In the educational sector, Human Resources (HR) plays a pivotal role, marked by unique challenges and intricate workforce management requirements. In this blog post, we will delve into the principal HR challenges faced by educational institutions and explore how comprehensive HR systems can be a transformative force in effectively addressing these issues and promoting growth in your organisation.
Primary HR challenges in the sector
Staff recruitment and retention
Government statistics show that 43,997 teachers left the profession in 2022, an increase of over 7,000 from the previous year. Many have cited increasing class sizes, poor pay and burnout as the reasons for leaving.
This high level of staff turnover, especially among new teachers, can disrupt the continuity and quality of education, also contributing to the workload of other teaching staff. HR professionals in this sector are tasked with sourcing, screening, and onboarding the best candidates to mitigate this challenge.
Compliance and regulations
Educational institutions are subject to various laws and regulations, including those related to teacher certifications and labour laws. Ensuring compliance with these regulations is a significant HR challenge, with potential legal consequences for non-compliance.
Student safety is paramount to all those working in the education sector, including those in HR and administration. Screening candidates thoroughly, protecting student data and following child safety regulations requires a secure HR system that can also handle the amount of data larger institutions deal with.
Educational institutions are often underfunded and run on tight budgets. It is, in part, the responsibility of the HR department to ensure this budget is being used to its full potential, without impacting the quality of the student experience.
This often means balancing optimising resource allocation with attracting and retaining high-value staff. In the current cost of living crisis and with inflation rising, teachers require more competitive pay packages to retain their jobs, and this can put pressure on HR to provide for their employees as well as sticking to their budget.
Training and development
The fast-paced evolution of education methods and technologies requires continuous professional development for teachers and administrative staff. HR departments need to implement training and development programs to ensure the workforce remains up-to-date and effective.
What does a comprehensive HR system entail?
Comprehensive can mean different things depending on your institution’s needs, but there are a number of elements that make up any good HR system:
Employee Information: One of the key parts of a comprehensive system is security. When it comes to employee data, it is important that there are adequate data protection measures in place.
Payroll: An automated payroll system that avoids human error and ensures your team is paid on time and correctly is vital to managing a business.
Attendance Management: Having a streamlined attendance management system avoids time-consuming manual checks.
Training: An HR system that tracks progress and training is vital in the ever-changing landscape of the education sector.
Compliance Features: With the education sector being so heavily regulated, choosing a system that prioritises and is built with the sector in mind means you don’t miss out on vital checks and changes to laws.
Other things to consider
Having a smooth onboarding system that takes into account the strict regulations that surround employment in the education sector streamlines the process. It also means that important checks aren’t missed.
Having an intuitive employee-facing interface is also helpful in maintaining a good working relationship with teaching staff and other stakeholders. Things like viewing payslips with ease and booking leave should be able to be accessed by both HR and other employees, saving everyone involved time.
If you are currently considering implementing a more comprehensive human resources system to support you through the challenges the education sector faces, contact our team about our range of HR solutions - from selection consultation to implementation and automation.