HR Versus Higher Ed: Does it Have to Be a Battle?

August 30, 2016

HR Versus Higher Ed: Does it Have to Be a Battle?

Enrollment at colleges and universities across the country is on the rise, and with a record number of students setting foot on campus each fall, HR departments are not only looking to hire and retain the best faculty but also stay compliant with complicated legislative mandates like the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations.

Depending on the size of the institution, the HR function in Higher Education can be responsible for supporting hundreds to thousands of faculty, staff and student employees who come and go throughout the year. To help a small staff manage increased demands and responsibilities, HR departments are turning to technology to automate time-consuming processes. Let’s review some challenges facing higher education and questions to consider when searching for the right technology to make your to-do list more manageable.

Most HR departments typically fight an uphill battle of balancing limited resources with a growing list of employee requests and administrative responsibilities. As a result, HR leaders often lack the ability to focus on higher-level strategic initiatives like retention, engagement and workforce planning. HR departments have goals to collaborate with other school leaders and contribute ideas to help shape strategic decisions, but in reality they have become too bogged down processing and filing paperwork and responding to employee requests. While requests continue to increase, the number of available resources isn’t changing and HR leaders are beginning to prioritize HR technology to automate every day, manual processes.

3 ways an HR solution can eliminate HR inefficiencies at your organization:

• Manage and store performance reviews, open enrollment and other employee documents electronically to ensure complete access to important information and greatly reduce the amount of administrative responsibilities for your HR department.
• Engage your people with employee self-service features so they’re not constantly contacting your HR department for information they can access on their own.
• Gain access to important HR tools and documents to help mitigate compliance and ensure you’re properly managing your staff.

Furthermore, colleges and universities are committed to hiring and retaining quality professors but without a defined process in place to help HR departments manage applications, administrators could spend weeks reviewing stacks of paperwork. It’s a domino effect as this tedious and time-consuming process can lead to delays in filling open positions and top candidates are more likely to accept another offer before you’ve ever had a chance to review their résumé. To better equip recruiters, higher education institutions are utilizing Applicant Tracking solutions to help evaluate and land top talent.

3 ways an Applicant Tracking solution can ensure you’re not missing out on great candidates:

• Receive visibility into all open positions and recruiting activities across your organization.
• A dedicated careers page will provide everything a candidate needs to find and apply for available positions at your organization.
• An efficient candidate approval process can allow hiring managers to change candidates’ status, capture interview feedback and approve offers using email commands.

Investing in HR technology can be a game changer for higher education if you find the right features and functionality that meet your needs. Here are a few tips to ensure the solution is the best fit for your organization:

Engage your staff from the start. Gather the staff responsible for daily HR tasks and ensure you understand their current processes and where improvements can be made. Consulting those impacted from the beginning will help gain their buy-in and make them feel more engaged throughout the entire process. Plus, their open feedback will help you determine where you should focus your attention.

Be sure to consider scalability. You’re looking for new technology because of the growth of your organization so be sure to understand how an HR solution can support you in the years to come.

Find the right partner. Investing in HR technology means that you are not only committed to the software but also the partnership with a provider. Make sure you feel comfortable with the representatives you will be working with and inquire how they will support your organization in the future. Will they consider suggestions you make on product improvements and will they provide a roadmap on new features being added? Ask for references and conduct research on potential partners.

Interested in learning how our HR and Applicant Tracking could help make an impact at your organization? Contact us and we’ll be happy to learn more about your current processes and walk you through a demonstration to show how Paycor can help you become more efficient.

Sources: University Business, Forbes and The Education Advisory Board

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