Human resources and payroll in education are uniquely complex compared to most industries. School districts must juggle jurisdictional compliance regulations with complex union contracts, seniority requirements, and benefits plans.
And they must do this as efficiently, effectively, and as accurately as possible — because even the smallest mistakes can drown administrators in a mountain of paperwork.
The documentation involved in hiring a single teacher includes:
Now amplify that by the number of teachers working at even a mid-sized school, and it’s easy to see why administrative staff are so frequently overworked and overwhelmed. It’s also clear why industry-agnostic HR software designed for small businesses and the enterprise isn’t cutting it in K-12 education.
The good news is there’s a solution to this complex, labor-intensive process. With Human Resources & Payroll (HRP) software, school districts eliminate much of the labor involved in managing their workforce and significantly improve the workplace experience for administrators, faculty, and support staff.
So, what is HRP software? How is it replacing traditional HR software in modern education? And why should K-12 education adapt it to better support your biggest HR needs?
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Human resources and payroll software eliminates one of education’s most significant bottlenecks: reliance on manual processes and physical documentation. In addition to significantly reducing the paperwork school employees must complete, it consolidates all relevant information about a school’s workforce into a single database.
In some ways, an HRP solution is similar to a student management system because it allows a school district to streamline the entire HR and payroll process, including onboarding new hires, storing employee’s personal info, creating robust employee records, accessing tax forms, and managing paid time, employee scheduling, and so much more.
It should come as no surprise that the two solutions are frequently deployed alongside one another and that most education-focused HRP software is designed to tackle the needs of modern education.
HRP software brings together human resources, payroll administration services, and finance into one highly visible solution. Just as a financial management system digitizes and automates most of a school district’s accounting processes, so too does HRP software.
HRP software simplifies employee management by allowing school districts to save time as they carry out core HR functions to support their back-office processes. And just as a student management system consolidates student information and helps improve the student experience, HRP software does the same for school employees.
At its core, HRP software is all about data management. It’s designed to help teachers, support staff, and administrators stay informed and track professional goals, workplace events, and professional performance. For the back office, HRP software greatly eases the administrative burden by reducing help desk calls and streamlining payroll, benefits, schedules, compensation, training, and overall contract management.
HRP software typically supports human resources needs through digital document uploads, online forms, payroll governance, and reporting with full audit transparency. An HRP solution usually also gives schools a window into how and where their full-time employees are assigned, along with how those employees align with the district’s overall budget. Lastly, any HRP solution designed for school districts will also support jurisdictionally compliant salary reporting.
There’s no denying the countless benefits HRP software offers — whether that’s streamlining processes to increase accuracy, better managing employee information, improving reporting capabilities, or processing payroll.
Here are just a few of the biggest benefits human resources and payroll solutions offer when it comes to education-focused employee management.
Enhanced Performance, Improved Student Outcomes
Student performance and staff performance are directly linked. Education-focused HRP software acknowledges this, providing employee management tools while also giving school districts the capacity to view employee performance.
School districts can ensure each hire is qualified and capable of supporting students where it matters most: in the classroom.
No More Unnecessary Paperwork
Traditionally, education’s human resources and payroll processes go hand-in-hand with mountains of paperwork. Back then, teachers and administrators struggled to manage everything from complex union contracts to comprehensive employee records, wasting countless hours filling out paperwork.
An HRP solution removes these challenges from K-12 education — saving staff and school districts valuable time and money by digitizing and automating nearly all of these processes. As an added benefit, this is also a feather in the cap for any sustainability initiatives the school district may choose to pursue, both now and in the future.
Self-Service Access to Employee Information
With an HRP solution, your human resources teams can instantly access employee records through a dedicated profile, consolidating all relevant data for an individual into a single location.
Even better, it allows teachers and other faculty to self-access any information they may need, including tax forms, schedules, pay stubs for direct deposits, information about their retirement plans, time tracking, training requirements, and more.
Any authorized employees can quickly access, update, and download their own records at any time.
Save on School District Expenses
Manual payroll processing and employee records management aren’t just time-consuming — they’re expensive. After all, your people aren’t doing all this paperwork in their downtime, nor should you expect them to.
Factor in that you’ll likely need to hire more staff to handle the mounting workload as your district grows, and it should be more than clear why traditional processes will directly increase your expenses, especially compared to the seamless automation provided by HRP solutions.
Compliance and Jurisdictional Alignment
The HR needs of education are complex when compared to other industries. Why? A lot of it has to do with complex union agreements, contracts, and pensions — all of which are complicated enough to balance without throwing compliance into the mix.
HRP software makes it easy to align positions with all the relevant codes and profiles by streamlining jurisdictional salary reporting, allowing K-12 education to maintain compliance.
Additionally, having everyone’s information stored in the same place goes a long way toward ensuring good data hygiene, which also makes it easier to streamline how you protect sensitive information. Remember, it’s far simpler to keep something safe when you know exactly where it is. And practicing proper data hygiene is something all school districts will eventually need to do to support the future of education.
Faster, More Accurate Processing
Data gathering comprises much of the work involved in payroll and benefits processing. With HRP platforms, this incredibly time-consuming, labor-intensive process becomes effortless. There is a single, accurate source of truth for each employee, automatically updated in real-time, and payroll processing requires only a single click.
Your HR and payroll teams can easily run payroll, direct deposits, and general compensation with a platform that supports what HR needs.
Unlock Employee Insights
Basic performance management aside, HRP software allows a district to track and apply a broad range of other metrics to employees. The data and insights gained from these metrics can be used for everything from learning and development to peer reviews to sentiment analysis. The end result is a deeper, more nuanced understanding of each staff member in the district.
Enhanced Communication & Collaboration
Most HRP platforms go beyond simple employee records management and payroll processing. They’re powerful collaboration tools in their own right, complete with internal chat functionality and built-in notifications to keep faculty connected to one another and aware of what’s going on in the district.
With so many moving pieces in education — it’s important to keep your staff connected and aware of key initiatives if you want to foster a sense of connection within your district.
Better Employee Experience
Human resources and payroll software empowers teachers and support staff alike, giving them greater autonomy through a comprehensive self-service portal. This portal provides them with everything they need to know about the workplace while also allowing them to manage appraisals, leaves of absence, attendance, timesheets, helpdesk requests, and claims for expenses.
These portals can also be used to give faculty a voice within the school district, increasing engagement and allowing leadership to track and measure overall employee sentiment with enhanced reporting.
Scheduling and Organization
The right HRP software works with student information systems to help staff and administration schedule everything from school trips to substitute teachers. The capacity to view each staff member’s timetable and schedule from a streamlined dashboard is immensely valuable.
HRP software can also help reduce employee absenteeism, as even disengaged employees are less likely to miss work if they know their absence will be automatically recorded.
There are many robust, full-featured HRP solutions on the market — but comparatively few of them are designed for the unique challenges faced by modern education.
While the features that define a good HRP solution remain the same regardless of industry, even the best software will likely fall flat if it’s not purpose-built for the needs of HR, payroll, finance, and general K-12 accounting requirements. With that in mind, look for an HRP solution with the following characteristics:
There are also several features we believe all HRP solutions should include:
Remember also that you should clearly know your HRP needs and objectives before you begin looking for a vendor. There is, after all, no such thing as a one-size-fits-all HRP solution. A vendor that might be perfect for one school district could fall completely flat with your own.
Human resources and payroll in education are both unnecessarily complex — and when left to manual processes, they considerably impact the employee experience.
At a time when teacher burnout has reached a record high, school districts cannot afford to make things more frustrating or difficult for their people. Instead, they must deploy the right tools to support and empower their schools’ faculty.
Are you looking for a better HRP management solution for your district? Edsembli | HRP is an all-in-one HRP solution purpose-built for education that includes:
Book a discovery call today to see how Edsembli | HRP can eliminate the complexity in your workforce management processes.