How technology supports Montana State’s position management strategy

Accurate, up-to-date job descriptions, classifications and position frameworks provide the backbone for a successful talent management strategy. But over time, they become difficult to maintain, especially in the ever-changing world of higher education.

“The longer you’re in a job, the more the duties, responsibilities and even classifications are going to change,” said Ann Robinson, HR business systems process analystat Montana State University.

Using Positions— PeopleAdmin’s higher education-specific position management solution — Montana State accurately tracks and manages those changes over time, improving recruiting, tenure-review and performance evaluation processes.

“The great thing about Positions is that all of those changes are documented and time-stamped,” Ann explained.

Because Positions keeps track of all position description versions, human resources and hiring managers can strategically approach recruiting needs when backfilling a recently vacated position.

“Take me, for example. If I’d been doing this job for 10 years and I left, they wouldn’t hire someone to do what I’m doing now. They would have to hire someone to do what the job was when I started,” Ann explained. “With Positions, they can view the original position description and basically reset the job before posting it.”

The ability to easily access the original position description also improves the tenure-review process.

“It’s very important to see why a professor was originally hired during the tenure-review process, and Positions makes it easy to store and access that information electronically,” Ann said.

“Nobody wants to keep a paper file of 30 or 40 years’ worth of documents covering a newly tenured professor all the way through their retirement,” she added. “Those files get awfully thick and easy to lose.”

Staff and their supervisors also appreciate how easy access to an electronic job description improves the performance evaluation process.

“It’s great that supervisors have a job description to go back to so they can ensure they’re reviewing their employees based on the right criteria,” Ann said. “And if an employee’s responsibilities change mid-year, the employee can log in, see the updates and ensure they’re fulfilling the right duties.”

Overall, Ann believes Positions is key to the success of her talent management strategy.

“I think many colleges and universities underutilize this tool,” she said. “There’s just so much it can do.”

Montana State University

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