Project Description

The Dayton Area School Employment Consortium is comprised of leading K-12 schools in the Greater Dayton region. Formed in early 2000 by area school personnel officers, the Dayton (Ohio) Area School Employment Consortium collaborates on local teacher recruitment and hiring efforts.

Case Study: Dayton Area School Employment Consortium, OH

Situation

Formed in early 2000 by area school personnel officers, the Dayton (Ohio) Area School Employment Consortium collaborates on local teacher recruitment and hiring efforts. However, until February 2001, member district personnel officers had to photocopy and fax or mail paper applications requested by their colleagues in other districts, tying up staff time and resources and not making the most of their shared applicant pool. Beverly Broestl, Director of Human Resources for Dayton’s Montgomery County Educational Service Center, says the consortium’s members knew that there had to be a more efficient way to share application materials, increase the applicant pool and streamline recruitment and hiring.

Solution

The consortium turned to a partnership with SearchSoft Solutions for the answer. SearchSoft Solutions provides K-12 school districts with an industry-leading online platform for improving and simplifying the process of identifying and hiring the best teachers, administrators and support staff. Developed specifically to meet the unique personnel needs of K-12 schools, SearchSoft’s Applicant Tracking System allows principals, personnel directors and other authorized administrators to collect, track, search and retrieve job applications online quickly and easily so they can focus their energy on interviewing and hiring high quality school personnel. The Applicant Tracking System also offers qualified teachers and other school personnel an easy way to submit their application materials online.

Now, using SearchSoft, the 45 Dayton-area districts post a common, customized application on the consortium’s SearchSoft site at www.daytonareaschooljobs.esu.k12.oh.us. Interested candidates visit the site, select the member districts that they are interested in applying to and submit one application. Participating districts no longer receive any paper applications.

The Dayton Area School Employment Consortium uses SearchSoft’s Subscription model. The consortium pays an annual fee for use of the Applicant Tracking System, while software, hardware and database are maintained at SearchSoft’s data center, significantly reducing hardware and support costs and ensuring that it receives all product enhancements and updates. SearchSoft is also available for purchase on an installed model.

Results

When the consortium first began using SearchSoft, a handful of school districts signed on to try the system. Broestl, who manages SearchSoft implementation for the consortium, says, within months, the number “snowballed” to 39 districts. With the implementation of the Applicant Tracking System, the nature of the Dayton School Employment Consortium has changed. Now, if consortium districts want access to the shared applicant pool, they have to be SearchSoft users and no longer receive paper applications. Within months of deployment, participating districts saw the power of the online system and other districts joined as well. Broestl says applicants – both teachers and classified staff, are enthusiastic about the SearchSoft Applicant Tracking System. “It is so easy for them to fill out one application and apply to 39 districts,” she says.

In her role as Director of Human Resources at Montgomery County Educational Service Center, Broestl recruits special education teachers for six school districts. In the past when the qualified applicant pool for this hard-to-staff certification was tapped out, she would spend hours calling teachers to ask if they would be interested in getting a temporary special education certificate. On the SearchSoft online application, candidates now check a box indicating that they are interested in teaching special education and Broestl identifies potential hires with a quick online query that takes only seconds.

SearchSoft also helps principals who are looking for teachers in a particular subject area and are interested in coaching, says Broestl. A high school principal looking for an English teacher who is willing to coach basketball runs a search and accesses a list of qualified applicants from the 39-district pool. Broestl also says that using SearchSoft has increased the diversity of teachers applying to teach in Dayton Area School Employment Consortium districts. Prior to the SearchSoft solution, most applicants were from Ohio, but during the 2001-2002 school year, teachers from across the nation with a wide variety of experiences and certifications applied. One applicant was living in the Caribbean, wanted to return to the U.S. and found the consortium’s site on the internet.

Broestl says that SearchSoft always has been responsive to the consortium’s concerns and requests for changes. For example, originally when conducting a search on the system, the results included just qualified teachers’ names. After receiving feedback from the Dayton Area School Employment Consortium and other customers, SearchSoft enhanced the search response to include name, phone number and certification information. Best of all, she says, the size of the consortium’s applicant pool has soared. “In just the first year, we received more than 3,800 online applications consortium wide. In the past, only a few hundred paper applications were submitted each year.”

“We expect our number of participating member districts and applicants to continue to grow with our use of SearchSoft,” concludes Broestl. Since this case study was conducted, Broestl’s expectations have proven accurate.