10 Key questions ask when choosing HR management system for school
Does your checklist cover everything it needs to before making a purchase?
Why is HR management system?
The HR management system is any type of tool, platform or application that is focused on managing the budgetary and personnel processes and needs of an organization. These are usually ERP software which helps organizations more efficiently manage their daily HR processes. They usually do this by automating processes wherever possible, while maintaining granular level rules, so as to reduce human time and labor investment. This is especially good for HR functions since so many of their processes are repetitive and thus ideal for automation.
Why do schools need an HR system?
It might seem like HR system would be more suited for large organizations, rather than a school. On a structural level, however, what is a school but a large organization? The institutional HR needs of a school are comparable to those of a large business. It thus makes logical sense that a school too would benefit from the implementation of an HR system.
Do we need a dedicated HR system for schools?
Earlier, one needed to purchase dedicated software whose core competency was limited to certain domains. However, with the release of increasingly versatile software and the growing use of technology, it makes sense that schools might want to invest in a single tool that works seamlessly across functions and departments at their institution. Keeping this in mind, modern school ERP software, like Fedena, often include features or plugins that are capable of handling educational institutions human resources needs. What is even better than when a school uses a school ERP software these HR features are customized to be aligned with typical school practices. No need to customize your HR management system to the working of a school system. Instead, your school ERP system doubles up as a fully functional HR system right out of the box. Just plug and play!
Below we discuss in detail the key questions that need to be asked before purchasing your HR management system for school and why:
Question #1: Does it facilitate web-based recruitment?
In this modern world, paper-based applications and application processes like this are likely to edge schools out from acquiring the best candidates for the job. Increasingly, online applications are the norm. It also helps stay better organized, since all information and related documentation is stored in the HR system itself, making it easily accessible anywhere and any time.
This is also an important historical data that is useful for any school. Even applicants who might not be a good fit during a given round of hiring might become a better fit for another role or for another time. Building an internal database of talent is key to superlative hiring for schools.
Question #2: Can job applications be automatically screened based on keywords or qualifications?
Create better hiring processes for teachers and staff when you use technology in the right way. Your HR system should be able to dig into applications for keywords or phrases that signal that an applicant is qualified. Being able to automate this process reduces the time and labor burden on a human evaluator, while also being more efficient and blind to biases.
This is also valuable data for management to see what keywords and qualifications garner them higher quality applicants. Tailoring future job descriptions to these keywords is likely to increase this pool in hiring drives at the school, all thanks to the HR system.
Question #3: Will employees have self serve options available online (including on mobile devices) to request leave/vacations, view payroll information, and other activities?
A bureaucratic system is a broken one. Having complicated processes and long waits for simple HR tasks is a type of inefficiencies that should not be found in modern schools. With the right HR system, schools can automate entire processes such as requesting various types of information, applying for leaves or absences, etc. This means a reduction in the burden on human staff with simplistic administrative tasks and a more democratic process for teachers and staff seeking information or disbursal of leaves.
Furthermore, this is all valuable data for management, who can base many budgetary and personnel decisions based on this data being collected by the HR system over a long period of time. Data-driven decision making is key to seeing actual success, instead of being stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of nothing getting resolved thanks to biases coming into play.
Question #4: Does it helps in managing the staff’s required professional development and credit history?
The clarity in financial information and professional development records are necessary for every employee of a school to be able to track their progress and personal growth at their institution. Having a data-driven bird’s eye view can be invaluable to their personal development within an institution. Your HR system can keep track of this data easily and confidentially becoming a handy developmental and training tool for every teacher and a member of staff in your school.
Management is also able to better track the impact of the professional development training and opportunities it offers its teachers and staff members. When they are able to directly see the impact of their efforts — both positive and negative — they are able to continually tinker and improve what they are offering their employees, creating a positive feedback loop of improvement internally at the school.
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Question #5: Does the HR system for your school maintain employee history of compensation and ratings?
In a similar vein, keeping track of HR details like the pay of an individual teacher and staff or even teacher and staff bands is important to track their growth. When combined with the ratings they received during appraisals or student evaluations, one is able to get important learnings about the professional growth of every teacher and staff member at a school. A school is only as strong as its teachers and this feature helps schools track of where they stand year after year or semester after semester.
When this kind of data is being collected by your HR system, it means that management now has a breadth of data over time on which to base its hiring and firing decisions. Instead of relying on infallible human memory, it is easy and swift to instead pull up this kind of factual data within the HR system itself and make decisions based on hard figures instead of feelings.
Question #6: Does it record district assets including keys, smartphones, laptops issued to employees?
Schools are constantly under budgetary constraints and financial pressure. So it makes sense that their assets — such as electronic items like laptops, smartphones, tabs, etc. or security assets like keys and key cards or access codes or even student learning aids like projectors, video players, audio and visual equipment — must be safeguarded to the highest degree possible.
This kind of record keeping also makes an impact on the bottom line of school budgets. As was mentioned earlier, schools often view such expensive items as investments. It is important to see what is being used, what is not, and track the wear and tear of school assets so that there is continual improvement in purchase decisions. The HR system’s data can help make these decisions in a more data-driven way.
Question #7: Does the HR system for your school maintain job descriptions attached to employees?
Having detailed job descriptions for every role in the organization may seem unnecessarily pedantic at first thought. But in reality, it is an excellent HR practice. Job descriptions often help define key areas of responsibility, key performance indicators and job responsibilities and deliverables for each role, whether teaching or non-educational. This helps employees understand and define the goals they wish to strive towards and for management to be more fair and effective in evaluating the performance of their employees.
Job descriptions also help management understand the evolving needs of their school — with the advent in technology, teaching, and learning methods, it is good to have historical data to see what works for a school and what does not. It is a far superior and data-driven method, rather than relying on humans who might bring their unconscious biases to the table when making hiring, firing and promotion decisions.
Question #8: Does it track the performance review process, including dates and ratings?
Keeping track of employee ratings and assessments over time is the best way to track the professional growth of teachers and staff. It is important for employees of a school to remain dynamic in their thinking since they are constantly interacting with young students and influencing their intellectual growth. The right HR system can help teachers track their own improvement, identify key areas of growth, identify strengths and weaknesses and take their career more seriously, overall. This helps retain the best teachers and staff possible — since using such a system also demonstrates that their employers value their own growth within the educational institution.
Data like this also helps management identify star employees and those who might not be a good fit for a school, resulting in data-driven hiring and firing and promotion decisions. This is only fair to all staff that is ideally seeking to constantly improve.
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Question #9: Does it allows users to view absence plans for each employee: vacation, personal days, sick days, bereavement, unpaid leave, etc.
An open and transparent system that allows teachers and management to have a clear view of their leaves is necessary for the smooth functioning of a school. Things like vacation days and sick leaves cannot be left to the whims and fancies of a sole human administrator. One must also take into account the propensity for human error in matters like this. No human is infallible, but it is unfair for employees to be expected to take on the burden of their infallibility especially when it comes to precious perks like leaves. Since this is also connected to payroll — loss of pay is a consequence of exceeding allotted leaves — it is important to maintain the highest level of accuracy in leave records for every teacher and member of staff at a school.
It is only fair, decent, and professional to rely on a tool like an HR management system to do so. This is also valuable data for management that can use it to track specific employees in order to make hiring and firing and promotion decisions, but also track overall school trends — knowing that schools tend to fall sicks around a certain time period, for example, helps management be prepared with alternatives to missing employees, whether it is planning workflows or having temporary workers come in as substitutes when needed. Good planning really impacts the budget of a school in a positive fashion, since you are able to identify when and where extraneous expenses might be incurred and then plan for it in advance.
Question #10: Does the HR system for your school track benefit plans and deductions, including eligibility rates?
Employee benefits can often make or break the peace of mind of an employee. This also affects their ability to work. Having documentation and tracking of any availments and changes in employee benefits is absolutely necessary. An HR system helps ensure that this tracking is maximally accurate, instead of relying on humans who have a higher rate of error. It is also automated, so one does not need to rely on a time consuming and cumbersome process while attempting to avail important benefits. This is also a form of data collection that helps management better understand the needs of their employees over a period of time, leading to better management level decisions that actually help school employees while also potentially impacting the bottom line in a positive fashion. Data like this can really help schools looking to cut corners do so in a fair and productive fashion.