Welcome to our first edition of Connections … and on behalf of all of us at PeopleAdmin, welcome to our family.
I say that because many of you have joined us this year after we combined forces with Netchemia and Searchsoft. If you knew us as TalentEd, SchoolSpring or SearchSoft, well, we still are … but now we all work together as PeopleAdmin. This brings vast advantages and exciting new possibilities in talent management, as we learn from each other and expand our resources to continue to bring you the best solutions and services available in the market.
We’re excited to bring you this newsletter to help keep you informed, inspired and empowered to do what you do best: transform lives — the lives of your faculty, staff and students. Because when it comes down to it, what you do — what all of us do together — is all about people.
Our role at PeopleAdmin is to provide you with the best possible technology, service and insight, so you can get the right people in the right jobs to ensure the success of your institution’s mission.
As we enter the holiday season and begin to set our sights on a new year ahead, we want you to know that we are wholly committed to providing you with an amazing customer experience, and are excited to share more about what that commitment means to you in future editions of Connections.
Also, as you receive our newsletter, we would love for you to share your opinions about it, as well as your ideas for future topics and stories of how you’ve successfully met your talent management needs. Feel free to send us your feedback at Connections@peopleadmin.com.
We truly believe that by engaging in this kind of meaningful dialog — by connecting with others and working as one — we can achieve a better future together.
Thank you for your partnership, and for making a difference in the lives of so many others. Please feel free to share Connections by forwarding it to others who might find it helpful.
Loretta Jones, Employment and HRIS Manager, HR Department, Governors State University
“As a longtime client of PeopleAdmin, I want to thank you for the warm holiday greeting. I wanted to let the administration and the workforce at PeopleAdmin know that I am thankful to have the customer service I need, when I need it. I am grateful for the level of confidence I feel when I reach out to your support team, for I know that whatever issue I present, it will be resolved. I am also appreciative of the professional but also friendly approach I have always experienced during my interactions with PeopleAdmin. I know that this is part of your mission, and your teams both strive and succeed in meeting this goal.”
The Community: Your information hub and platform for support
What’s just as important as great solutions? Continually learning better ways to use them.
PeopleAdmin’s newly enhanced Community portal is designed to help you do that … and much, much more.
“The Community is an online portal where customers can access all of the services and support they need,” said Courtney Langdon, Community forum moderator for PeopleAdmin.
From learning about the latest solution enhancements to improving user knowledge to connecting with your peers through online user groups, the portal offers a vast and valuable resource to customers … and many are taking advantage of it. Since July, when we made the enhancements to the portal, the number of daily visitors has doubled.
For our SearchSoft customers who recently joined PeopleAdmin, you will be added to the Community toward the end of January. You’ll then be able to join in the benefits of using the Community.
“Our goal is to remain keenly focused on making it easier for our customers to do business with us, and arming them with the tools and information they need to make the most of their PeopleAdmin solutions,” said Jamie Holden, PeopleAdmin chief operations officer. “We are focused on delivering an amazing customer experience, and the Community plays a large role in that.”
The benefits of Community
The Community portal can benefit users in many ways.
“I use the knowledge base multiple times a week,” said Cindy Mumford, administrative assistant to the executive director of human resources, Gresham-Barlow School District. “It’s an easy place to find answers to questions, as well as a way to refresh my memory on how to do tasks that I don’t perform frequently.”
Cindy has also used the Community many times to send links to other users in the district that need instruction on how to complete tasks. And, when she can’t find an answer in the knowledge base, she knows she can count on Live Chat.
“I have created a few cases and submitted a question to the User Groups tab. I think User Groups are a great way for school districts to communicate,” said Lindi McGee, human resources, technology Integration, Hillsboro School District. “I like the Ideas tab, too. I think it’s a valuable tool that will become even more valuable when others start to catch on and use it more.”
Join the Community!
To begin using the Community, log in and watch this video, which walks you through each featured tab:
Cases: open, review and make changes to cases; set case priorities and attach screenshots … an exclusive functionality provided within Community
User Groups: connect with users from other schools to share tips and tricks; join groups based on your solution, role or special interest
Knowledge: articles, videos and handbooks to improve solution knowledge and troubleshoot
Ideas: submit ideas for solution enhancements; vote on other ideas that have been submitted by promoting or demoting an idea
As a PeopleAdmin customer, you already have access to the portal. If you don’t know how to access it, contact a support representative for assistance … and join the Community! TalentEd customers can contact us at (800) 490-9689 X 4000. SearchSoft customers can contact us at (800) 977-6735 option 1.
Spotlight: Folsom Cordova USD
Striving to improve … and now leading California in assessment results
You might say Folsom Cordova Unified School District (USD) is a “typical” medium-large district whose students have achieved “atypical” results: outperforming other California students in the state’s Smarter Balanced tests, part of the new California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. With the help of talent management technology, the district continues to close learning gaps as it provides its staff with the support needed to make good things happen.
“Very much like we do with students, we try to meet employees where they are,” said Mike Shepherd, director of HR. Mike says Folsom Cordova USD has leveraged better tools to help manage the increased workload that comes from addressing employees’ individual needs.
“The assistance we’re getting with PeopleAdmin’s TalentEd Perform is allowing us to have more accountability on a systematic level, so we can ensure that our on-the-ground managers are giving effective and meaningful feedback to our teachers,” Mike said. “Individualizing our workforce means we’re meeting the needs of our employees so they can better meet the needs of students.”
The district also has needs, which are met alongside the teachers’ through the customization of its system. “California has a strong teacher’s union and six statewide standards for educators, so Folsom Cordova USD needed a documentation tool that kept teachers happy while collecting necessary evaluation data,” said Mitch Parker, national account executive for PeopleAdmin. “The Perform system was configured to allow the school and teachers to support and defend evaluations. It saves everyone time.”
Mike adds that the district is always striving to improve, which means taking a close look at new technology and greater possibilities.
“I’m very excited about implementing TalentEd Sync 2.0 because it will help resolve some of our internal complications and relieve stress right away,” Mike said. The upgrade will empower staff to tackle its next goal: closing the achievement gap among disadvantaged student groups through instructional initiatives and hiring new intervention staff.
Learn more about how your district can reach its potential for improving student outcomes.
Proactive hiring: Q&A with Marna Robertson, Retired Assistant Superintendent
‘Recruiting is about building relationships’
Marna Robertson’s mantra is to always look for a better solution — even when tackling the difficult job of hiring.
A fourth-generation educator, Marna is a 30-year veteran teacher, administrator and principal, and spent the final 13 years of her education career in district-level human resources. Marna now consults for PeopleAdmin, advocates for school districts and provides guidance on hiring the right faculty.
Q. Why are you passionate about helping school districts recruit and hire?
“I knew that hiring was a strength of mine early on and it sort of evolved from there. I didn’t have children of my own, but I felt by helping school districts in this way I could impact children of the future, through other adults.”
Q. What’s the first step to improving hiring efficiency?
“You have to look internally first, see what’s working and what’s not working. Consider whether you can cluster some functions together by leveraging technology. For example, contracts may start in January but not get approved by the board until May, when they’re distributed and signed. Technology can really help streamline contracts and get everything in one place.”
Q. What are the steps to transition to proactive hiring?
“First, consider your budget and see how much you have to spend. How much are you willing to devote to a system and how much are you willing to devote to face-to-face recruiting? Then decide who’s going to do it. Recruiting is about building relationships, select someone who can put the ‘human back in human resources’ by making connections with people.
“You then have to promote your ‘brand.’ Make sure everyone understands your school’s values and mission. You do that by communicating — frequently and positively. At the same time, you need to develop both internal and external ambassadors. Key personnel, teachers, even students can help build your pipeline.
“Finally, you want to be transparent. Open up the halls of your school to show prospective teachers your climate and culture — let them really experience it. And then listen to them. Their feedback is invaluable.”
Q. What advice do you have for people who are in the trenches, doing the day-to-day hiring work?
“Don’t complain about what’s not working. Go to your supervisor with observations and possible solutions. Professional organizations are great resources for solutions and resources.”
Q. And advice for supervisors?
“Listen to your team, they know their needs. And observe your team — you may have the right people doing the wrong job. That happened to me when I had someone doing workers’ compensation who was more comfortable handling substitutes. Yet I had another member on my team who was comfortable with workers’ comp because she had done it before. You may have to tweak job descriptions and duties.”
The People of PeopleAdmin: Ryan Sturdevant, Senior Customer Success Specialist
‘We offer personal attention to every customer’
Ryan Sturdevant, senior customer success specialist, has worked at PeopleAdmin for two years, conducting training, partnering with customer accounts in Oklahoma, and overseeing many side projects outside of his team’s regular activities. He’s passionate about helping make the PeopleAdmin customer experience as easy and satisfying as possible. Here’s some insight into why…
Q: What made you decide to work for PeopleAdmin?
“A combination of things. I had a friend who worked here who spoke very highly of the culture. I was also able to attend an open house during my interview process where I met a lot of different people at the company and I really liked them. The interview process at PeopleAdmin was much more collaborative than I’d experienced previously and the people were much more friendly.”
Q: What do you love about your job?
“I came from a sales environment where it was a struggle to get people to talk to you, and here it’s the opposite. Customers call me — it’s so much more engaging! I love that the work I do creates immediate impact for our customers and that I get to teach and train them on our solutions. I also love the team that I work with and my clients are great, even while working through difficult issues.”
Q: Describe our customers in three words.
“Forward-thinking, conscientious and patient.”
Q: PeopleAdmin wants to provide every customer with an amazing customer experience. What does that mean to you?
“For me, what separates the PeopleAdmin Customer Success team from support at other companies is that we were more than a call center. We offer personal attention to every customer, and we strive to have a quick response time for inquiries. We also put our customers at ease when they call, so that they are comfortable asking for help with using their new solutions and technology.”
Q: Do you have any interesting customer stories or anecdotes?
“I have a couple, actually. We have a client in Oregon who makes a diorama each season with her TalentEd doll and she sends us pictures. We also have a client in Louisiana that I have heard borrowed our official TalentEd costume and went to school one day dressed in the outfit. We have absolutely the best customers.”
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Poll: Tell us what you think
New Recruit & Hire export and report features
We’re excited to report that the Recruit & Hire flat file export function now has a second export time available — 11 a.m., in addition to 3 a.m. Central Time — allowing you even greater flexibility to export data when you need it. Questions? Contact your support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Did you know SchoolSpring has a mobile app for candidates?
Ninety percent of job seekers search for jobs using their mobile devices, according to recent studies … and SchoolSpring has a popular app for that! Currently, 41 percent of all SchoolSpring traffic is mobile — and the SchoolSpring mobile app has more than 10,000 downloads to date.
Download the free app to see how job seekers view your posting on mobile devices.
Enhance your teacher evaluation process
Many districts preparing to fully implement state guidelines in the coming year are currently searching for ways to manage the teacher evaluation process in an easy, efficient and cost-effective way. But because evaluations involve a variety of district employees, including HR, principals, instructional coaches and teachers themselves, managing the process can be burdensome.
TalentEd Perform can simplify anyone’s role and boost the real desired outcomes: improved teaching that leads to enhanced student achievement. Managing the teacher supervision process with TalentEd Perform can: