With January almost over, your team has probably been spending time thinking about 2023 strategy.
At PeopleAdmin, we have too. In our recent webinar, 2023 Trends for Making an Impact on Your Campus, leaders from two HigherEd institutions and an internal PeopleAdmin expert came together to discuss top tips and best practices to tackle the trends that your institution can expect to see in the coming year.
When we polled the audience, 36% said that their top priority was attracting quality candidates and 21% said that retention was top of the list. Below, check out 3 key takeaways from this week’s webinar, including tactics for attracting candidates and improving retention, and make sure to watch the recording on-demand for more insight!
Rethinking hiring when student enrollment is down
Christina Kraus, HR Director for Employment Services at Portland State University, noted that a top issue that her institution has faced in the past several years is declining student enrollment. This trend can be seen across higher education, in all types of institutions, and the common result of declining enrollment is budget gaps. At Portland State, Christina’s HR team is taking action.
“We’re focused on helping departments across campus be more strategic with their hiring,” said Christina. “We’re encouraging them to think about not filling a position just because it’s empty, but looking at how that position can be utilized. HR at PSU is decentralized, so we’re not directly involved in a lot of the processes. Instead, we’ve taken on a lot of training and are disseminating information about how to be more strategic.”
Christina considers the student enrollment decline a cyclical issue. “Do we hire more people to recruit more students? Maybe, but that takes more budget—so we need to consider if hiring more to recruit more is the right answer,” says Christina. “Instead, we’re encouraging everyone to do more with less. Our team is examining where we have redundant processes that we can eliminate to give current employees more time.”
Competing for the best and brightest faculty requires rethinking retention
Faculty are vital for institutional success, and faculty needs and interests have changed in recent years. David Bowersox, MBA, Vice Dean of Finance & Administration at the Duke University School of Nursing noted that finding the best and brightest faculty was one of the top concerns at his institution—and that starts with retention.
“We’re seeing faculty who are looking to find meaning in their work, who are asking for more flexibility, and who are wanting to have more input into their work—they want a say in the courses they teach and how they spend their time,” says David. “One step to support them is increasing transparency in faculty topics, like workload management and teaching assignment management. Anything we can do to increase transparency will increase retention.”
David’s team knows that competing for the best and brightest faculty starts on campus, with the full-time faculty who are already working for your institution. Keeping them happy, engaged, and supported is vital to retain them, reduce open positions, and make the most of your budget. For more, check out Teaching Assignment Management System, created by Duke to solve some of the top faculty challenges they were facing, along with other HigherEd institutions.
Tap into recruitment marketing to become a competitive employer
Ircka West, Solution Engineer at PeopleAdmin, worked in HigherEd as an adjunct professor in her previous career. In her experience, the candidate experience and recruiting tactics at HigherEd institutions was big barrier for applicants. Engaging with recruitment marketing is one of her number one trends for 2023.
“Colleges and universities need to recognize the time they’re in right now,” said Ircka. “You’re trying to attract top talent—and so is everyone else. Institutions used to be able to rely on their name and their reputation, but now there are so many options available to workers. How do you get yourself out there? Take on the corporate tactics: leverage social media, have a recognizable brand, use color, images, and keywords to get your mission across.”
Ircka emphasized the importance of introducing your institution to applicants, as well as the critical need for a seamless candidate experience.
“A seamless applicant experience that flows into a seamless onboarding experience—that gives new hires a whole new view of the institution,” says Ircka. “Applying for corporate jobs is a breeze, and we can do the same thing in HigherEd. You can show that your institution is tech-savvy, modern, and up-to-date.”
To learn more about a seamless onboarding experience, check out PeopleAdmin’s Applicant Tracking System and Employee Records.
Watch 2023 Trends for Making an Impact on Your Campus now!
For even more insights and best practices, watch our webinar on-demand now.