion that applicants and HR managers alike deserved a more cohesive and efficient application process.
"We created the Job Application Manager because we saw a need from our clients to provide a more streamlined way to receive and process the applications from those interested in working for their organizations. A lot of the tools that are out there limit the number of applications that can be put on the site or they have to be done in a very standardized manner. We wanted to create something that would give our clients more flexibility to be able to customize the applications for specific jobs and streamline the process," said Fruechting.
How does the tool save time and money?
"From a big picture perspective it saves time by eliminating the need for the applications to be printed off and then brought into the office and processed manually. With the tool someone within the HR office or whomever is reviewing the applications, can log into the system and see all the applications together at once. They are able to quickly rank all the applications that they receive and process them in a standardized way. The other thing that can be done is if particular criteria was not met on the application, the application can be automatically rejected. The tool can provide a way to make sure they are paring down the applications to qualified ones from the beginning, instead of manually processing all of those applications," said Fruechting.
Applications are no longer lost in the communication vortex?
"The tool improves the customer service aspect of the job application process because there will be a message sent confirming the agency received the application. The applicant will also receive messages at various other stages of the process. They will know when their application has been reviewed, if they are going to move forward in the process, the tool provides a heightened level of communication. Applicants shouldn’t ever feel like they are out of the loop," said Fruechting.
What about privacy and security concerns?
"We knew when we were developing the tool that including features to protect the privacy of sensitive information that is often involved in applications was very important. Specifically we wanted to protect social security numbers or other high value data that is usually included. The agency can mark particular questions as being sensitive and then there will be additional encryption that will be added to those answers. The tool provides security and a comfort level with those that are submitting the applications that the data is going to be safe and that it is just going to be going to the intended recipient," said Fruechting.
Lessons learned so far?
"We realize like with any of the components or features that we release, there are going to be things that we might rethink down the road, enhancements that we are going to be offering, so this tool is no different. As our clients adopt the tool and as they provide feedback we will continue to enhance the functionality that is included," said Fruechting.
"With any of the tools that we develop, we really seek to do a lot of research about best practices and talk to our government clients about the features that they need. We do realize that we might not be able to include or address all these issues at once, so we are rolling out the tool now, and as we get the feedback we will plan to include additional enhancements down the road," said Fruechting.
We will be checking in with Fruechting in the months and weeks ahead to follow the progress of Vision Internet's job application tool. If you have heard of a similar tool email me at [email protected] You can also check out all of GovLoop's State and Local Spotlight Interviews by searching keyword Emily's Corner.